By July 8, 2010 Read More →

5 reasons to hate home working

The horrible truth about home working

Work from Home Wisdom - 5 reasons to hate home workingWhat you don’t find out about home working until you actually try it out:

1. Incipient madness
So you thought it would be wonderful to get away from the interrruptions of the office and be massively more productive. What you didn’t reckon on was how quickly motivation can spiral down when there’s nobody around to help keep the momentum going. The horrors of the home working mid-afternoon slump can make you doubt your own sanity.

2. Weight gain
When you’re home working you’re constantly in temptingly close proximity to the fridge and food cupboard, which need to be stocked if the household isn’t going to starve. Snacks and drinks are always just metres and a few minutes away and it’s all too easy to pop down to the kitchen whenever you’re feeling stuck, bored or demotivated (see 1 above).

3. Just leave me alone
It’s called ‘home WORKING’ for a reason, but nobody seems to understand the working bit of being at home. They think they can pitch up at any time for a cuppa or a favour. You unthinkingly answer the phone in the middle of a task only to get your mother asking if you are coming to lunch on Sunday and do you like broad beans? Having caused offence with your off-hand response, it is impossible to find your way back to that sweet spot of concentration.

4. I’m never off-duty
It feels more like living at work than working from home. Work haunts you with reminders whenever you pass the ‘office’ (dining room/spare bedroom/garage) door. Paper and bits of IT equipment drift into the corners of every room and the cat chooses your in-tray as its favourite bed.

5. Get me out of here
People are always banging on about how much time and money you save by home working and not commuting. But nobody ever mentions how claustrophobic it gets when you spend nearly all your life within the same four walls. Mind-numbingly claustrophobic to the point where the weekly shopping trip to Asda becomes a kind of treat. Tragic.

Identify with any of these? Fortunately, help is at hand, there are 5 antidotes in my big home working emergency kit!

Posted in: Routine

12 Comments on "5 reasons to hate home working"

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  1. Tricia says:

    Amen to all of these. I could not agree with you more on every single one…

    Now what do we do about it? hehe

    • judy says:

      Tricia, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that I find Jelly and coworking a great way to vary my routine, get out of the house and meet some other home workers on the verge of madness! And actually I was hoping some readers would come up with some foolproof tips…

  2. Melanie says:

    I can relate to all of these and even went to Asda this week, just for a change! Oh dear…..

    • judy says:

      I know, I know, we rotate Asda, Sainsburys, Lidl and M&S in Frome and Waitrose when we go to Bath. I don’t know what a market researcher would make of our shopping habits, Melanie, but at least it adds some variety to our home working lives!

  3. Eugenia says:

    Hi Judy,

    I totally agree with you! Coworking sounds good. I live in Buenos Aires and that’s a new concept here. I found one place near home a few days ago so I’ll give it a try soon. What’s Jelly?

    All the best

    • judy says:

      I’m sure you’ll enjoy coworking, Eugenia. As for Jelly, what an excellent question! It’s a free coworking day for home workers, freelancers etc and you’ll find lots of information on Jelly for Home Workers and all the other Jelly pages. You might even be inspired to start your own Jelly, as many people have done in the UK in recent months.

  4. Paul Graves says:

    In a previous job I used to spend some time visiting clients in America, and then I spent some time ‘hotel working’, which was an extreme and depressing form of home working. In the end I would take my laptop to the local shopping mall to work, just to be around people!

    • judy says:

      ‘Hotel working’ – now that’s a term I’ve never come across before! I can see what you mean, Paul. Hotels on business are a very different thing from hotels on holiday and can be lonely and soulless places. But you must have needed good powers of concentration in a shopping mall?

  5. Kyle Newman says:

    I think you allude to it in your article Judy, but not explicitly but I think loneliness is often the hardest part for many, especially if like me you also live alone. It’s easy to go for days without seeing or speaking to anyone, especially if when I’m having a bit of a down period. I also really miss the interaction with and bouncing ideas off of other people.

    My guess would be that those that tend towards being more extroverted would find this more challenging than those that tend towards being more introverted… but that assumption has yet to be proven.

    A few of my top tips would be: a) develop a routine, so you get in the same habit as getting up, dressed and going to the office; b) set a finish time, so when you hit a certain time, say 6pm, that’s it work is finished for today; c) make sure you have a laptop and or smart phone, so you can get out and work from anywhere, and d) I get out to a few networking breakfasts each week to interact with other business owners – 4Networking is my favourite choice, but there are plenty of options out there…

    • judy says:

      Thanks, Kyle, I think you’re absolutely right about the extroversion/introversion issue. I tend towards introversion and like to think I’m pretty self-sufficient, but even so I’m surprised by how often I need some input from other people and different places!
      I’m writing this at Frome Jelly, a coworking day I organise in a local workhub. Have you checked out coworking or Jelly locally? Have a look at the Jelly Wiki to see what’s happening. It’s a great opportunity to get out of the house, meet new people and actually get some work done too.

  6. Shoten says:

    Working from home is the absolute worst feeling on earth. My first job when I graduated was a work at home, I lasted five months, treaded on the brink of depression and insanity with hours that were worth of an investment banker. All lead to a break down and me not working with them anymore. Just start a new job three months ago in an office with an amazing vibe. A month ago they relocated me to take on my own campaigns with one of the manager and they made us work from home again. I live with my manager. I live at work. Not at home. I served my notice a week ago.

    • judy says:

      The good news is that there’s no longer a choice between going mad working at home and working full-time in the office. Have you heard of coworking and workhubs? They provide company, a nice place to work and all the advantages of going to the office, but you can pick and choose when you want to be there, and at a very reasonable price. Probably the best thing that’s ever happened to home workers and freelancers!