There are tons of upsides when your employer allows you to work from home, or work in a hybrid situation. We talk a lot about the benefits, but once you do it for awhile – like with everything in life – you realize there are also a fair number of downsides to the situation.
If you’re curious what some unfortunate realities people encounter working from home, these 17 people are getting real below!
17. Your career can stagnate.
want to know what’s worse than being lazy and or getting fired? Being lazy and nobody notices. I’ve worked remote since before covid and I’ve had previous jobs 100% wfh over the years. I haven’t worked a 40hr work week in over 5 years. At my current gig I bet I average 10-15hrs a week of work, and that’s being generous.
I can stay up until 3am every night, sleep in, take naps, go run errands during the day. I’ve almost trapped myself at my current job because the pay is ridiculous for the little to no amount of work I actually do.
At the same time, my career has stagnated, I have very little to no motivation and the crazy thing is I’m actually really good at what I do. I could go work somewhere else for more pay, but then I’d more than likely have to actually work.
16. It’s super sedentary.
I’m missing out on a lot of “accidental” exercise. I used to walk to the train station, then from the station at the far end to the office. Have a wander around at lunch.
Now, I walk from my bed to the shower, and from the shower to my office/man cave. If I had a Fitbit, it may get as high as 50 steps by lunch.
15. It can exacerbate social anxiety.
I struggle with social anxiety and in the first few weeks of WFH it was heaven. But nearly 2 years into it, it’s reached a point where I dread phone calls.
I also find that where in the office, if something rough happened, I might feel stressed for an hour or so, whereas now I turn that shit over in my head for days.
Thankfully I am now allowed to go back to the office and I’m doing 2 days a week now. Feels great to be honest.
14. All hours are work hours.
Work From Home can easily become Live at Work.
This is why it’s important to have boundaries and rituals to delineate between work and home. My employer is quite happy having the office staff work remotely (they’ve already closed one office building) and have no immediate plans to force us back to the office, so we’re going to be working from home for quite a while yet. I’ve been working at home for 2 years come March 16th and very early on I made sure to institute some rituals to help with the transition.
Beyond the simple don’t read or answer work emails, texts, etc after working hours, I also make a point of putting on a work shirt at the start of my work day and taking it off at the end. Other than making me look a bit more professional in Zoom/Teams meetings, it makes it easier for me to say “I’m at work” or “I’m at home” simply through a change of shirt.
I also make a point of doing something in the transition between one and the other. In the morning I put on my work shirt, make a cup of coffee, and then settle in for the day. Once I’ve had enough for the day (we work pretty flexible hours), I make a point of walking to the bedroom, changing my shirt, and then doing something that takes me away from the computer for a while (read a book, walk the dog, clean the kitchen). I spend all day in front of my PC and it’s not uncommon for me to be on it after hours as well (games, reddit, etc) so doing something that’s not on the PC helps break the work time from the home time.
I’m fairly lucky in that I really don’t like people (developer for 38 years) so I don’t miss the office. Also, my wife works from home too so I have company during the day. I have friends that live alone and are much more social than I, and I know that it’s been exponentially tougher for them than it has been for me. We all in my team make a point of checking in on each other during the day, regular face-to-face get-togethers (depending on lockdowns) such as coffee meetings and breakfasts, just to make sure that nobody is feeling too isolated.
13. Depression can creep in.
This is me at the moment. I was going to the office three days out of the week. Now for the past month we’ve been wfh and I don’t get ready any of the days. I’ve been inviting people out to lunch to give me a reason to get dressed and out.
I’ve been feeling pretty blue too, the crappy part about it is I hate my office, but at least I’m not all frumpy.
12. Days off are a thing of the past.
Working through what would have been sick days.
And snow days too. School gets cancelled, daycare programs cancelled, work…not cancelled.
11. People assume you’re free.
When you work from home people assume you have the day off. “Can you do….”
No, I’m working. Just because I’m here working on the computer doesn’t mean I can do your thing. Pay no attention to the fact that I’m browsing reddit, it’s part of my process.
10. You’re all alone.
The isolation/loneliness wouldn’t be such an issue during pre covid times.
The combination of working from home, living alone and quarantine (immunity issues make me high risk) can be difficult though.
9. You can’t parent at the same time.
The amount of people that are surprised that I take my kid to daycare everyday then go work from home, they seem shocked I’m not able to watch my kid.
And then when daycare is closed because of covid which is like all the time, I have to watch her and I literally can’t get any work done.
8. What is a core.
Sitting all day has absolutely destroyed my core.
Without needing to constantly get up and walk over to talk to someone or any of the other million little things I walked around at the office for, my body has slowly wasted away without my notice
7. People expect explanations.
When I started WFH due to pregnancy struggles, I noticed that we would have a lot of people knocking on the door. I take calls so I’m not just lounging around. I would let the door go unanswered and then I would see my MIL calling me and sending me messages that so and so will be stopping by for x thing.
I told her I’m busy working and cannot leave my desk. Another thing that would happen would be her aunt who was living with us at the time would come to the living room to watch TV and videos on her phone. The fact that I had to tell her more than once that I am WORKING so she needs to watch TV in another room baffled me.
I also had to explain that I have access to people’s medical information and how would she feel if she called her doctor’s office and the person she was having a conversation with was discussing her private information in front of others.
6. Accidentally shut-in.
My wife works from home and it seems like a very sedentary lifestyle. Sometimes, she doesn’t even have to get dressed.
I don’t know, it just seems like if you’re already anxious or depressed, you can accidentally become a shut-in.
5. People assume you’re not busy.
My wife does that shit to me every time I work from home.
My wife would get upset if I couldn’t step away to go out for breakfast or something. Then she’ll say something like ‘Well it doesn’t look like you’re that busy!’
4. A mental transition.
That if you’re someone who has a different “head space” at home vs at work, it can be extremely difficult working from home.
Some people can literally work from home and “dial in” if you will to the same level of attention or better than in an office setting.
Others (like myself) have difficulty focusing on work at home. Even when I know I have work to do, when I’m at home, that part of my brain just shuts off and I have a very hard time staying focused.
My fiancé would often mock me, but I would dress as if I were going to the office even when at home. Something about the routine of it, putting myself in the position as if I were physically “at work”, put me in the right head space to focus better on my work.
3. It can be unhealthy for your relationship.
When you and your partner both work from home, you miss that natural separation of your lives.
Suddenly you have much less to talk about, because you’re living your lives together more than previously, and then takes more active effort to maintain individuality and not regress into the singular relationship entity in all aspects of life which isn’t healthy for anyone.
2. It has to mesh with your lifestyle.
Yeah there are definitely jobs that can be done WFH and some people who really gel with that lifestyle.
I would never want to be WFH because I know that I’d procrastinate/be lazy and end up getting fired lol. Also I know this will be very anti-reddit but I like to take breaks and talk to coworkers and sometimes it is far more direct and easy to get a response from someone by swinging by their office instead of sending an email buried among 300 others in their inbox
1. Seriously, it can be lonely.
It’s lonely. While I may occasionally be irked by a colleague here or there, I have a good group of supportive colleagues that I’m close friends with, and who help me get through the days that just seem to drag on. WFH you miss out on that socialisation and support.
As someone who has worked from home for going on seven years, I can confirm all of these are a struggle at times.
If you’ve spent time working from home, what other challenges have you faced? Drop them in the comments!