Remote work has plenty of positives. The remote worker is accountable mostly to themselves. They can travel, enjoy flexible hours. It’s a lifestyle that most people would really appreciate.
Anytime you come across an article about remote work, these are usually the things that people focus on. For good reason. These are the things that people fantasizing about working from home focus on.
But it also isn’t the only aspect of remote work.
No Strings Attached
In an office setting, human relationships are a built-in part of the experience. You run into people at your cubicle, in the bathroom, in the breakroom.
When you work remotely, there is no breakroom, and the hope is that you aren’t going to run into anyone in the bathroom.
The comforts of home are nice and cozy, but they also can be very isolating. There’s no built-in community.
You can still have social relationships as a remote worker, but it takes a deliberate effort. Many online workers take to the internet to foster connections, or make appoint of working in a social setting from time to time.
Co-working spaces are a great opportunity for remote workers to convene and enjoy some of the comforts of a typical office setting.
Still, there is no denying that it is tricky to feel connected to your coworkers when you never see them.
The Hazards of Home Work
When you work from home there really is no separation from work and home life. The benefits to this are obvious. You spend more time with your family. Personal comforts are never far from reach.
Still there are issues. The main problem? It is easy for the boundaries for your work to disappear. At an office, finding balance is somewhat simple. You get there at 8AM, you leave at 5PM. You get done everything you can during the work day, and what is finished carries over to the next morning.
When you work from home, conventional hours can become blurred quite easily.
If you have a big project on your hands, or lots of stress, it is easy to start bringing through nights and weekends.
Workaholics might not mind this approach, but the truth of the matter is that eventually, stress will pop up. When it does, productivity stalls. Currently 33% of Americans are living in a state of extreme work related stress.
The problem is no joke, and when you work from home, the stress can bleed into every aspect of your life.
It’s a problem, but with the right approach, it can be fixed.
Call a Spade a Spade
All of this focus on the positives of remote work is great. However, there are problems, and if people aren’t willing to acknowledge them they are never going to go away.
Acknowledging the hazards of working from home is a good first step towards fixing some of the built in hazards of remote work.