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5 hidden pitfalls of working from home

Working from the comfort of your own home is not all it's cracked up to be...

Working from home can come with multiple benefits, from taking calls in your pjs to listening to your favourite station on the radio, but there are also many hidden pitfalls to the quickly growing trend for freelancing and remote working. Although working from the comfort of your own home seems great on paper, the downsides will quickly become apparent in practice.

1. Isolation

Working from home tends to mean working alone. Although you’ve got no commute, no rush hour traffic and quick access to coffee, sometimes it’s worth having to paint on a smile and pick up your daily latte-to-go, as these small interactions are important to us all as human beings. Without interaction and regular contact with the outside world, mental health can quickly deteriorate. Take a look at our guide on managing loneliness as an indie worker for more on how to combat feelings of isolation, including joining a coworking space.

2. (Lack of) Boundaries

It’s a term we’ve all heard so often it’s almost lost all meaning, but a good ‘work-life balance’ is imperative to a happy and healthy mind, and it’s something that can fall by the wayside when we’re working from home. Utilising the kitchen table or even a separate office space as our working environment can mean that home no longer feels like a sanctuary to return to at the end of the day. A survey conducted by Indycube found that 10% of indy workers felt they had no separation between work and home.

3. Distraction

Working at home can mean that you’re surrounded by potential distractions. There’s always laundry to fold, floors to hoover, dishes to put away or something else to do. Not to mention the potential distractions of working in the same building as your family members/friends/housemates, who can distract you from the task at hand even without meaning to, especially if you have young children.

4. Procrastination

Without coworkers around or a fixed area dedicated to productivity, it’s dangerously easy to fall into patterns of procrastination. As well as the domestic distractions listed above, your home is rife with opportunities for procrastination, from your television to your laptop and even your bed! It’s easy to hit the snooze button, spend hours on social media and catch up on the latest Netflix series when you’ve got no one around to keep you motivated. Of course, the flexibility to do this is part of what’s so great about independent working, and it’s absolutely fine every once in awhile, but generally everyone work better with some structure.

5. No Commute

This one seems counter-intuitive - isn't it the dream to avoid the peak time commute? Long commutes every day can adversely impact both physical and mental health, partly because there’s no time left in the day for exercise, and partly because of the stress associated with the journey itself. However, no commute at all is not necessarily the answer - being stuck inside all day is unhealthy, while not traveling to work can leave indy workers with no clear signal that it’s time to focus and start the working-day. Some home workers even opt to circle around the block just to kick-start their day!

These hidden pitfalls and downsides to working from home are part of why we think coworking is the bee’s knees. We want to put an indycube in every town across the UK, so no matter where you are, you’ll be able to avoid the unwanted side-effects of self-employment, freelances and indy working. Working for yourself shouldn't mean working by yourself - Join Indycube Community and become part of something bigger, or try one of our coworking spaces.

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