Many companies are adding telecommuting as an option for their employees. This can save money on equipment, space, and bills, but is telecommuting right for everyone? No, it isn’t. Many employees enjoy the office environment and do not want to work from home. Are you one of them?
Here are six signs you’d be unhappy if you were sent home to work.
#1 FOMO Is Real
The fear of missing out, or FOMO, is a real condition that can wreak havoc on your well-being. It arises when you are physically separated from your colleagues and workplace. Some people, i.e. those who work from home and enjoy it, may not understand FOMO. They have no real physical ties to the people in their company, and for that matter, may never even meet their coworkers. For you, getting to know your colleagues, learning about their lives, and inquiring after them is a crucial part of the workday.
At work, you are not just being productive, but building long-lasting relationships that cheer you when you’re feeling down and provide you with the information you may need. Feeling connected to your physical workspace is important to you and without it, you can begin to feel demotivated and disengaged, which could negatively affect your work. If you enjoy knowing what is changing in your company, working from home won’t fit your happiness.
#2 Socializing Energizes You
Telecommuting often means being alone. If you are a social person who gets your energy from others, you may find you are lethargic, sad, and less productive than usual. Like an introvert recharges when alone, you recharge when around others. Their energy, passion, and laughter fuel your own happiness. Water cooler talk is your break and you will miss it a great deal.
If you are pushed to work from home, find a group to work with. Though you are not around your colleagues, you can chat with these people and fulfill your need for interaction.
#3 You Are Distractable
Working from home comes with the freedom to work wherever you’d like, take breaks at the drop of the hat, and not have to be socially on all the time, but these are the same activities that can lead to distractions.
The office clearly marks a line between home and work. When you arrive at your workplace, you know time is of the essence and you should spend it productively. At home, this line can blur. You may make phone calls whenever they come in, walk your dog whenever it whines, or be constantly interrupted by your children. Not to mention, how distracting your mind can be. If you are telecommuting, designate one spot in your home your office space. This will help you keep the line as clear as possible. Keep a detailed schedule, as well, so you can meet your productivity goals.
#4 You Struggle With Priorities
Determining which deadlines and tasks are the most important is crucial to success when you work from home. Using your own judgment to determine the next steps is important as well. For the most part, you set the deadline and see what needs to be done.
If given the question, “Among the things I have to do, which is the most important?” you should be able to easily know the answer.
#5 You Struggle With Work-life Balance
Without the structure of your office, you may lose work-life balance. Work may seep into your personal time and vice versa. At home, you are responsible for monitoring your calendar, working within your workday and finishing at a reasonable time. Often, rather than underperforming, overworking is a big issue with people who work from home as they figure out the proper work-life balance. Set timers, track your hours, and figure out how long it takes you to complete tasks. These can all keep you on schedule.
Pomodoro’s may also be very helpful for your workday. This system reminds you that time is passing. You can set your work time and breaks. Pomodoro apps on your phone or online automatically transition from work time to break time. During your work time, let nothing, but the largest of emergencies, interrupt your work. When you are fully focused on your work for short periods of time, you can get more done.
#6 You Have Limited Self-discipline
Working from home requires a lot of self-discipline. Without the structure of an office and the externally-imposed rules you may get little work done. Often, working from home introduces a lot of distractions. You are now free to browse the web, get on social media, and daydream. When you first begin, you’ll be surprised how distracting your mind can be. It’s very helpful to create a schedule that includes breaks, a start time, and end time. Stick to these times and tell your family and friends you are at work. Ensure they respect your working hours and keep yourself accountable by chatting only during your breaks.
If you are off-task a lot, you may want to ask yourself if you would do what you are doing if you were at the office. If the answer is no, don’t do this at home. And if your phone is a large distraction, turn off all notifications, especially social media.
Working from home is a great option, but it may not be what you want. Whichever environment suits your productivity the most is the one you should be in. If your boss is discussing telecommuting options, express your desire to stay in the office and try to come to a compromise. Perhaps you could work at home a few days and come to the office. Do what makes you feel the best.