Magazine

Survey Says | Published in June 2017

Negatives of Working From Home

The biggest negative chosen by responding readers was “lack of social interaction with co-workers.”

By Rebecca Moore | June 2017
Art by John Cuneo

With employers increasingly allowing their employees to work remotely, we asked NewsDash readers, “If you worked from home all the time, what do you think would be the negatives of doing so?”
 
The biggest negative chosen by responding readers was “lack of social interaction with co-workers” (62%), followed by “lack of connection with co-workers” (55.7%) and “the feeling of not knowing what is going on in the company” (45.6%).
 
“Eating more because there’s easy access to food” was selected by 27.8% of respondents, while 24% each selected “not moving enough because you’re stuck at your desk” and “interruptions from neighbors, children or pets,” and 20.2% chose “feeling there’s no excuse to not work when sick (unless severely sick).”
 
“Other” negatives, cited by 38% of respondents, included lack of separation between work and home; working more because access to work is always there; temptation to do other things such as chores, reading or watching television; lack of social interactions, not just with co-workers; not meeting new co-workers; lack of access to office tools/technology; difficulty managing staff; and “too quiet.” Many of these were cited by a handful of respondents.
 
As always, verbatim responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not the stance of PLANSPONSOR and its affiliates at Strategic Insight.
 
“‘Working from home’ is not the correct term—it is ‘working remotely.’”
 
“I could not work from home all of the time because of the distractions, and I would miss the interaction with my team, and I am the boss and it would be bad form.”
 
“I would feel bad for my dry cleaner.”
 
“I start work at the same time each day to maintain a routine and avoid procrastination. I also wear business-casual attire to get myself in the mindset to work.”
 
“I loved the flexibility to be able to schedule personal tasks during daytime hours when stores, etc., were less busy, and then making the time up in the evening. And I especially loved having lunch with my son each day.”
 
“When most communication is done by email or even over the phone, it’s difficult to read people’s moods or reactions.”
 
“There can be downsides, but there are also upsides: fresh air if you open your window, working uninterrupted when needed, flexibility when kids are sick. There has to be trust; no trust and it won’t work.”
 
“The biggest issue I have encountered is in-office employees making comments like you effectively don’t count, as you are not in the office.”
 
“Working from home is a benefit that should be earned and given to those who can prove they can still remain connected and get their work done.”
 
“The worst thing is not being able to get to know new co-workers, and there have been many. It’s relatively easy to maintain ties to people I already know but much tougher to build relationships with those I don’t.”
 
“Once the laptop and desk is set up at home, it is too easy to constantly check in or continue to work into the evening.”
 
“I work from home all the time. I avoid wasting time (and carbon) traveling to an office where I would be on the phone and computer, just like here.”
 
“Everyone on my team works from home at least one day/week, but we have one day when we’re all in the office. That’s the day we connect on complex items and the random items that come up that you typically miss if you’re not on-site.”

 
And the Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said, “I’m an introvert. Working from home might turn me into a hermit.”

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