Working From Home Sucks

Working remotely has its pros, but also many cons

home
(Image: iStock.com/RuslanDashinsky)

Contrary to popular belief, I think working from home sucks. Whether it’s for a day or for a year, I actually prefer to travel and work in an office every single day. Why? Well, I worked remotely for three years before I started here at Black Enterprise, and I hated it. Sure, it had its perks. For one, I was never sleep deprived and I rarely got sick. I also had the flexibility to juggle multiple independent projects and manage a side hustle. Still, despite these advantages, I prefer to commute to work. Here’s why.

 

I’m a People Person

 

By nature, I’m an extrovert who thrives off the energy of others. I feel the most alive when I’m surrounded by people. Hence, some of my favorite pastimes include meeting new people, participating in protest rallies, and attending social gatherings.

When I worked remotely, I often felt isolated and secluded. However, now I look forward to interacting with my colleagues at work. Even though technology has given us the ability to stay in constant communication, nothing beats human interaction where we can all share in a moment of side eye or laughter. This gives me a sense of connectivity and camaraderie, which is important to me.

On top of that, I happen to really like the staff at BE, which is dominated by women of color and a large pocket of millennials. So, why wouldn’t I want to work in an office full of #BlackGirlMagic?

 

It’s Not Motivating

 

Working in your pajamas or on the sofa all day may feel comfortable, but it can actually hurt your ability to be productive. In turn, you may feel so comfortable that it becomes hard to get into work mode. Plus, working on your couch or bed can make it too tempting to take a nap, watch TV, or use social media. Working in an office, on the other hand, eliminates these temptations.

 

You Work More at Home

 

Since you don’t have to clock in and out, many people actually end up overworking. Studies show that those who work remotely log more hours than those who report to an office. Take it from me, it’s really easy to lose track of time when working remotely. There were plenty of days when I signed onto my laptop at 9 a.m. and then stayed glued to my desk up until bedtime.

 

It’s Distracting

 

When I worked from home, many of my family and friends negated the fact that I was actually working and would call, text, and ask me for favors during my work hours. Working from home also makes it easy to engage in other distractions such as cleaning, playing with a pet, or, my personal favorite, binge watching YouTube.

 

My Home is my Sanctuary

 

Now that I work outside of my home, I treat it as a space for rest, reading, and relaxation.  Personally, I rather get my work done while I’m actually at work, and then come home to a peaceful atmosphere and recuperate.

 

 

 


Selena HillSelena Hill is the Associate Digital Editor at Black Enterprise and the founder of Let Your Voice Be Heard! Radio. You can hear Hill and her team talk millennial politics and social issues every Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.

Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @MsSelenaHill.


  • J Turner

    Yeah… Speak for yourself. I LOOOOVE working from home. I have a dedicated space for working. If I feel the need to connect with people I’ll go into the office or work from a coffee shop. Set boundaries for family and friend so they know your work schedule. Actually set a schedule and stick to it so you are not working more than you would from an office. Also, working from remotely allows for individuals to work from anywhere they choose. If someone desires to work in Madrid for the week because snow is forecast in Chicago, guess what – they can!

    • Ann

      I agree. I had a wfh job and I loved it. Unfortunately, the company I worked for eliminated those wfh positions. I’m in the process of starting my own virtual assistant business. I guess since I’m an introvert, I prefer to work alone. I am a lot more productive this way, plus I would not be forced to deal with the daily office gossip and drama.

  • Andrea

    Just one person’s opinion. I totally disagree. I work from home and have for the past 11 years. I wouldn’t change a thing.

    I hope that people who are thinking about working from home aren’t discouraged by this article.

    • WWS27

      I agree. Some people need that people interaction and enjoy their office associations, while others like you and me, don’t miss having to wake up an hour or 2 earlier to beat the traffic, dodging distracted drivers, accidents and road work, the lack of restroom privacy (nothing could ruin my day like walking into the restroom behind somebody who just blew it up), the bath tissue, paper towel and water mess some people leave behind in the bathroom, the need to sanitize and clean up computer keyboards, phones and other hard surfaces behind people who have less than
      desirable personal habits, the frustrating commute of having to get face another rush hour to get back homet…..I don’t miss ANY of that! aTALL!!!!

      The only person and thing I miss is the fellowship I had with one of my previous supervisors. He’s one of the most fair, integral, intelligent, non-threatening men I’ve ever known, and thru his kind demeanor, interesting conversation and Biblical knowledge, challenged me to step up my game in every area. I miss that.

      The rest of it – you can have it all day. Working from home affords levels of accountability, cleanliness, peace and satisfaction that can never be found in an office environment.

  • Sas

    Her article says ‘I think’ and has accomplished what it was supposed to – other people’s opinions. Very good Ms. Hill. Keep up the good work!

    • 1Oag

      She also stated up front! “Contrary to popular belief” before she said “I think”. I think this is one of the reasons I very seldom read or respond to BE articles.

    • JillyMack

      It appears only you and 10ag paid attention to the opening statement. I created a dedicated office in order to accept a WAH assignment as I needed the work. It lasted three years. I read the article to see if she and I had any of the same downsides in common, and we did. You can work longer than you should as you’re alone with no sounds of a regular office giving “tips”to the time of day. I set calendar reminders in Outlook for breaks, lunch and end of day so it wouldn’t continue. We also had isolation in common which is a hindrance personally as well as professionally. Not having regular face to face interaction with supervisors, only e-mails, IMs and periodic team conference calls does not give superiors a full and complete impression of you so references are limited and stilted. Limits networking within the company also.

  • You should change the title to Why Working From Home Sucked For Me…stop misleading people who already are or who are considering it.

    Also, why do you need to go home to recuperate if working in the office is so great? If you knew you were a people person, why take the WFH position in the first place?

    These “reasons” sound more like excuses.

    • 1Oag

      AMEN!

  • 1Oag

    This is a tired innuendo from people that just want to attract attention! Sounds almost worst than Trump.

  • Melanie

    Know thyself. It’s important to do a self-assessment when considering a career that allows you to work from home. Working from home offers a lot of freedom and flexibility. However, with that flexibility there is also responsibility and necessary discipline. If you know yourself and know you don’t possess the the discipline to stay focused on work or dedicate certain time for work and personal tasks…then working from home may not be for you. Tip 1: It could help to dedicate space in your home (if possible) strictly for working. Having a dedicated work area allows you to put on your proverbial work hat and then take it off at the appropriate time. Tip 2: Schedule time on your calendar to connect with others (if you’re a people person :-)). Have lunch with a friend during their lunch time, if they don’t have a flexible work schedule. Or find other people in your community with flexible work schedule via Meetup.com or other organizations. There are ways to make working for home work for you but you have to know what will work for you and what won’t, which sometimes takes a bit of trial and error. Working from home may not work for some but it could be a saving grace for others.

  • Mike

    Seems to me you were unorganized? I have my office in my basement and I treat it as that…MY OFFICE! I have my set hours and have the same restrictions on speaking with friends as if I were at an outside company.

    I’m a people person and I’m sure the majority of people who work from home are too. I guess you never tried Skype or any other teleconferencing to speak with clients? I leave for lunch at a set time and return at a set time.

    Working from home is not motivating? WTW? That sounds more like an individual characteristic than passing the blame on working from home. All the distractions you listed you do realize folks do that in a office environment too. I guess you don’t read the latest production news about employee goofing off and wasting time with other things beside doing their work. Next you will write and tell us exercising at home is less fulfilling and we won’t see progress unless we join that neighborhood gym.

    I agree with others, the title is misleading. Next time why don’t you interview some people who actually work from home and love it.

  • Patrina

    I totally disagree. I LOVE working from home for all of the reasons and more that you stated was bad.

    1) I am a people person also but being at home allows me to focus on work and concentrate better. When I need to interact with people I can go out for lunch and meet up with people without rushing back to the office due to micro-management, go to the gym for lunch, take a walk on a trail to regroup when necessary.

    2) Motivation comes from within. Motivation can be the affirmations that you have on your office walls, the music you can play without disturbing others. Check out a YouTube channel, call a friend, or develop your motivation zen area.

    3) When you work anywhere time management is necessary. Set your cell phone as you work to schedule your much needed breaks and stick to your end time.

    4) You control the distractions. Ignore the calls, turn off your telephone during certain hours, teach people how to respect your time working.

    5) Your home should be your sanctuary so when you work from home if you have an office space great otherwise create a designated work area. Mine has a curtain and when the curtain is pulled that means work is over.

    It is all about balance. Working from home saves money also. Just my perspective but I am a striving entrepreneur also so dedicating my time to build someone else’s dream is what pays my bills for now but making sure that I am able to learn and adapt the same discipline for myself and my business is also extremely important. Working from home affords that discipline.

  • Mignon Grayson

    The title is misleading. It does depend on your personal preferences and what works for you. The only thing I agree with is “you work more when you are at home.” Once I got a handle on that, I totally loved working from home. I did a split of in-office and at home and it was great. My preference would have been to work totally from home with an office visit once or twice a month. Now I am in business for myself and work all the time from home. Perfect for me.