Why working from home is impossible

Nick Rodriguez By Nick Rodriguez - Updated: August 07th, 2018
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Working from home sounds like a no brainer but in reality is counterproductive and costly. Freelancers shouldn't have to learn this the hard way.

One common mistake beginning freelancers or remote workers make is to think that they will have it made by working from home. What's not to like about staying at home in your pj's while you make money?

As the reality of working at home sets in, the fantasy of chilling on the couch with a tablet quickly evaporates. There's a reason why offices exist in the first place, and it's not because your company wanted to create an adult daycare.

Let's examine several reasons why working from home is counterproductive and should be avoided early on.

There are too many distractions

The obvious reason that isn't too apparent when you start out working from home, is the unlimited number of distractions in the home. Whether it be cleaning dishes, running errands, picking up clothes, emptying the trash, playing the dog, being interrupted by your children, etc.. use your imagine for what type of distraction you can come across.

The truth is that we use the distraction as a sort of excuse to avoid doing work, it's human nature to let your mind wander. And the home just makes you more comfortable and encourages the distraction. Some people can manage it to a point, it but it's an uphill battle that you won't win.

Separation of work and life

It's just not good practice to mix your personal life with your work life. Even though we're surrounded by advanced technology, we're still the same primitive animals from thousands of years ago. We're just not built for multi-tasking and juggling several different tasks. At the home you're in a different mindset with different ideas, thoughts, and tasks. Mix in your work life and you now have a jumble of confusing thoughts running through your mind pulling you in different directions. It's something you can manage in an emergency, but for real productive work, it's not going to work.

You don't look busy to others

This is another thing that doesn't seem as obvious when you first start working from home, but becomes all too apparent once you answer the door in your pj's for the first time. Nobody will ever think that you're working except you, it's just not obvious enough. Even your wife who knows you are on the clock, will start to send you on errands or shout orders at you. And it's not her fault, you are in the home, which is supposed to be a sanctuary from work. So do yourself a favor, head to Starbucks before someone gives you a chore to do or an errand to run.

You're too isolated

Another big problem is the lack of human interaction and companionship. Say goodbye to lunch with co-workers or friendly small talk with the person sitting next to you. It's going to be a lonely existence in a quiet, empty home. This can also lead to more distraction as you find something else to do to break the monotony.

Conclusion

It's hard to come to the realization that working from home just doesn't work, because it feels like it should work and make life easier, and you hear of remote workers doing this all the time and tend to feel jealous of them. Many full-time freelancers have gone through this same rite of passage, but it only makes us stronger and more resilient on the road to ultimate productivity. So next time you're sitting down working at Starbucks, consider that to be your 2nd home.