5 Real Challenges of Working from Home

Working from home has been a real blessing in my life. I’ve been able to be here for my son, and I experience a great deal of freedom and flexibility.

But working from home isn’t all unicorns and rainbows. There are real challenges associated with working from home — especially when it comes to productivity. Before you decide to take the plunge and work from home, here are some things to consider:

1. Distractions Make It Hard to Get Into “Work Mode”

A friend recently lamented that he spent the whole day dealing with non-work issues because working from home meant more personal distractions than working in an office. By the time he finally got around to work, it was time to get his kids from school.

When you work from home, you need to learn how to block out some distractions when it’s time to get something done.

2. Loneliness Can Be Overwhelming

There are times that working from home can be very lonely. You’re home all day, by yourself, with no one to talk to. It’s nice when your kids and partner get home later, but for hours you can feel isolated. It’s worse if you’re a single parent working from home and, while you love your kids, what you really want is another adult to talk to.

I’ve started shifting my schedule so that I do more work at different times of the day so I can be involved in community service and activities while my son is at school.

3. It’s Hard to Stop Working

When you run a home business, it’s hard to stop working. Everyone needs a break from work sometimes, but it’s hard to step away from the work when it’s with you, in the house, all the time. When you do decide to step away from work, it’s easy to feel guilty.

Learning that it’s ok to relax and that you don’t always have to be productive is an essential part of long-term success as an entrepreneur.

4. You Start to Hate Getting Dressed

Sometimes it’s hard for me to get excited about wearing “real” clothes. Sure, just before lunch time I change from my pajamas to my workout clothes. But there are days that I don’t make it out of my workout clothes after that point. You don’t have to get dressed when no one will see you. If I do end up in a video conference, often I just throw on a shirt and try to do something with my hair.

If I hadn’t started getting involved with the community, I might never look presentable.

5. Sometimes It’s Hard to Get Going

There are days that it’s hard to get out of bed and get going, and there is no one at work waiting to clock your arrival when you’re working from home. On days that my son has school, I have that outside motivation to get out of bed and start my day. But when he’s on a holiday, I have to dig deep to find that internal motivation.

Even with these challenges, though, I would never give up my career. There are too many advantages.