The pitfalls of working from home
For many employees, working from home is a dream come true. But everything has a trade-off and there are things to think about when considering this working arrangement.
First, new situations call for new strategies. As the pandemic persists in the Philippines, many businesses were compelled to permit their employees to work remotely. This means working in their own time (for some) within their own space.
Unfortunately, working from home also paves the way for working longer hours, more virtual meetings, and blurred lines between your professional and personal life. Having to balance out family errands and background noises (barking dogs, neighbor’s karaoke singing, construction nearby, etc.).
How do you keep your focus on what you need to do?
If you are constantly pulled in a hundred different directions, you won’t get anything done. It has the potential to slowly kill your passion for work. Even worse, working home amidst the pandemic could affect your mental health. This happens when you haven’t completely adapted to the ‘new normal’ and feel isolated from your team. And to a greater extent, the world at large.
It is best to be aware of the possible disadvantages of working from home. Your manager is certainly aware of them. So should you.
- Being separated from the team
Employees who feel connected to the team work better. A sense of belongingness increases your motivation to do great work and achieve more for your clients. But if you’re feeling alone – and burdened with heavy workload, you’ll get discouraged and lose all interest in the work that you do. You need to be involved to make your working experience worthwhile.
- Real-time response
Because of the pandemic, you cannot simply ask the person next to you for information. You would need to choose from multiple communication tools or channels to get a response. Even if technology helps you communicate faster, you cannot expect the other person to drop everything to get back to you. They may be focused on meeting an urgent deadline and miss your message. There’s a chance for important information/updates to fall through the cracks.
- Low reliability
Fact: employees can choose when and how to work at home. Individual behavior cannot be dictated no matter how hard we try; no matter how good our intentions are or how good examples we are. It’s hard to influence behavior and work ethic unless a person actively chooses to change or improve it.
There may be team members who won’t make an effort to get the job done. They essentially break the process, and the work is halted. The whole team should run like a well-oiled machine to succeed. If someone slacks off, the dynamic and overall performance of the team is affected.
- Low retention
If employees can find ways to apply to job openings at the office, what more when they’re at home? Having all the personal resources increases their confidence to consider other opportunities. This is something that cannot be prevented. Some employees’ loyalty may be tested, that they are tempted by higher positions and higher salaries in other companies. As the saying goes: “the grass is always greener on the other side” becomes more real in a remote setup.
Over to you
As a great professional, your decision to stay and do well in your current company is a choice. Where you are committed to the team and your clients, you’ll continue to deliver quality work whether at home or at the office.