Working from home certainly comes with its share of benefits. Not only does it allow you to avoid what could otherwise be a terrible commute, but it affords you an opportunity to save money on travel costs and other expenses associated with working in an office. Still, working from home isn't for everyone, and here are a few signs that it won't be a good arrangement for you.
1. You crave company
Some people don't mind locking themselves in a room and plugging away. But if you're the type of person who's big on social interaction, working from home might prove to be an unpleasantly isolating experience. Sure, there's instant messaging tools, email, and videoconferencing, all of which can help you stay connected to your colleagues when you're not under the same roof. But those can't take the place of an office environment in which you're constantly surrounded by people.
2. You get distracted easily
In any given workplace environment, you're apt to face your share of distractions, whether it's a chatty coworker or your perpetually dinging smartphone. But when you work from home, you're likely to give into distractions more easily, since you won't have a boss hovering about to call you out on slacking off. If you're the type who tends to fall victim to distractions, working from home might further tempt you to blow off your responsibilities in favor of finishing the laundry, running errands, or doing other household tasks that tend to beckon. And that could not only hurt your productivity, but compromise your job on a whole.
3. You're not motivated
Even if you don't love your job, when you work in an office, seeing everyone else making an effort can prompt you to do the same. But if you couldn't care less about your job and are doing it just for the paycheck, working from home could put you in a position where you try even less hard and risk getting fired as a result. Of course, being unenthusiastic about your work is a problem onto itself, but it's one that could be particularly exacerbated by removing yourself from an office environment.
4. You're a workaholic
Many folks struggle with work-life balance, but if you tend to have a hard time pulling yourself away from the computer, working from home might only make things worse. The reason? Once you come to associate being home with working, you're likely to start putting in even more time, and while that might help your career in some regards, it could ultimately end up hurting your mental and physical health.
5. You don't have a dedicated work space
Not everyone has an empty room at home just waiting to be used as a home office. But if you really don't have a reasonable amount of space in your home to utilize solely for work, it could make for an extremely frustrating experience. Imagine sticking your laptop in the corner of your dining room table and typing away while piles of mail and packages surround you. That's hardly conducive to success. If your living space is tiny and you can't carve out an area to work in, you may be better off sticking with a traditional office -- or moving.
Working from home can be a great experience, but it can also be a difficult one that sets back your career. Before asking or agreeing to work from home, think about the implications involved and whether they're mostly positive or not. Furthermore, it pays to give working from home a trial run before jumping in on a full-time basis. This way, if you discover it isn't for you, you'll have an easier time reverting back to your former arrangement.