Can Working From Home Be Counterproductive?

Can Working From Home Be Counterproductive?

Working from home is a dream that millions of people achieve every year. The ability to avoid a lengthy commute, endure abuse from bosses or coworkers, or watch the results of your talents and hard work line someone else’s pocket is quite appealing. For others, working from home may have been the next logical step after being surplussed from a job. But, without proper precautions, working from home can be counterproductive.

“Staying Home”

Father and young daughter having a tea party.

Often, the idea of “staying home” to work is a myth. The demands of your home life may actually make it impossible to run a home business. Many new parents experience this as one of the parents transitions to work at home in order to keep the children. They find that taking care of children is, in itself, a full-time job, and work in the business often takes a back seat.

Planning to work during children’s nap times is a very poor way to run a business, and unpredictable at best. If one of the parents is intending to stay at home to keep the kids and work from the house, that parent needs to set aside a certain number of hours a day to dedicate specifically to the business. The other parent needs to help with that scheduling, making productive work possible.

Cyber Loafing

Old habits die hard, and if you spend a lot of time on social media or playing online games, that will not change just because you open your own home business. Being in front of a computer all the time without a supervisor overlooking your work can be very counterproductive, as you find yourself spending more and more time in off task behavior. Businesses in every country have implemented measures to combat cyber loafing, and working from home so that you can get around those rules is counterproductive. You will not make money, and will lose that opportunity to have a home business.

Incivility

Incivility

It is pretty typical that we are less well-tempered with our own families. We tend to expect them to understand when we are short tempered or even mean, because they are supposed to understand. Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean you can forget to be professional. Use good manners at home, and treat your family members with respect and consideration, regardless of your stress.

Being rude and selfish is counterproductive, no matter where you locate your workplace. If you treat coworkers or clients rudely at the office, you will most likely treat your family as rudely when you work from home. Incivility is counterproductive in that it disinclines others to work with you. At home, this can be a strain on the family, causing a rift between you and your spouse and children.

Substance Abuse

Just as substance abuse can interfere with your work at the office, it can ruin your home business. If you are prone to drinking too much over the weekends, it won’t get any better when you work from home.

Basically, you must use the same common sense approach to work from home that you used at the office. Anything else is counterproductive.