As more people take advantage of the ability to work from home, potential hazards lurk that, if not managed, could bring unexpected woes to what on the surface appears to be a perfectly flexible and comfortable way to make a living.
Yes, there's the opportunity to get some work done while lolling at the beach, for instance. And it's great to finally be able to schedule medical appointments and school activities for the kids without worrying about running afoul of in-office work demands.
Then, there's the loneliness. Plus, the lack of camaraderie (what some might have heretofore called "dealing with annoying co-workers").
As one stay-at-home editorialdirector for a tech company based in Philadelphia recently wrote on Twitter, “You’ll need a lot of quiet self-confidence. You won’t get the positive reinforcement you’d normally rely on from body language and the ‘vibe’ from being in an office.”
Aside from the lack of interaction with co-workers comes a feeling of being isolated from the wider world.
Sean Blanda, the above-noted editorial director, told the Guardian newspaper of London, “When you remove that -- when you’re not commuting, you don’t bump shoulders, you don’t meet the guy who happens to have a cousin on your block and now you’re friends -- you have to work harder to feel connected.”
One way of mitigating the challenges of working solo is to ensure that many of the so-called "smaller things" are working well -- such as having a clearly delineated workspace and a regular routine.
Those can often be the things that make in-office work annoying as well as appealing, so it stands to reason that they'd play larger-than-expected roles while working at home, too.