How has working from home been for you over the last 15 months?
There’s no doubt that, for many of us, the chance to work remotely has been one advantage of the lockdown which has blighted the last year or so. We’ve been able to juggle work and home life more effectively, cut down on travelling and see more of our family.
But we also know that working from home comes with a number of disadvantages.
It can be difficult to switch off from work, lead to increased isolation, longer hours and increased wellbeing and mental health issues.
What’s more, there’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that working remotely can also have a negative impact on your career.
Here are some of the reasons why:
- Lack of contact with management
You might think it’s a blessing that you haven’t got your boss looking over your shoulder all the time, but it’s not all good news. If your boss cannot see you, they cannot see the great work you are doing. The chances of winning that sought-after promotion are likely to fall the longer you are out of your boss’s eyeline, particularly if that’s not the case for some of your rivals.
And if you are not in regular contact with your managers, how will you even know that there are opportunities up for grabs?
- Lack of contact with colleagues
For younger members of the office team, the chance to learn from older colleagues is a huge part of their own personal development. This doesn’t have to be just about mentoring and training. Soft learning – just seeing the way older colleagues go about their business – plays a big part in picking up the ins and outs of a job.
It’s a lot harder to see people in action when everyone is working remotely meaning a generation of younger workers could be missing out on some of the skills they need to climb the career ladder.
It doesn’t matter how strong your resolve, it’s almost impossible not to feel isolated when working from home for long periods. With that isolation can often come a detachment from your work and a change in your own attitude to promotion and personal development.
And the fact that you are not in the office and amid the cut and thrust of ‘normal’ work culture means your social networking with colleagues – both up and down the career ladder – is likely to fall. These networks can be an important part of career development and are close to impossible to replicate when working from home.
- Stretching yourself.
Be honest, there are lots of reasons for ducking out of meetings at work. But how often do you find yourself being stretched and challenged through interaction with your colleagues? The team dynamic helps develop ideas and strategies and pushes us to places we might not otherwise reach. Without it, there’s a risk of getting stale and failing to develop.
- Lack of equipment to do your job
If we don’t have the tools for the job at home, we are unlikely to be able to perform to our best. The copper wiring which limits your broadband speed – and annoys your colleagues when your screen freezes in Teams meeting – is limiting your ability to do your job. Over time, that could cost you the chance to win promotion.
For all its merits, working from home is tough. It’s tempting to start early and finish late just because it is convenient and easy to do. It’s all too simple to keep checking emails and messages through the night and think you have to respond at all hours. Before long, you find you can never switch off and start to feel the impact of stress and burnout.
Going into the office does not guarantee you won’t be stressed, but it does create a barrier between work and home, giving you the chance to shut the door – figuratively and literally – on work life when you clock off. It’s something none of us should take for granted.
If you have experience of any of these issues and need some support, just click the button on this page. We’ll be happy to help