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5 Reasons to Hate Remote Work

If you’ve been following these blog posts, you know I’m a strong advocate of remote work, but it’s not a perfect lifestyle. Like any work situation, there are days when remote work is irritating or totally stressful. So for the moment, at least, let’s look at five reasons to hate remote work.

1 Getting locked out of the office

The number one reason to hate remote work is a complete percent reliance on the internet. When your internet is down, it’s like getting locked out of the office and being left in the hallway with nothing to do, especially if your work files are saved on a cloud. You can’t ask the IT person to fix your tech issues – if you work from home, you are the tech person. Tech issues can also make meetings miserable. Your screen can freeze if the internet is slow and you miss out on what someone has just said. Your mic can stop working and you’re speed-typing your thoughts in the group chat. Bad tech = a crappy work day.

2 Communication issues and isolation

Remote work is like being locked in a room by yourself. You can’t just wander over to your coworker’s desk for a quick chat. You need to schedule or request a meeting, or message your coworker. In addition, direct messaging creates modern-day office paranoia. Say you just sent a message but your coworker doesn’t reply right away. Are they ignoring you? If hours pass, are they out-of-office or still ignoring you?

A whole social aspect of working in an office is missing, such as a festival or special food day. It’s a treat to report to the company cafeteria to celebrate (insert occasion) with (insert special food). If you work from home and want a special lunch, you need to make it yourself (which isn’t as special).

3 Office furniture and office

You live where you work, especially if you work in your kitchen. You get the furniture yourself, and pay for it or expense it, but it’s done on your own time, unlike at an office, where you ask and a desk or chair is delivered free to you. It’s the same with stationery. You can’t just raid the supply cupboard. You build up the supply yourself. If the room is too hot or too cold, you’ve got to fix it yourself.

4 Dealing with misconceptions

Remote work and work from home allows you more flexibility in your schedule, which is a great benefit. However, people who don’t work from home have misconceptions. Relatives assume that since I’m “home,” it’s okay to interrupt me to have a social conversation or ask if I can run an errand. At a party, a stranger assumed that since I worked from home and I could “work whenever I wanted,” I worked the bare minimum hours. He said that when I realized I had bills to pay, I would start working more hours like regular people.

5 Legal and long-lasting implications

When you work remotely, you communicate with coworkers online through emails or texts. You can’t walk over to your coworker or pick up the phone to chat. In these work set-ups, you join a huddle or have a virtual chat for longer conversations. You send texts for shorter conversations, meaning your communication has a record. You must carefully word your message in case the wrong tone is inferred. Emojis help to show you’re joking or add politeness to a request. But if you’re angry, you need to take a moment and think about what you’ll say because after you calm down, you can’t take your words back.

Key Takeaways

Remote work is not for everyone. People who love to socialize may find remote work very isolating. Similarly, people who love collaboration or need a mentor may dislike remote work. Technology can also create frustrations, and some think remote workers don’t work as hard. On the upside, if you enjoy remote work, then you know that these frustrations can be overcome.

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