Saturday, February 03, 2007

Why I hate working from home

I work from home for a living. I go into the office, on average, once a week. At the present, I don't really work closely with a team of people, so I really don't have a need to go into the office. However, I have to say that I absolutely hate working from home. The main thing I miss is the people. I like working with people. I like to run my ideas past people and get their opinions. I like to help other people with their problems. Right now, I live my life behind a mask of email and text messages. It is so boring. I don't get to hear another adult's voice until my wife comes home at night, and you can only listen to the TV or radio for so long before it affects your concentration. Furthermore, working from home severely limits your career movement. That's not something I'm overly concerned about, but it certainly doesn't add anything.

So, why do I work from home? For my kids. My wife works an hour from where we live; she's a nurse in a children's hospital and she loves her job. I wouldn't ask her to change that for anything. However, with two children, someone has to be available to pick them up in the afternoons from school and watch them. This is the job that I have chosen to do. When my wife was in nursing school, I worked for a company that was an hour away. I really did enjoy it. The company and the people were great and I loved being in an office atmosphere. When my wife graduated, we moved away and we both worked near the home. However, this meant that the kids were in day care until 5:30 or 6:00 every day. That was not how I wanted my kids to be raised. So, we moved back home and I took a job working out of my home again. It was a hard thing for me to do; those closest to me know it was a real struggle. Nevertheless, it was the right choice. The kids are the most important thing and one day they will be old enough such that they won't need me here. Until then, I'll chat away online and thinking to myself that working from home sucks.

Don't get me wrong, if you work in an office for a living, then working from home occasionally is a nice change of pace. On the other hand, working from home permanently is like being locked away in solitary confinement. You end up stir crazy talking to the dog or yourself, typically both. I often wonder what other people do in this situation. Does one of them not work? I can't imagine asking my wife to not work, she loves what she does. Do people leave their kids with other family members? Perhaps they go the day care route, or maybe something else that I'm not considering? I know my solution to the problem, but I'd be curious to know others' solutions and why.

26 comments:

Vishal said...

Hi Tanton,

I agree with you! Just couple of days back I wrote an article which addresses how relationships might get affected if both partners work from home and the possible solutions.

Jack said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Maddener said...

I'd love to work from home. I can't stand dealing with people all day. They drive me nuts.

Anonymous said...

I have been working from home for the past 10 years with a very successful business, but hate the solitude.
I have 3 hours at night, when my wife gets home for social interaction, period. For a time, I have even started drinking out of bordem. So for all of you work at home wannabees, working out of the house isn't a bad thing. If I could do both I would.

Anonymous said...

I worked from home for a couple years and loved it. Now I'm working in an office and hate every minute of it. I wish I had the opportunity to go back to working from home. I envy you!

Anonymous said...

I used to work from home. It was GREAT. There is a period of ajustment though. I remember it took me three months to get used to being by myself and liking it. Once I got past that, it was awesome. I really miss it. You have a good thing going. Just make sure you find a good group of friends or some kind of social group to have some fun. There are alot of things you can do to break the solitude. You and your family can even participate in volenteer activities meet people.

Anonymous said...

I've been working from home for nearly 6 months and cant stand it, purely because of the isolation factor, i find myself sleeping longer and making myself depressed. I feel it doesn't give much career progression either! Do you think after a period of time I will snap out of it?

Anonymous said...

HI...been working from home for 6 months...like the freedome but do go stir crazy...have always wanted to do this so am a bit surprised that I get bored and lonely...

Anonymous said...

been working from home and living alone for almost 5 years. i'm in therapy now. i'm a social person, but the money has been so good that i have been sticking it out. i've become pretty depressed and picked up some bad habits from the past years. looking forward to the day i get the balls/courage to quit and work another "real" job, not one where i am a zombie behind the glow of a computer screen.

San Francisco Photographer, Amanda B. said...

This is an old post, but I found you googling " I hate working from home". I'm hating it. I'm proud of what I've acomplished in my business, but I want to make some changes and not be so isolated. It's year 5 of self employment for me. ~Amanda

erin said...

I'm so glad you posted this article. I have been having major guilt lately, because everyone says how envious they are, how lucky I am...but instead I feel isolated, depressed and bored. I thought there was something wrong with me. I hope this passes because in many ways I like the freedom.

Anonymous said...

I've worked at home for a year now. I'm about to go nuts and loose it. I'm a single parent, and my only social interaction was going into the office or the hospital. I feel really depreased, and lonely. I'm trying to stick it out for my son, he will be 7 this year. Lord give me stregnth.

Anonymous said...

I love working from home. I work two full-time jobs and two very part-time jobs with three of them from home.

I hate my evening job where I have to interact with people. I despise people and see nothing worth liking.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that I am not alone. Been working at home for about 8 years. Sometimes it takes all my strength just to talk myself out of quitting. I have become depressed, isolated, and knowing that I am only doing this because of the money makes me feel like I am abandoning myself. Its hard to even read the words I'm writing. thank goodness for depression medicine, trying to stick it out in this economy.

Anonymous said...

working at home is driving me crazy. run away - do not do this, isolation is like being in jail.

Anonymous said...

I completely connected with this post - After 2 years of working from home, I feel like I may have gone insane! I spend all day in solitude, constantly tossing my cat out off my desk, watching the door like a dog for my husband to come home so I can have some company; which for him is no good, because after a day at his office job all he wants is some alone time. And, you would think after being stuck in the house so much I'd be running out the door when I finished work - but nope, I've become extremely anxious over leaving the house and I work far more hours than I did at my office job. People tell me how lucky I am to work in this economy, and how everyone would dream of working from home - but I do feel like I put a ticket price on my happiness

Anonymous said...

I too am glad I am not alone. My office is one hour from me, and so I work at home 2 days a week, W and F. Hate it. Usually my wife works at home on Wednesday, so it's not too bad, she is not here today. Friday's at home are not bad at all. If I had to do this every day I would go bonkers. I really like the office.

Anonymous said...

Thank God I finally found some people that feel like me. I do have the opportunity to go visit clients outside my home, which helps, but I miss being a part of a team. I miss the Christmas parties, the 3pm birthday cakes for employees, etc. I have gained 60 POUNDS in 6 years and am so depressed that I caved and have put in resumes all week for an 8-5 job. There are advantages and disadvantages to everything, and the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

Anonymous said...

Very old post but I have to concur - I HATE WORKING FROM HOME.

I work from an office 99% of the time but have to wokr from home every now and then to sort out babysitter logistics.

I have a constant guilty conscience because I feel I am not getting any real work done - procrastination seems to be my natural state of being. Apparently I need to have other people around me to work.

What a first world problem to have....

Anonymous said...

An old post but a goodie. I find that I actually have LESS freedom working from home. I am strapped to my chat window all day, I feel guilty for getting up to get lunch or even to use the bathroom! I also am made to feel guilty if I get sick or have to go to an appointed, even though I am not provided insurance and am expected to be alright because I work from the comfort of home. It's a very strange world, and I'm looking to get out very soon. So many envy those that work from home, but it's one hell of a challenge and I doubt most would not have the patience or attention span it takes to keep focused on daily work.

Thanks for this post! I hope your luck has changed for the better.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see I'm not alone about the difficulties of working at home. My wife works a job that requires her to be in the office. We have two young children. Initially we tried daycare but we didn't get to see them until the evening. We'd only get a couple hours a day with them and it didn't feel like we were raising our own children during the week. My work is flexible so I decided to start working out of my home office 4 years ago. It has been great for our family in terms of our children seeing a parent more often during the day. We no longer have the stress of trying to figure out who needs to pick up/drop off the children. However, working from home has taken an emotional toll on my as it has been very lonely for me during the work day. Being in complete isolation for 6 hours a day has slowly eaten away at me. For the first couple years, I enjoyed the peace and quiet. The last two years it's taken all of my energy just to try to get any amount of work done. The only part of my day that I enjoy now is when I see my wife at the end of the day and when I pick up my kids from preschool and elementary school and cart them to their various activies throughout the week. I am constantly thinking about retirement so that I could just enjoy time with my wife and kids, but we need two incomes to live comfortably.

I've been trying various things to motivate myself to focus more on work, but I've definitely been sprialing down in production the last couple years. Any suggestions on what to do would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I need help. I feel like I am about to go crazy. I need social interaction. I need to be apart of the hustle and bustle of everything. I liked getting up at 5 am and feeling like the power player in my company. I liked almost being late for work or complaining about being a little late because my life was so demanding and I had to drop kids off at school. My house is not any cleaner. I look terrible. I use to look so cute everyday. My husband would compliment me; now I look like a crazy person almost every day. My beautiful work wardrobe just sits there. I do look cute on weekends since weekend wear is all I buy. I had such fun coworkers who taught me sooo much about life and added so much happiness to my life....I even miss the ones who were mean or rude...I realize u need people like that too.

Anonymous said...

I can truly identify, especially with these comments. I'm 9 months in to what I anticipated as a dream opportunity, and find v I'm sinking deep into a depression. I'm lonely, bored, unchallenged, and now I'm isolated from my team who all work together at the office. I'm faced with a team who doesn't understand my unique challenges and resents my position. Its completely deflating. I break into a cold sweat if I'm using the bathroom and the phone rings because I feel judged if I miss a call. I have no one to laugh off my frustrations with. I feel crazy for wanting to quit this because it seems so amazing. I feel like I SHOULD love this. Oh, I should also mention I moved 13 hours away from all my loved ones with my husband and so not only am I isolated during the workday, but at all other times too. Life feels pretty dark lately.

Tanton said...

I'm really touched by the comments that are made on this site. Who knew that a blog post from years ago could move people in this way to share their own struggles. I stopped working from home in 2008 and have been so much happier. My wife had to give up a lot to allow me to do that, and I am very thankful to her for that; I'll never be able to repay my debt to her. To those of you who are still searching, please keep leaving comments. To all of you, good luck.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to all of you that have written comments about being in the same situation. It feels nice to know that I am not the only one. I work from home 3 days a week and go into the office the other two. When I am at the office, I do not even interact with anyone there, because I am stuck in a tall box(cubicle) all day on the other side of the building than my team. I lost my job as a manager at a large retail chain 10 months ago and since then, things have not been the same. I miss being around people and working with a large team, hearing stories, being stressed about deadlines, having lunch with my coworkers and feeling wanted in my role. I have been an employee/manager in the hospitality industry for 7 years and all of the sudden I feel like I have been locked in a jail cell. I have become increasingly depressed, gained weight, and put in numerous job applications, which in this day and age is enough stress on its own. My girlfriend is a teacher at a high school and loves her job, has lots of friends at work, and always seem to have something fun or important going on. I too, look forward to when she comes home, but my sadness just makes her unhappy too. I need to keep my job to make the money and love the flexibility, but I am wondering if it would be worth it to work weekends and nights again for my own happiness. If anyone has input or just wants to tell their story, it helps to get it out.

Anonymous said...

Working from home for over 10 years, can't remember how long. My wife is home and she doesn't want me around the house. Some of the kids are home too. They have each other and none of them really need or want me upstairs therefore I'm stuck in the basement on work-from-home days. I just want to be back in the workplace every day. Would love to be a long haul trucker.