The Disadvantages of Homeworking: After 8 years working from home these are all the major disadvantages (with solutions).

The Disadvantages of Homeworking: After 8 years working from home these are all the major disadvantages I have encountered and solutions to make things better within 7 days.

Working from home has dominated my thirties. It was not long after I turned the big Three-Zero I started my recruitment agency and began dialling and smiling from my home office. By home office I mean, a spare back bedroom with way too many books on the shelves. Books that distract me from my new business.

Since then, the best of times and the worst of times have been ‘had’, and, of course, plenty of reading. Many people talked at the time I started working for myself (and they still are talking) about the wonders of homeworking and how it can be revolutionary.

Which I would agree it can be. For some people in the right kind of jobs. However, Homeworking does have its disadvantages, many of which we are still adjusting to as the trend of homeworking increases year on year. These disadvantages have not been talked about as much as the benefits.

Below I have outlined some of the major disadvantages of homeworking.
Remember this has been written with the most miserable and downright grumpy attitude. As talking about the disadvantages of home working does that to you.

I have in no way tried to be balanced. I have attempted humour (and most likely failed). Now on with the disadvantages of home working.

No one to fist bump

This may sound a rather trivia thing to start with on our journey into the disadvantages, and, indeed downright horrors that can be homeworking. Not having anyone to fist bump, high five or give a pat on the back when things go well. Or to commiserate with when things go less than expected.

For me, celebrating success was generally the best bit about working in an office. Even it was not your own.

That cannot be replicated in the same manner and fashion when you are working from home.

Financial costs

Working from home comes with a range of small but annoying financial costs that you do not always think about. Some companies might allow you to charge back these costs, however, they are annoying even having to spend money on them in the first place.

Additionally, many costs are never able to be recouped.

Indeed if you put your tinfoil hat on you might say that homeworking is a great way for companies to outsource their fixed office costs to their employees and dressing it up as “industry-leading flexible working practices that suit the modern knowledge worker” or some corporate guff like that.

Of course, no one reading this blog has a tinfoil hat on, but these homeworking costs do add up.

Heating, coffee, broadband, lighting, stationery, living space, way too much internet shopping, are all small extra expenses that homeworking takes away from your balance like a thief in the night. According to Mirror, the average homeworker is spending £70 extra per month. I feel this is not the full figure as someone who has done this working style for nearly a decade.

Office small talk, banter and the office nemesis.

This is the biggest downside to homeworking, indeed if there is a big headline disadvantage in homeworking it is the loss of the social side of work. Work is one of the most important communities that we “live in” during our lives.

We might move from community to community, but the daily rituals, communications, gossip, characters and office nemesis add colour, vitality, serendipity and small talk that make life a little bit better.

Whether it is chatting about how the Football, X-factor or the fact the Dave threw up at the office Christmas party on the temp receptionist the small, seemingly unimportant parts of our working life are probably the most important.

As someone who has recruited for years (way too long to count) that binding to work community and colleagues is probably the biggest impediment to stopping people moving jobs so without those small communications we are going to miss them when we translate to homeworking.

Online ‘banter’ just does not cut it in comparison.


Emails are the bane of human existence and also a blessing. However, as a homeworker, I have found that emails seem to dominate far too much of our working life and it seems that the explosion in home working has increased the number of emails that are being sent & received.

It feels like there is almost only one job in the world these days: emails processor.

One of the problems that are now facing many homeworkers be they corporate drones, middle management or top executives is looking busy can no longer be walking around ‘looking busy’ So emails are starting to creep into this role.

Emails are a part of homeworking that I generally dislike, and if I could set the world up that emails only left all out inboxes at five PM GMT every day, I would. That would solve a lot of problems, plus create a few as well.

Teams & Zoom

Teams, Zoom, Slack, Facebook Messenger for Business, Whatsapp, the proliferation of social media-style collaboration tools, is frankly rather disadvantageous to the modern workplace. Why? Because they have become like emails another way for unproductive people to show off how busy they are and become time vampires.

Collaboration tools have their place, it just seems silly that messages and emails now ping back and forth when people used to just spend three or four minutes on the phone, now the same action descends into a Teams meeting, a follow-up email round robin and then a 25 message back and forth that would have been avoided with a very quick telephone call.

Collaboration tools, if misused are a real bain.

Home-life Work-life blur

What is work-life and what is home-life is another area that we end up finding can be rather hard to deal with in regards to homeworking and is a massive disadvantage.

Now, skipping work to do chores is a great way to feel good. Haha, my boss is paying me to empty the dishwasher, you think. However, when work keeps eating into home life, that puts you into another mode of thought. A stressed and pissed off mode of thought.

To be fair to the world of work, this trend has been gaining steam for a long while. Work and home life because of smartphones and the internet have been merging. The pandemic has just pushed that process forward a decade, in a year.

Whatever the trends this is still really naff.

No hometime bell

Remember when you were at school and the final bell of the day went off and you could run home and play on the PlayStation. Great times. Now with homeworking, we do not have a closing bell, an end time to our work as this sucks.

There was a McCain advert in the UK that was talking about having chips for dinner, and it covered that excited feeling of rushing home. Sadly, walking from the table in the kitchen to the front room just does not cut it.


Along with the homelife-Worklife blur, the psychological space created by going to and from work and being at work is no longer there. This can put a strain on relationships and indeed, for some people working at home can bring about the end of a relationship. This is of course an extreme example.

The disadvantage of always being in each other pockets when working from home is the lack of the ‘apart time’ that can give you perspective to see past the small annoying habits, traits and foibles.

As someone who has worked at home with their partner for the best part of eight years one of the best ways to cope is to create “space” through working away from the house and working in a manner that gives you time apart physically. Like working from a pub, coffee shop or co-working space.

However, for many people, this is just not always possible due to the type of housing that many people live in.

How to make Homeworking better

Some of the disadvantages are just got to be the price that we pay to work from home. There is no getting away from the fact that working from home is always going to be different than working in an office, both in ways that are good and bad.

However, there are some things that you can do to mitigate some of the more extreme elements that can make homeworking miserable.

Make sure you have a work phone and a personal phone. Lock your work phone away at a specific time each evening.

If possible try not to use your work laptop for any other tasks that you may have to do offline.

Pitch your boss the idea of “focus hours” where no meetings or emails are answers so you can get down to business and focus on your work. Try pitching it as a trial to boost productivity.

Reduce Teams, Zoom, Slack and email use by phone colleagues for very quick issues/points.

Reduced small talk, office gossip and other forms of social interaction can be hard to replicate. However, you are left with a couple of choices regarding this.

Try to find ways to replicate this digitally (thus reducing productivity).

Focus on outside of work relationships and social life so that works social factor does not have as much importance to your overall well being.

If you are a manager or executive and you are reading this, focus on leading by example, with working practices that mitigate the disadvantages of home working. The increased retention and productivity rates from your team members will show though.

As you can see there is a range of disadvantages. Of course, these types of disadvantages will radically change depending on what industry you work in and your employment status. Overall Homeworking is good, but it is not perfect.

The list above covers these disadvantages that I can see, if you have any others, please let me know at

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