What are the drawbacks of Working from Home?

Max Shepherd-Cross
June 20, 2020

Working from home. We’ve all had to get used to it over the last few months. But overall, is it good or bad? In my previous post, I listed out what employees and employers love about working from home.

In this post, I’m going to tell the other side of the story, what are the biggest drawbacks of working from home?

Global Workplace Analytics conducted a study of over 4,000 reports to find the following issues with working from home.

The drawbacks of Working from Home

Management mistrust

  • 33% of managers reported that they trust their employees more when they can see them.

Collaboration concerns

  • Some managers feel that distance inhibits collaboration. They need the ‘energy in the room’ when a crisis occurs.
  • When working from home you loose the “water-cooler moments” where employees strike up a conversation that leads to new ideas and strategies.

It’s not for everyone

  • Social needs must be addressed. Some can work from home very well, but others can feel isolated and lonely.

Career fears from ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality

  • Some employees cite career fears as a reason not to want to work from home. Successful working from home programs overcome the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ issue with performance-based measurement systems, productivity versus presenteeism attitudes.

Security issues

  • Managers worry about the security risk of employees accessing files remotely.
  • However, if you ask those actually in charge of security of large organisations, 90% feel that home-based workers are not a security concern. In fact, they are more concerned with the occasional work that is taken out of the office by traditional employees who lack the training, tools, and technologies that work from homers receive.

IT infrastructure changes may be necessary

  • Employees working from home need access to company systems, software, and data.
  • Infrastructure changes that support work from home might be needed.
  • Companies need to address remote technical support issues. Off-the-shelf solutions exist.


So now you have a comprehensive list of the positives and negatives of embracing a work from home strategy. What works best for you?

You might be thinking that you agree with both sides of the argument. You might think that working from home can increase productivity hugely but at the same time you don’t want to lose the collaboration and spontaneity of the office. If so a Hybrid Strategy, taking the best of both worlds, might be the answer for you. You can read more about Hybrid Work Strategy here.

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Max Shepherd-Cross
Max is one of the cofounders and CEO of Officely.

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