Most people, at some point in their careers, think they would enjoy working remotely from home. However, before making such a decision, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and understand the potential pitfalls.

As an executive recruiter, one common question I receive from candidates is, “Is there the possibility of working remotely?” While the answer depends on each unique situation, I often try to coach my candidates to understand the potential pitfalls that come when you work remotely. After moving to Atlanta, I worked from home for two years, and I came to the realization that working remotely from home is not the best scenario for everyone for several different reasons.

  1. If you work from home, it becomes difficult to separate your work life from your home life. This not only applies in a physical sense, such as using your dining room for your office or shutting yourself away in a makeshift office for eight hours a day, but it also applies to work-life balance. It’s hard to know when to shut off work and be present at home when work and home are in the same physical place.
  2. Working remotely makes it more difficult to build rapport with the rest of your team and company. If you’re only communicating during conference calls or Skype sessions, it’s more difficult to foster a sense of camaraderie. Likewise, when I moved to Atlanta, I found that working from home made it harder for me to meet people and build personal relationships like I would have had I been in an office environment.
  3. It takes a very autonomous individual to be able to successfully and efficiently work from home. You’re not getting daily advice and guidance from your manager, but you’re also not getting valuable face time. You could potentially be overlooked for a promotion or new position simply because you’re not in the office and top of mind.
  4. Distractions, distractions, distractions. It’s hard to stay focused and on task when you have the dogs, possibly your kids and the TV around to take your attention away from your work. You need to keep a clear vision of what you want to accomplish for the day and be able to meet deadlines.

If you’re considering working from home, I would advise you to do a test drive. Try it out one day a week or maybe do it on a three-month basis to see if it’s for you. Before you jump in feet first with a full-time remote position, be sure that it will be beneficial for you in the long-term and not potentially set you back in your career.

Have you worked from home before? Did you sleep until 10 and wear your pajamas all day or were you able to be productive and successful? Let us know your experiences below.