Lighter side: Why working remotely sucks

by Sarah Megginson19 Sep 2014
Apparently, working from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
In fact, “there are a few reasons why being a remote worker sucks,” says Microsoft employee Scott Hanselman, who has worked from home for more than half a decade.
“It's really hard to be remote; I propose that most remote workers work at least as hard, if not more so, than their local counterparts. This is fueled in no small part by guilt and fear,” he said.
The latter kicks off his list of reasons why working remotely isn’t the fun and flexible party those rattling about in office jobs may think:
1. You feel guilty
“We do feel guilty working at home. We assume you all think we're just hanging out without pants on, or we're just at the mall tweeting,” he said.
2. You work long hours
Owing to point number one, many remote workers tend to overcompensate by working later, after kids are in bed and on weekends.
3. You get forgotten 
Occasionally, Scott feels he becomes “the invisible guy in the meeting”. During a recently meeting, the webcam wouldn’t work and Scott was muted. “I was like ‘Hey, guys? It's me... Scott... I'd like to get you up-to-date on what I'm working on... Guys?’”
4. You have to prove yourself that little bit more
Remote workers need to make it easy for those who work in the office to answer the question, ‘What is that person working on?’ “This is somewhat of a double standard, since they may have no idea what the person in the next office is working on,” Scott says. “But that woman shows up every day, so she must be productive, right?”
Do you think employees who work from home have to prove their output more than those who work in-house?


  • by Sylvia 19/09/2014 1:55:53 PM

    Interest article, but I have to disagree. I get more done remotely because there are no interruptions. My home office is well equipped, and I have loads and loads of natural light and am not locked up in some little cubicle in some office building.

    I am constantly talking to managers and staff in all states of Australia via phone/email, and we also make time to share a bit of a joke or two.

    I don't need to prove myself to anyone nor do I feel guilty that I'm not doing enough work to justify myself. My role is in HR, and I look after 14 properties Australia-wide. I have electronic files for all employees so I don't need to be in an office and can log into them from home.

    Because our head office is small and spread across 3 locations it makes no sense for me to go in at all. I get a lot more interaction via phone and email.

  • by jerome pineau 20/09/2014 4:16:39 AM

    besides the feeling guilty part, I pretty much agree :)

  • by Amanda Rochford 22/09/2014 11:02:25 AM

    I can relate with the feeling guilty part. When offered the opportunity to work from home I knew that I would end up working much longer hours to 'prove' that I was earning my keep. So I opted to stay in the office. The other elements I would love ie the sunlight, the quiet, the relaxed atmosphere. They all sound good.

Most Read