One of the growing career trends is working from home. Technology makes it easier than ever to telecommute, or even to start your own home business. This has opened up a number of opportunities for millions of people around the world.

However, even though working from home is a viable option for many, it’s not always the best idea. Whether you want to start a home business, or whether you have the chance to telecommute to work for your company, working from home isn’t always the best thing for you. Here are 5 signs that working from home isn’t for you:

1. You Get Too Distracted at Home

working from homeI have a home office, and I work in my home office. This workspace helps keep me focused on the task at hand. However, even when I am working on the couch with my laptop, I can still block out distractions and get my work done.

My husband, on the other hand, has a hard time working from home. He can do some of his work as a college instructor from home, but it usually doesn’t turn out well. He gets to distracted by noises in the house, the fact that he’s not in an environment he associates with work, and by the things he could be doing, like watching TV, cooking dinner, or working in the yard.

If you can’t block out the distractions that come with working from home, you are probably better off going into an office, even if it’s an inexpensive co-working solution that gets you to a business environment.

2. You Crave the Social Interactions of an Office

I hate office politics. However, there are people who thrive on that social interaction. If you don’t like isolation, working from home may not be for you. I get my social interaction online, or by getting involved in community efforts. Others, though, like to combine work with a social life. If you crave the watercooler conversations, and you just like to know that there are other people present, you might want to find an arrangement other than working at home.

3. You Aren’t Self-Motivated

When you work from home, it’s an absolute must that you be self-motivated. This is especially true if you are running your own business from home. When you work from home, you don’t have someone coming by to check on you. In some cases, you might have to log on to a remote system as you telecommute, but the reality is that you still have to push yourself to get your work done.

If you can’t get yourself up and to the computer, and if you have a hard time working when there isn’t someone overseeing you, it’s probably not a good idea to work from home.

4. You Don’t Know When to Stop

One of the difficulties I had when I first started my home business was quitting. Because your work is at home, it’s easy to just keep on working, and working, and working. This doesn’t lead to a very healthy relationship with your significant other or those around you. It’s important that you know when to quit when you work from home.

When you work at an office, you know that you are leaving work behind for the day. There is a clear break between work life and home life. You need that to some extent when you work from home. If you can’t stop the work sometimes and enjoy life, that’s a problem. You can’t be well-balanced if you don’t take care of other aspects of your life. Learn how to quit, and you will be more successful when you work from home.

5. You Have a Hard Time Setting Boundaries

When you work in an office, boundaries are often automatic. You have a workspace. There is a boss that often clamps down when employees spend too much time chatting and not enough time working. If you have a hard time setting boundaries, working from home may not be for you. You need to be able to tell your neighbors that you can’t watch their kids, or let your significant other know that you are taking an important phone call you need quiet.

Carefully think about what working from home would entail, and make a decision about its feasibility once you understand what it takes.



Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.