At first sight, remote work seems like a dream for a lot of employees, and it’s easy to see why. You get to cut any commuting time, and you can easily take a break whenever you want, not to mention you’re close to your loved ones as well.
However, some companies are not as excited about remote work, and they have their own reasons. Sure, after the pandemic many businesses were able to see the benefits of remote work, but even now they still have their doubts.
Here are some of the main reasons why companies won’t let you work from home.
Note: If you want to know what to do, when you are not allowed to work from home, you can read more here.
Your employer fears that you get distracted
Distractions are a major issue since they can affect your productivity. It’s safe to say every business wants you to deliver great performance while working for them.
However, when you’re working from home it becomes much easier to get distracted. Kids, social media, phone calls, all of these can become an issue and companies know that. Plus, the idea of you not being there and companies having no way to monitor your workflow is certainly unappealing.
You can do loads to counter this by showing your professional home office setup or showing your increased work when working from home. In that way, your employer can rest assured that you are at least as productive from home as in the office.
Not everyone has the know-how and tools needed for remote work
Working from home isn’t that simple. You might need specialized equipment, access to servers, great internet speed, and other things. Some people might have it, but not all of them.
Which means any issues related to this will affect results offered by an employee. Needless to say, a company won’t agree to remote work if they feel your results will end up lower than usual.
You can make sure that your home office setup contains all that is needed. I’ve put together a home office starter pack that you can get inspiration from. You might even be able to deduct your expenses from buying your gear for the home office.
Your employer still has office building expenses
Companies pay a lot of rental money for their offices. So why would they allow people to work remotely when they already have a lot of structural expenses? This may not seem like your problem, but it can actually be the very reason why you are not allowed to work from home.
Sure, some businesses started to move to smaller spaces, but even then it makes more sense to keep people working at the office if there’s space there.
You can suggest that your workplace do some flexible hybrid working thing. Like, For say, if you and your co-workers work at the office 3-4 days a week and 1-2 days at home. In that case, the office would be filled every day, but it would not need to be big enough to fill all employees at the same time.
And you could work from home once or twice a week.
Remote work training is expensive
Teaching people how to work remotely and maintain the same efficiency levels can be difficult. For many businesses, remote work training is costly and it might not consistently deliver the right results. This is why they stick to office work and don’t allow employees to work from home unless it’s essential.
If you can point to results or factors showing that you are more than capable of manage working from home, then this excuse from your employer might not stick.
Socialization is an important part of teamwork, and while working remotely still brings collaboration tools it just doesn’t replace the face to face collaboration. A lot of employers feel that the office is the place where the magic happens. Which is why many companies refuse to offer work-from-home opportunities just for that reason alone.
Things will differ from one business to the other, but the idea of having a team working together within the same space is much more appealing to any company. That’s why most businesses don’t really agree with remote work, since it makes socialization and collaboration a lot more difficult.
Video meetings, intranets, and e-mail make this easier to manage while working from home. So you can suggest those alternatives if met with socialization as the reason why you are not allowed to work from home.
Some employees are less productive if they have too much freedom
Some people take the idea of working remotely as focusing more on their home tasks rather than working. So it’s easy to see why companies might hesitate to provide remote work opportunities. They are afraid that employees will be way less productive and their overall workflow will suffer.
And yes, it is true that working from home can make you lazy. Or at least make you feel lazy. Without proper structure etc., it is quite normal to feel this way. You can counter this feeling with your employer by seeming extra busy when working from home.
In that way, he or she can see that there is nothing to fear in allowing you to work from home.
The employer doesn’t have as much control
Employers want to ensure that their team does all the necessary work and they stay very productive. However, when employees are working remotely, a lot of that control is lost. Needless to say, this is not the ideal situation for any business owner. The office environment offers way more control and the ability to better organize a team.
While working remotely could provide similar results, many company owners are worried that a lack of structure and control can have a negative impact on their business. Hence this reason why employers disavow the remote work environment and stick with an office-focused approach.
But in a modern workplace, your employer should trust you. If you have done nothing to make him or her distrust you then this excuse should not be acceptable to you.
I am not going to tell you what to do. But if there is no common trust between you and your employer, then you really need to do something about that.
Not everyone will do be happy being away from their colleagues
Another worry that companies have is that some employees will not thrive when they work from home. They are accustomed to socializing and talking with others, so it’s not easy for them to stay at home at all. It can lead to working-from-home blues and other problems, things that need to be avoided as much as possible.
Sure, that’s not the case with every remote worker, but some of them will encounter such problems and it’s a thing to consider when a company ponders remote work opportunities.
If this is the case for you you might be better off getting into the office every day.
Working from home can lead to skill loss
Some companies also worry that employee skills might be lost when they transition from an office to a home-based work environment.
It’s very important for any business to ensure that their employees are very motivated and highly skilled. So it’s easy to see that any situation which leads to skill loss is something a company wants to avoid. That doesn’t mean it will be an issue, but it can bring its fair share of challenges.
If you face this excuse make sure to highlight how working from home will only increase your skill level. That makes you look proactive and professional while standing up for your wish to work from home.
Conclusion: Why companies won't let you work from home
Companies have their own reasons when it comes to not allowing their teams to work from home. A business doesn’t want to lose control over how its employees work, not to mention some people will be less productive in a work-from-home environment.
Despite the fact that remote work brings its fair share of challenges, it’s also important for businesses to understand its benefits too. Working from home can help employees save time and money and increase their work-life balance.
If you counter each excuse from your employer to not let your work from home you can get your wish. I have written a guide on what to do if you are not allowed to work from home.