Written by Lori Thiessen

There are a lot advantages in being a java commuter: better opportunities to focus on the work, fewer interruptions, no commute to an office, reduced stress, tax breaks, reduce your carbon footprint, …the list goes on. But there is always a thorn amongst the roses.

According to the Canadian Teleworkers Association (http://www.ivc.ca) some of the challenges can be:

  1. Reduced social interaction potentially leading to social isolation and greater risk of reduced mental health (e.g. depression) and emotional well-being
  2. Reduced professional contact
  3. Fewer career and promotion opportunities
  4. Reduced influence in office/business matters
  5. Potential for extended work hours
  6. Potential for imbalance between life and work
  7. Reduced IT support
  8. Reduced access to resources that are only available at the office
  9. Potential for more distractions, depending on the alternative work environment (e.g. home: kids, spouse, chores, tv, etc.)
  10. Potential for weight gain because of increased sedentary lifestyle, and greater access to more food (ie. the refrigerator is right there)

I would also like to add to this list that there is a potential for teleworker’s business expenses to increase because, depending on how the company’s telework program is established, the teleworker could be responsible for supplying his/her own stationery supplies and computer supplies as well as the additional cost of heat and electricity if the teleworker chooses his/her home as the alternative work environment. Tax breaks are available but the requirements to be eligible for them are very specific. Please contact your accountant or Revenue Canada to find out how to qualify.

Of course, if you run your own company, a number of these challenges disappear. But there are still challenges to being an independent java commuter.

  1. Reduced social interaction
  2. Potential for reduced professional contact
  3. Increased sedentary lifestyle
  4. Potential for extended work hours
  5. Potential for imbalance between life and work
  6. Lack of professional space in which to meet potential clients

In the next few blogs, I’ll be suggesting some coping strategies for these challenges. Stay tuned!

Q: What other challenges have you faced as a java commuter?

Thanks for dropping by and I’ll save your seat until next time.