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12thMan 08-17-2009 03:48 PM

Working From Home Kinda Sucks
 
So I've been working for my current employer for about seven months now. Shortly after I came on board, they had a round of layoffs. Somehow I survived. About four months later we had yet another round of layoffs. The economic slowdown has really affected us because our clients are publicly traded companies and mutual funds/closed end funds. Our success or failure is tied a great deal to the investment community. I do get the feeling, however, that we are heading back in the right direction. Since it's a somewhat small company we communicate with our CEO on a regular basis. He's been very transperant and forthcoming about the state of the company. So overall, I feel good about things. But you never know these days.

Last week, due to budget contraints and a bad real estate deal that should have never been made, management decided to close the D.C. office let us work from home full time. It was only, maybe, 10 of us that worked from that location anyway, so it was like you're uprooting a ton of folks. Everyone else works in either Richmond, VA or our London office. We have a small operation in Canada too. I'll save roughly $1,800 (if I play it right) a year on travelling expenses. I'll have over 2 hours of my day back now that I'm no longer commuting back and forth, and I can gaze at the tube every now and then.

But I've never worked from home full time. It's such a distraction not seeing people everyday, going to lunch, etc. You know, that Office Space type shit. I'm finding it hard to get on track today. It's the first day and all, but it just feels weird. I hope I can stick it out. Shoot, I hope the company can stick it out now that I think about it.

Hog1 08-17-2009 03:52 PM

Re: Working From Home Kinda Sucks
 
I don't believe I could do that. I.......like you need to get into my "normal routine"

12thMan 08-17-2009 03:56 PM

Re: Working From Home Kinda Sucks
 
It's tough man. It's not like I live in a rural area or anything. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but you get what I'm saying.

Schneed10 08-17-2009 03:58 PM

Re: Working From Home Kinda Sucks
 
We all feel a huge push-pull in our lives when it comes to balancing work vs life. There's already plenty of pressure to put in extra hours at the office to keep up. Then there are blackberries and wifi leading to checking email in bed and on vacations. I think working from home is the ultimate integration of work into life.

Like when you get up from the computer at 5pm, do you really feel done for the day?

I only work from home when I need to put in a little bit of overtime, and it always makes me feel icky. I finish what I went online to do, but then when I go to get up I'm like "oh I should answer that one last email."

I think it will take tremendous self-discipline to know when and how to clearly draw the line between work mode and life mode. You certainly don't have geographic demarcation anymore, it's all up to you to self-enforce.

Good luck!

ArtMonkDrillz 08-17-2009 04:04 PM

Re: Working From Home Kinda Sucks
 
[quote=Schneed10;576712]I think it will take tremendous self-discipline to know when and how to clearly draw the line between work mode and life mode. You certainly don't have geographic demarcation anymore, it's all up to you to self-enforce.

Good luck![/quote]This is why I should NEVER work from home. I am a huge procrastinator, so while I know I would get all my work done, there's a good chance it would be late at night and I doubt that would really fly for most jobs.

firstdown 08-17-2009 04:39 PM

Re: Working From Home Kinda Sucks
 
If I had to work from home I would have to have an office only room and I would take the nornal breaks and maybe go out for lunch. You need to talk to your CPA (if you have one) because you write off a home office.

saden1 08-17-2009 04:46 PM

Re: Working From Home Kinda Sucks
 
Start off the day by setting goals and creating a task list that you perceive take 7 hours. Work through each task and when you're done with all of them you're done for the day. Take normal lunch breaks, maybe even hit the gym.

12thMan 08-17-2009 04:48 PM

Re: Working From Home Kinda Sucks
 
[quote=firstdown;576731]If I had to work from home I would have to have an office only room and I would take the nornal breaks and maybe go out for lunch. You need to talk to your CPA (if you have one) because you write off a home office.[/quote]

Yeah, that's what I've been told. They're allowing me to expense certain things too.

12thMan 08-17-2009 04:50 PM

Re: Working From Home Kinda Sucks
 
[quote=saden1;576735]Start off the day by setting goals and creating a task list that you perceive take 7 hours. Work through each task and when you're done with all of them you're done for the day. Take normal lunch breaks, maybe even hit the gym.[/quote]

Okay, so I have a weight bench here in my house but that would be just one more thing keeping inside. We use an application called "SalesForce". It's pretty good for setting tasks throughout the week.

BDBohnzie 08-17-2009 04:52 PM

Re: Working From Home Kinda Sucks
 
When I worked on a Gov't contract based in Falls Church, I telecommuted on Fridays, and had to pretty much isolate myself in my office (which has since been converted into a bedroom for my youngest daughter) if I wanted to get any work done. I took longer than normal breaks to do stuff around the house, or get lunch or watch some TV to unwind a bit, but at the same time, my availability was greater (instead of 7:30a to 4p, it was more like 7:00a to 5p or later). It was an adjustment, but once you get into a routine, you'll make it work. As Schneed said, it's going to take a lot of self-discipline to make it work. And once the work day is over, let it be over. Don't get into a habit of checking on work during non-work time.

Now, my office is 3 miles from my house, so the only time I telecommute is if I need to watch the kids, or if something else is going on that I need to be home for.

redskinjim 08-17-2009 04:56 PM

Re: Working From Home Kinda Sucks
 
[quote=saden1;576735]Start off the day by setting goals and creating a task list that you perceive take 7 hours. Work through each task and when you're done with all of them you're done for the day. Take normal lunch breaks, maybe even hit the gym.[/quote]

you could go to the gym every day that would make you feel better and reward yourself

firstdown 08-17-2009 05:01 PM

Re: Working From Home Kinda Sucks
 
I have trouble working at work I'd suck working from home.

Mattyk 08-17-2009 06:25 PM

Re: Working From Home Kinda Sucks
 
A while ago my company launched a work from home pilot program, it's yet to hit my office but I'd be interested in trying it out for a while.

I think it would be cool to be able to run errands, hit the gym, and not have to drive back and forth an hour a day.

I'm sure it would get old but going to the office each day does too.

GhettoDogAllStars 08-18-2009 11:12 AM

Re: Working From Home Kinda Sucks
 
Ah the "pleasure" of working from home...

I have worked from home for about 2 years now, and it's definitely hard to stay motivated some times, but that is just part of the gig. I think it's important to understand that, because the way I see it it's just human nature. Since I have trouble staying motivated at all times, I just work around it. Sure, I'm supposed to work from 7-3, but I don't always. I'm always online when I need to be, but I'll either work when I need to, or if I'm in a groove -- sometimes that happens to be from 7-3. Other times, I'll get into a rhythm for several hours in the evening. I have worked through the night on several occasions, simply because I had momentum and I wanted to take advantage.

The worst part is the cabin fever. Like others have said, your best bet is to take regular breaks. I used to go out for breakfast and lunch every day. That was nice, but it got too expensive. I take regular smoke breaks, and sometimes even short naps (I have a futon in my office :)). When the day is over I usually leave and get out into the wilderness to do some hiking or rock climbing.

The point is that I meet my deadlines, and work when it's most efficient -- not when the clock says to. You're not in an office anymore, so you have to sort of change your mentality. Of course, I write computer software, and I don't have to deal with people very much. If you have lots of meetings or need to talk to customers, then you'll be more restricted by the clock.

As others have said, make a dedicated office and do your best to make it as nice as possible. Get everything just right, and make sure you're comfortable. You know, some natural light, some plants, a comfy chair, artwork, etc. There are lots of things you can do in your home office that you can't do in a regular office. For example, I regularly play guitar when I have to restart my server or publish changes. I also find that playing music helps me get into a rhythm as well. I used to wear headphones in the office, but now that I work at home I don't have to. That's nice. It's important to take advantage of those kind of things. Sometimes it's hard to see what you can change, because you aren't really open to the change. Your mind has this image of what work/office should be like, and you need to reevaluate that now.

Good luck to you, and enjoy it!

firstdown 08-18-2009 11:29 AM

Re: Working From Home Kinda Sucks
 
[quote=GhettoDogAllStars;576948]Ah the "pleasure" of working from home...

I have worked from home for about 2 years now, and it's definitely hard to stay motivated some times, but that is just part of the gig. I think it's important to understand that, because the way I see it it's just human nature. Since I have trouble staying motivated at all times, I just work around it. Sure, I'm supposed to work from 7-3, but I don't always. I'm always online when I need to be, but I'll either work when I need to, or if I'm in a groove -- sometimes that happens to be from 7-3. Other times, I'll get into a rhythm for several hours in the evening. I have worked through the night on several occasions, simply because I had momentum and I wanted to take advantage.

The worst part is the cabin fever. Like others have said, your best bet is to take regular breaks. I used to go out for breakfast and lunch every day. That was nice, but it got too expensive. I take regular smoke breaks, and sometimes even short naps (I have a futon in my office :)). When the day is over I usually leave and get out into the wilderness to do some hiking or rock climbing.

The point is that I meet my deadlines, and work when it's most efficient -- not when the clock says to. You're not in an office anymore, so you have to sort of change your mentality. Of course, I write computer software, and I don't have to deal with people very much. If you have lots of meetings or need to talk to customers, then you'll be more restricted by the clock.

As others have said, make a dedicated office and do your best to make it as nice as possible. Get everything just right, and make sure you're comfortable. You know, some natural light, some plants, a comfy chair, artwork, etc. There are lots of things you can do in your home office that you can't do in a regular office. For example, I regularly play guitar when I have to restart my server or publish changes. I also find that playing music helps me get into a rhythm as well. I used to wear headphones in the office, but now that I work at home I don't have to. That's nice. It's important to take advantage of those kind of things. Sometimes it's hard to see what you can change, because you aren't really open to the change. Your mind has this image of what work/office should be like, and you need to reevaluate that now.

Good luck to you, and enjoy it![/quote]
Good advise. What kind of music do you play?


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