Author Topic: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!  (Read 1859 times)

shelbyautumn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 92
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Mississippi
Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« on: June 08, 2018, 11:15:30 AM »
A mentor sent me a job description at their company last week and offered to send in my resume. I wasn't super interested in the position, but I have bombed interviews in the past so I figured I could use the interview experience. I wasn't planning on taking the job at all. However, they made me an offer yesterday and it was a 33% increase over what I currently make. $45,000 to $60,000 was not something I could say no to. So now, I'm starting a new job on June 25th!

My only concern - it's a work from home position. I know some people dream of that, but I am a huge introvert and I don't want to become a recluse.

What advice do you have for setting up a home office, staying productive, healthy, etc. I've read the "get ready everyday" and "have a dedicated space" advice, but is there anything else I should know or be prepared for? Home office essentials and/or items that are overrated? Give me everything!

Side Note: Thanks to MMM and this forum the pay increase will go towards savings, student loans, and/or paying cash for my husband's BSN. We might even end up becoming a one car family because of it!

ian89T

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2018, 11:29:21 AM »
I would second the get ready every day. Make sure you get yourself dressed in the morning and cleaned up as if you were going to actually go to work. Upon exiting the service I found it very easy to sit at home in my pajamas thinking I was going to get things done by working from home, however, I found it very handy and refreshing to shave my face and get dressed as if I were to go out to work.

FIRE@50

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 310
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Maryland
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2018, 11:36:19 AM »
My wife runs her own business and works from home most of the time. I would love to work from home, but she is someone that craves social interaction and misses not being in an office. I think her advice would be to setup lunch dates with friends and/or coworkers once in a while. She also tries to meet friends for dinner when the opportunity presents itself.

Good luck and congrats on the new gig! Oh and the huge raise too. That is awesome!

bacchi

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3062
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2018, 11:39:33 AM »
For interaction, I'd go to the grocery store for a mid-afternoon break and stop by and visit a (WFH) friend on the way there.

As far as office supplies, consider a KVM switch. It allows you to switch keyboard+mouse from your work laptop to your home computer. It'll eliminate having 2 keyboards on your desk.

haflander

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 187
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Dallas
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2018, 11:41:09 AM »
Below is the link to my similar thread from last year, I think you could find some wisdom shared there. It was my first-ever post and much has changed in about 10 months since that time. It's more about whether to take the wfh job, but there's still plenty of general wfh advice.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/who-works-from-home-career-advice/msg1637188/#msg1637188

Job 1: 51k. Job 2: 57 and work from home. Job 3 (current): 70 and a commute to the office again. I wasn't looking for a job when I took 2 or 3...recruiters randomly hit me up and the offer was too good to refuse both times. I only worked for 2 for 6 months and that wasn't enough time for me to figure out the whole wfh thing...I sucked at it. I'm an introvert also. I left it off the resume (want to avoid the job hopper label even though it's the truth) when interviewing for 3; I just told them I was still at 1.

FLBiker

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 894
  • Age: 42
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2018, 12:26:46 PM »
Posting to follow.

I'm currently applying for a WFH job.  I've only every worked in schools / offices.  And I'm a moderate introvert, but I'm married and have a toddler (in pre-school) so I would still get some social interaction.

Hirondelle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1017
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2018, 12:33:53 PM »
Are there any co-working spaces or popular by WFH'ers coffee shops? If WFH is hard for you you could consider going to a co-working space occasionally to get your social interaction.

I did partial WFH for a while, while I didn't have a comfortable home and doing my work in a coffee shop was a great way to nail both the dedicated working space and the meeting people/friends part (had friends who worked as digital nomads). It will be slightly more costly than WFH, but if you can manage to become a one-car family some $10/week on 3 coffees shouldn't break the bank.

wenchsenior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1766
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2018, 12:42:25 PM »
Don't fall into the trap I sometimes do, of checking e.g., MMMForum etc PRIOR to starting your work for the day.  Set up a schedule and try to knock out clear chunks of work first thing in the morning.  I find that if I fritter around on the internet while drinking my first coffee or whatever, I tend to lose the first couple of hours of my day to poor, stop-and-start productivity.  Alternatively, once I really buckle down and start working, I often don't want to stop and will work steadily for hours.

I try to make sure to go out of the house to exercise every day, even if just a 30 minute walk.  I have a gym membership for this purpose, also.  As an introvert, I find it is good for me to get out of the house once per day and SEE people, even if my interaction with them is minimal.

After 3 days without face to face contact with others of my species, I usually try to force myself to go out and run errands so I interact with sales clerks etc.

It's something to keep in mind for retirement as well, unless we introverts happen to have our friends living in close proximity (I do not and haven't lived in proximity to close friends for almost 20 years now).  I plan to structure my time post working life to make sure I go out of the house regularly and interact, at least superficially, with enough people to have pleasant social contacts, if not close friends to hang out with.

This is really the only part of introversion I find persistently challenging.  When I stop working, one of my primary goals will be to :gulp: build social ties.  It's hard though...I have trouble getting enthusiastic for it even though I know it is good for me.  I have casual liking for lots of people I meet, but I just don't really find people I REALLY like very often.

shelbyautumn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 92
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Mississippi
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2018, 12:54:39 PM »
Thank you for all the responses so far!

I would second the get ready every day. Make sure you get yourself dressed in the morning and cleaned up as if you were going to actually go to work. Upon exiting the service I found it very easy to sit at home in my pajamas thinking I was going to get things done by working from home, however, I found it very handy and refreshing to shave my face and get dressed as if I were to go out to work.

At first I was kind of excited about the idea of yoga pants everyday, but I'm beginning to realize that might be a bad idea. I might still skip makeup a few days a week ;)

My wife runs her own business and works from home most of the time. I would love to work from home, but she is someone that craves social interaction and misses not being in an office. I think her advice would be to setup lunch dates with friends and/or coworkers once in a while. She also tries to meet friends for dinner when the opportunity presents itself.

Good luck and congrats on the new gig! Oh and the huge raise too. That is awesome!

Thank you! I have a group of friends at my current job that go to lunch every Thursday. I usually skip, but I might have to start going a couple times a month.

For interaction, I'd go to the grocery store for a mid-afternoon break and stop by and visit a (WFH) friend on the way there.

As far as office supplies, consider a KVM switch. It allows you to switch keyboard+mouse from your work laptop to your home computer. It'll eliminate having 2 keyboards on your desk.


Grocery shopping is a great idea! I will only have the work laptop (our other laptop my husband uses for school), but reading about the KVM switch was interesting!

Below is the link to my similar thread from last year, I think you could find some wisdom shared there. It was my first-ever post and much has changed in about 10 months since that time. It's more about whether to take the wfh job, but there's still plenty of general wfh advice.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/who-works-from-home-career-advice/msg1637188/#msg1637188

Job 1: 51k. Job 2: 57 and work from home. Job 3 (current): 70 and a commute to the office again. I wasn't looking for a job when I took 2 or 3...recruiters randomly hit me up and the offer was too good to refuse both times. I only worked for 2 for 6 months and that wasn't enough time for me to figure out the whole wfh thing...I sucked at it. I'm an introvert also. I left it off the resume (want to avoid the job hopper label even though it's the truth) when interviewing for 3; I just told them I was still at 1.

Thank you for the thread - I'm finding it very interesting! Sorry WFH didn't work for you, but it looks like it turned out better in the end!

Posting to follow.

I'm currently applying for a WFH job.  I've only every worked in schools / offices.  And I'm a moderate introvert, but I'm married and have a toddler (in pre-school) so I would still get some social interaction.

Good luck to you! I'll have my two dogs....I talk to them quite a bit but they haven't figured out how to respond yet.

Are there any co-working spaces or popular by WFH'ers coffee shops? If WFH is hard for you you could consider going to a co-working space occasionally to get your social interaction.

I did partial WFH for a while, while I didn't have a comfortable home and doing my work in a coffee shop was a great way to nail both the dedicated working space and the meeting people/friends part (had friends who worked as digital nomads). It will be slightly more costly than WFH, but if you can manage to become a one-car family some $10/week on 3 coffees shouldn't break the bank.

I thought of co-working, but the places around here are pretty pricey! Mississippi is not typically on the forefront of innovation, and I can definitely see that here. There are a couple coffee shops close by that I might have to visit if I'm going stir-crazy.

Don't fall into the trap I sometimes do, of checking e.g., MMMForum etc PRIOR to starting your work for the day.  Set up a schedule and try to knock out clear chunks of work first thing in the morning.  I find that if I fritter around on the internet while drinking my first coffee or whatever, I tend to lose the first couple of hours of my day to poor, stop-and-start productivity.  Alternatively, once I really buckle down and start working, I often don't want to stop and will work steadily for hours.

I try to make sure to go out of the house to exercise every day, even if just a 30 minute walk.  I have a gym membership for this purpose, also.  As an introvert, I find it is good for me to get out of the house once per day and SEE people, even if my interaction with them is minimal.

After 3 days without face to face contact with others of my species, I usually try to force myself to go out and run errands so I interact with sales clerks etc.

It's something to keep in mind for retirement as well, unless we introverts happen to have our friends living in close proximity (I do not and haven't lived in proximity to close friends for almost 20 years now).  I plan to structure my time post working life to make sure I go out of the house regularly and interact, at least superficially, with enough people to have pleasant social contacts, if not close friends to hang out with.

This is really the only part of introversion I find persistently challenging.  When I stop working, one of my primary goals will be to :gulp: build social ties.  It's hard though...I have trouble getting enthusiastic for it even though I know it is good for me.  I have casual liking for lots of people I meet, but I just don't really find people I REALLY like very often.

I can totally identify with this. I have made some good friends out here (we only moved here last July), but it is REALLY easy for me to stay in the house for a few days and then realize that I haven't even been outside to get the mail.

I was in my own head about this job last night (I really do like my current job and I'm bummed to leave but....$60k) and my husband made me get out of the house. It was good for me - so I'll just need to do more of that.

acroy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1709
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Dallas TX
    • SWAMI
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2018, 01:21:50 PM »
Badass and congratulations!! you just described a dream job for many people - nice salary while never leaving the house. Zero commuting cost! Opportunity to deduct a portion of hour house for home office! disclaimer: iv'e never done it myself for more than a couple weeks at a time, but a fair number of friends & family have. Here is what I know:
- discipline is important.
- set the M-F schedule and stick to it.
- treat it as a job! work gets done at the work desk. separate area for personal stuff. the risk of mixing the 2, at loss of efficiency, is high.
- I always 'get some for me' at the beginning of each day. Stretch, mediate/pray, work out a bit. 'Pay yourself first', physically & mentally, at the dawn of each new day. This really puts me 'in the zone' at sets the tone for the rest of the day.

good luck!

shelbyautumn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 92
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Mississippi
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2018, 01:25:59 PM »
Badass and congratulations!! you just described a dream job for many people - nice salary while never leaving the house. Zero commuting cost! Opportunity to deduct a portion of hour house for home office! disclaimer: iv'e never done it myself for more than a couple weeks at a time, but a fair number of friends & family have. Here is what I know:
- discipline is important.
- set the M-F schedule and stick to it.
- treat it as a job! work gets done at the work desk. separate area for personal stuff. the risk of mixing the 2, at loss of efficiency, is high.
- I always 'get some for me' at the beginning of each day. Stretch, mediate/pray, work out a bit. 'Pay yourself first', physically & mentally, at the dawn of each new day. This really puts me 'in the zone' at sets the tone for the rest of the day.

good luck!

Thank you! I am getting more and more excited about it, but it's definitely a change I wasn't looking for! I like the idea of "pay yourself first" physically and mentally. That's a great idea!

formerlydivorcedmom

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 574
  • Location: Texas
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2018, 02:05:16 PM »
I hated working at home the first time I did it (a decade ago), but I love it now!

I gave myself set hours for working.  I log in every day at 7:30 am (just as I used to show up in the office at that same time).  I usually stop working at 5...which is when I used to get home from work.  That is about an hour of "extra" time built into my day.

About two hours into my day, I take the dog on a walk.  Or, if he refuses to cooperate, I go on a walk by myself.  I'd like to do the same thing in the afternoon, but it's starting to get too hot.

Once or twice a week, I go to a group exercise class at the gym in the morning.

Once a week I meet a friend for lunch, either at my house or out.

Some days I run errands or go to the doctor or go to the library.  (Tip - Find out the library schedule.  DO NOT go to the library during toddler storytime unless you bring earplugs.)

If I'm feeling too isolated, I call a SAHM friend and chat for 15 minutes in the afternoon.

I think I'm actually more productive at home, even if I'm not sitting in front of the computer for exactly 8 hours a day, than I ever was in the office.  I've also noticed that I don't need as much me-time in the evenings any more, so I'm actually doing more things out and about with my kids than we used to do after work.

raffmaster

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2018, 02:13:36 PM »
I have been WFH for over 3.5 years, everyone else I work with is on-location hundreds of miles away. Others have mentioned getting dressed, morning routine, separate space and those are all key.

Productivity: I had a lot of mental guilt about not "working" all the time during business hours, since I am a salary employee. So now I track my productive time (using a Pomodoro timer app) and use that to determine if I've worked "enough" for the day. After that and if the workload isn't too crazy, I do chores or whatever around the house guilt-free.

Workspace: I caved and got a fancy standing desk and ergonomic chair. Make sure you have room for midday dance parties. :) If you can, have an office room, not just a dedicated desk, that you can close the door on when you're done for the day. Also helps if other people will be around while you're working. I also have a comfy spot for my dogs so they can keep me company during the day.

Boundaries: I got a lot of requests at odd hours since people assumed I was near my computer at all times. This ruined my downtime since I was constantly worried I would be called into work. I discussed it with my boss and it is better now, but be aware that this might happen if you are the only WFH person.

Getting out: I walk my dogs immediately after work every day and it helps me decompress and separate work from home time. I also found a work-related user group that helped me a) get out of the house and b) meet local people in my field since I don't have coworkers nearby.

Good luck! WFH can be a struggle but it is totally awesome once you get the hang of it. I don't think I could go back to an office at this point.

rbuck

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 77
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2018, 03:14:24 PM »
What technology will the company provide? I work from home and we have a business IM program and video. I make it a point to reach out to someone at least once a day. It keeps you connected to your work group.

Also my gym is less than a mile from the house so I can go workout over lunch.

Undecided

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1074
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2018, 04:45:01 PM »
I have worked from home for a decade.
While I appreciate having a very functional home office (which for me means a good printer/scanner, decent monitor, reliable internet and phone service, good lighting and sufficient desk and shelf space), large parts of how I've taken advantage of working from home are in direct contradiction to much of the advice above.

I am very focused when I'm working, but the idea that I need to "get ready for work" seems like it would just be a waste of time; most days I will exercise at some point in the day, and if I can I put off "getting dressed" until after that, then I only do once things I'd otherwise need to do twice. Similarly, because I know my work flow will often by erratic, I don't worry about a rigid fixed work schedule; rather, I have "reasonable working times" that are broader than the core work hours, so when the opportunity to do something worthwhile comes up in core work hours, I have some time to shift work around.

There are advantages to working from home; don't give them up for the sake of trying to work in the way that made sense for you in an office setting.

Kyle Schuant

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 491
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2018, 05:16:42 PM »
I work from home but it's a garage gym, not an office, so people come and visit me... it's different. If there are clients or co-workers, regular meetings with them will help you not become too much of a weirdo.

begood

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 957
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2018, 07:50:18 AM »
I have been working from home for 8.5 years. As an extrovert, I wasn't sure if I would like it, but it turns out I LOVE the flexibility WFH offers, and that offsets any negatives in my mind. Now that I set my own work schedule, I think it would be terribly difficult to go back to working in an office.

Setting aside "me time" in the day is one key to happiness for me. I take a noon class at the fitness center four days a week, and I basically plan my day around that. It gives me the structure I seem to instinctively crave, and it gets me out of the house and among people on a daily basis.

Having a full kitchen at hand, an obliging cat, and music at whatever volume I choose are also HUGE pluses for me.

I hope you enjoy your new job! And that raise is just the beginning of the financial benefit - zero commute, less dry cleaning, eating lunch at home... they all add up!

me1

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 84
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2018, 07:53:56 AM »
I try to go work in a coffee shop a few hours each day. Of course, if your work involves stuff that can't be done from a coffee shop or if one is too far away that may not work. I have 3 walking distance from my house. That keeps me sane!

shelbyautumn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 92
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Mississippi
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2018, 08:43:44 AM »
Thank you all again for the good advice!

I hated working at home the first time I did it (a decade ago), but I love it now!

I gave myself set hours for working.  I log in every day at 7:30 am (just as I used to show up in the office at that same time).  I usually stop working at 5...which is when I used to get home from work.  That is about an hour of "extra" time built into my day.

About two hours into my day, I take the dog on a walk.  Or, if he refuses to cooperate, I go on a walk by myself.  I'd like to do the same thing in the afternoon, but it's starting to get too hot.

Once or twice a week, I go to a group exercise class at the gym in the morning.

Once a week I meet a friend for lunch, either at my house or out.

Some days I run errands or go to the doctor or go to the library.  (Tip - Find out the library schedule.  DO NOT go to the library during toddler storytime unless you bring earplugs.)

If I'm feeling too isolated, I call a SAHM friend and chat for 15 minutes in the afternoon.

I think I'm actually more productive at home, even if I'm not sitting in front of the computer for exactly 8 hours a day, than I ever was in the office.  I've also noticed that I don't need as much me-time in the evenings any more, so I'm actually doing more things out and about with my kids than we used to do after work.

I really like these ideas. My dogs would LOVE a mid-morning walk and I could definitely use the exercise. I never even considered not needing as much me-time. I could definitely see this happening to me and my extroverted husband would be thrilled! And thanks for the tip on the library schedule....I don't think I could focus during toddler storytime.

I have been WFH for over 3.5 years, everyone else I work with is on-location hundreds of miles away. Others have mentioned getting dressed, morning routine, separate space and those are all key.

Productivity: I had a lot of mental guilt about not "working" all the time during business hours, since I am a salary employee. So now I track my productive time (using a Pomodoro timer app) and use that to determine if I've worked "enough" for the day. After that and if the workload isn't too crazy, I do chores or whatever around the house guilt-free.

Workspace: I caved and got a fancy standing desk and ergonomic chair. Make sure you have room for midday dance parties. :) If you can, have an office room, not just a dedicated desk, that you can close the door on when you're done for the day. Also helps if other people will be around while you're working. I also have a comfy spot for my dogs so they can keep me company during the day.

Boundaries: I got a lot of requests at odd hours since people assumed I was near my computer at all times. This ruined my downtime since I was constantly worried I would be called into work. I discussed it with my boss and it is better now, but be aware that this might happen if you are the only WFH person.

Getting out: I walk my dogs immediately after work every day and it helps me decompress and separate work from home time. I also found a work-related user group that helped me a) get out of the house and b) meet local people in my field since I don't have coworkers nearby.

Good luck! WFH can be a struggle but it is totally awesome once you get the hang of it. I don't think I could go back to an office at this point.

Thank you for all of this! We bought a home last October and our 3rd bedroom is currently "the dog room", so we're converting it into an office. My husband is going to build me a desk and we're searching for an affordable sleeper sofa so that our dogs have a comfy place to hang out and it can double as a 2nd guest room. The couch ruins the chance at a tax deduction, but I'd rather have something that functions well for our family than the deduction.

I know there are some other WFH people in the organization, but I'll be supporting Business Development Executives (aka salespeople), so I could definitely see the boundary thing becoming an issue. I will make sure I look out for that.

How did you find your work-related user group? I have some friends from my current job (which is in a similar field), church, and my husband's work, but I'm always open to more!

What technology will the company provide? I work from home and we have a business IM program and video. I make it a point to reach out to someone at least once a day. It keeps you connected to your work group.

Also my gym is less than a mile from the house so I can go workout over lunch.

I know they use Skype for business, so I'll be able to message people throughout the day. And I'll essentially be supporting the sales team, so I do think I'll get some human interaction that way.

I have worked from home for a decade.
While I appreciate having a very functional home office (which for me means a good printer/scanner, decent monitor, reliable internet and phone service, good lighting and sufficient desk and shelf space), large parts of how I've taken advantage of working from home are in direct contradiction to much of the advice above.

I am very focused when I'm working, but the idea that I need to "get ready for work" seems like it would just be a waste of time; most days I will exercise at some point in the day, and if I can I put off "getting dressed" until after that, then I only do once things I'd otherwise need to do twice. Similarly, because I know my work flow will often by erratic, I don't worry about a rigid fixed work schedule; rather, I have "reasonable working times" that are broader than the core work hours, so when the opportunity to do something worthwhile comes up in core work hours, I have some time to shift work around.

There are advantages to working from home; don't give them up for the sake of trying to work in the way that made sense for you in an office setting.

I really appreciate the different point of view here; it makes me feel a little more free to figure out what works for me. Maybe I will need to get ready in the mornings in order to be productive, but maybe I won't (the extra 40 minutes of sleep would be awesome). I think if I were self-employed it would be a bit more of a struggle to stay productive, but because I am still reporting to someone I don't really have the option to not be productive. Thanks for the reminder that I don't have to do things the same way I would in a normal office.

I have been working from home for 8.5 years. As an extrovert, I wasn't sure if I would like it, but it turns out I LOVE the flexibility WFH offers, and that offsets any negatives in my mind. Now that I set my own work schedule, I think it would be terribly difficult to go back to working in an office.

Setting aside "me time" in the day is one key to happiness for me. I take a noon class at the fitness center four days a week, and I basically plan my day around that. It gives me the structure I seem to instinctively crave, and it gets me out of the house and among people on a daily basis.

Having a full kitchen at hand, an obliging cat, and music at whatever volume I choose are also HUGE pluses for me.

I hope you enjoy your new job! And that raise is just the beginning of the financial benefit - zero commute, less dry cleaning, eating lunch at home... they all add up!

Thanks so much - I'm getting more and more excited to start the new position! I'm definitely going to have to look into some sort of class. It's been a recommendation from a lot of people.

I try to go work in a coffee shop a few hours each day. Of course, if your work involves stuff that can't be done from a coffee shop or if one is too far away that may not work. I have 3 walking distance from my house. That keeps me sane!

I have a couple coffee shops within driving distance. My mom keeps a car at our house for when she visits, so even if we drop down to a one car family, I'll still have access to hers. I don't know yet if I'll be allowed to connect to public wifi, but getting out of the house a couple days a week might be nice.

raffmaster

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2018, 12:33:33 PM »
Quote
How did you find your work-related user group? I have some friends from my current job (which is in a similar field), church, and my husband's work, but I'm always open to more!
I am a part of global organization in my field (http://www.pass.org/ if you happen to be a data professional) so I was able to look for my local chapter through there. It's a nice monthly thing and sometimes we have have drinks afterwards. Meetup.com and google help if you don't have something similar.

AZDude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1298
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2018, 01:03:52 PM »
I worked from home exclusively a few different times.

I would not bother with the "act like you are going in to work everyday" part. Wear yoga pants, PJs, or whatever in the morning. Its part of the advantage to be able to just roll out of bed and walk into the office, especially if you live on the west coast and people schedule ET morning meetings. I am not getting up at 5AM just so I can be "work ready" for my 6 AM meeting.

A dedicated work space is important though. Coffee shops, etc... are generally not a good idea since their wi-fi is going to slow and there is a chance you will not be able to connect to your VPN through them. If you are not using a VPN, then doing actual work on a public wi-fi is pretty much inexcusable.

Definitely take an exercise break during the day. You will be tempted to become one with your office chair for 8 hours a day. Don't do it. It is terrible for your health. Get up and walk around. Go outside for a few minutes.

The social aspect is interesting as you often have plenty of meetings and voice interaction with others, or at least I did, but I did get cabin fever if I did not leave the house at least once a day. This can lead to bad habits as you find yourself eating out and going to the store just for something to do.

Someone mentioned the KVM switch and I would add an extra monitor to that(usually can get them for $10 at Goodwill, just make sure it is compatible with your laptop). My desk would be work laptop on the left side, monitor in the middle, personal laptop on the right side with a KVM switch. Also, as others mentioned, make sure you are being professionally responsible and not just goofing around on the internet all day.

Grogounet

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 264
  • Location: Australia
    • http://www.quest2independence.com
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2018, 01:31:54 AM »
Been working from home for a while. My 3 advice:
- Co-working space: 1 or 2 days a week. Just enough camaraderie and human attention and networking opportunities
- Work from coffee and/or library: 1 day a week. Walking outside the house, take fresh air
- the rest from home with an activity at night (sport, friends, etc...) to vent a bit
 

okcisok

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 74
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2018, 05:51:43 PM »
I've been working from home for almost six months, and i second most of the advice here. I don't always get 'dressed', because I love the fact that I am wearing yoga pants and no makeup and still getting paid.

To get out of the house and spend little or no money, try volunteering. Even just an hour a week at a cause you'd like to support can give you social interaction and help with work-life balance. Your flexible schedule could be extremely helpful.

Trade and professional organizations are great, too. I'm an active member of our Chamber of Commerce (work paid membership) and I try to attend at least one event a week, either through them or a networking seminar. I'm an introvert who can fake it as an extrovert, so I find it helps me to have a socializing goal. If I know I have a professional luncheon on Friday that will get me out of the house & dressed, I don't worry the rest of the week if I don't leave my house. Since the membership is paid for by my company, I regularly get a free meal and/or drinks out of it. I've also gotten invited to/informed of other events. 

Kay-Ell

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 104
  • Semi-retired in 2017
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2018, 10:03:57 PM »
As an introvert I found that I became a lot more social when I started working from home.  Instead of being exhausted by superficial interactions all day, I started feeling energized and well rested and actually became interested in socializing after work and on weekends.

shelbyautumn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 92
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Mississippi
Re: Work From Home - How to Stay Sane?!
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2018, 02:02:01 PM »
Sorry for the delay in responses - I've been studying for my PMP Certification and passed the test today! It was a requirement for the job I'm leaving, but they already paid for it so I figured I'd stick with getting it. I'm SO glad it's over with.

I worked from home exclusively a few different times.

I would not bother with the "act like you are going in to work everyday" part. Wear yoga pants, PJs, or whatever in the morning. Its part of the advantage to be able to just roll out of bed and walk into the office, especially if you live on the west coast and people schedule ET morning meetings. I am not getting up at 5AM just so I can be "work ready" for my 6 AM meeting.

A dedicated work space is important though. Coffee shops, etc... are generally not a good idea since their wi-fi is going to slow and there is a chance you will not be able to connect to your VPN through them. If you are not using a VPN, then doing actual work on a public wi-fi is pretty much inexcusable.

Definitely take an exercise break during the day. You will be tempted to become one with your office chair for 8 hours a day. Don't do it. It is terrible for your health. Get up and walk around. Go outside for a few minutes.

The social aspect is interesting as you often have plenty of meetings and voice interaction with others, or at least I did, but I did get cabin fever if I did not leave the house at least once a day. This can lead to bad habits as you find yourself eating out and going to the store just for something to do.

Someone mentioned the KVM switch and I would add an extra monitor to that(usually can get them for $10 at Goodwill, just make sure it is compatible with your laptop). My desk would be work laptop on the left side, monitor in the middle, personal laptop on the right side with a KVM switch. Also, as others mentioned, make sure you are being professionally responsible and not just goofing around on the internet all day.

I like all these suggestions. I'm going to try to walk my dogs during the day. They are big (55 and 70 lbs) and like to go after squirrels, so we'll see if I can do it without my husband. The more frequently we walk them the better they are, so I'll just have to put up with an uncomfortable week or two.

I have two extra monitors at work now...I can't imagine not having at least one extra. I never thought of looking at Goodwill, though, I love that idea.

Been working from home for a while. My 3 advice:
- Co-working space: 1 or 2 days a week. Just enough camaraderie and human attention and networking opportunities
- Work from coffee and/or library: 1 day a week. Walking outside the house, take fresh air
- the rest from home with an activity at night (sport, friends, etc...) to vent a bit
 

Thanks for the input! I looked into co-working spaces around here and they wouldn't make a whole lot of financial sense for now. Some were up to $600 a month!! I think that was for full time, private desk, but still. That's pretty much half my pay raise! I've been wanting to look into different activities around town, this will be a good reason for me to look more seriously!

I've been working from home for almost six months, and i second most of the advice here. I don't always get 'dressed', because I love the fact that I am wearing yoga pants and no makeup and still getting paid.

To get out of the house and spend little or no money, try volunteering. Even just an hour a week at a cause you'd like to support can give you social interaction and help with work-life balance. Your flexible schedule could be extremely helpful.

Trade and professional organizations are great, too. I'm an active member of our Chamber of Commerce (work paid membership) and I try to attend at least one event a week, either through them or a networking seminar. I'm an introvert who can fake it as an extrovert, so I find it helps me to have a socializing goal. If I know I have a professional luncheon on Friday that will get me out of the house & dressed, I don't worry the rest of the week if I don't leave my house. Since the membership is paid for by my company, I regularly get a free meal and/or drinks out of it. I've also gotten invited to/informed of other events. 

I love the idea of volunteering! Adding it to my to-do list! I'm also an introvert who can fake it - people are usually shocked when I tell them I'm an introvert. A professional organization is a great idea. My currently employer paid for a year membership to the Project Management Institute. I'll have to see what events they have. I'm always excited about a free meal!

As an introvert I found that I became a lot more social when I started working from home.  Instead of being exhausted by superficial interactions all day, I started feeling energized and well rested and actually became interested in socializing after work and on weekends.

This would be IDEAL. Thanks for the input - I find this encouraging.