Author Topic: Working from Home- The Mustachian Way  (Read 1748 times)

Marley09

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Working from Home- The Mustachian Way
« on: October 02, 2017, 01:02:34 PM »
Hey All,

I just found out that my office will be closing at the beginning of next year.  I am fortunate, due to the fact that I can transition to working from home full time, instead of losing my job.  I wanted to see if any of you had any tips or tricks to making this transition more mustachian or really any tips or tricks in general?  Anything that I should specifically ask for in the move from my office to home?

I really do not know what to expect, which makes me a little nervous but also excited for this new adventure. I am hoping to be able to do some things that I am not able to do now, such as exercise more, meal plan better and/or clean, but I am not sure my expectations/ambitions are too high in this regard.  Does someone want to bring me back down to reality?  My spouse also works from home full time and I think that this will be a challenge.  Do any of you work with your spouse or SO in a home office?

-Marley

FallenTimber

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Re: Working from Home- The Mustachian Way
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2017, 06:27:59 AM »
Working from home isn't for everybody, but for me it has been the greatest gift I could have ever asked for. I can be more infinitely more productive than anyone in the office because I can limit my own distractions and not have anyone pulling me away in the middle of a project. Instead of spending hours of my week scrolling through Facebook like most of my in-office co-workers, I crank through projects and still have time left in my day for other things of my choosing.

My wife also works from home and we've grown so accustomed to it that we can't imagine it any other way. I get to spend every day with my best friend... it doesn't get any better than that. We have our own hobbies and friends that separate us for a couple hours each day, but we're always eager to get back to each other. Every relationship and marriage is different, so you may have to create separate offices or plan time away from each other, but I think the rewards outweigh the struggles ten-fold.

To really put it in perspective, I've often considered it and realize that I would work from home for $50k rather than work in an office for $250k, without any hesitation. You will get spoiled, and you may never be able to go back to office life. Be prepared for that.

samsonator54321

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Re: Working from Home- The Mustachian Way
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2017, 06:43:55 AM »
I started working from home a few years ago after working out of the office for a few years.  I think thatís one advantage, because you donít have to learn the job while remote.

Iíll be honest at first I absolutely hated it. I didnít realize how much value random water cooler talk provided. I felt very isolated and did not enjoy many aspects of it. I did free up more time because my boss stopped giving me those random assignments just because I was in their line of sight. People also stopped asking me for help even though they could call me or message me.  In a lot of ways you become out of sight out of mind.

I would recommend getting dressed and wearing shoes in the morning. Good way to get in the working mindset. You also might find yourself wanting to go do an activity/dinner at night because you get a little stir crazy in the house.

About a year in I finally adjusted.  I got used to it, but also my wife started working from home and that helped so much. We have separate offices which I think is key. But we have little chats throughout the day and often eat lunch together.

Looking back now I donít think I could ever go back. I love not commuting. I cook a lot and it makes it so much easier. If I stop working at 5:00 I can be making dinner at 5:01 and be eating by the time I normally would have gotten home.  I honestly would struggle to go back at this point. Itís just too convenient of a lifestyle.

stashgrower

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Re: Working from Home- The Mustachian Way
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2017, 07:10:40 AM »
Eliminating the commute and work clothes makes it more Mustachian off the bat, and I do all of the things that you hope to do. Possible back to reality points are going stir crazy if you are someone who needs company and being in the house all day if you don't try to get out.

Marley09

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Re: Working from Home- The Mustachian Way
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2017, 07:23:57 AM »
Working from home isn't for everybody, but for me it has been the greatest gift I could have ever asked for. I can be more infinitely more productive than anyone in the office because I can limit my own distractions and not have anyone pulling me away in the middle of a project. Instead of spending hours of my week scrolling through Facebook like most of my in-office co-workers, I crank through projects and still have time left in my day for other things of my choosing.

My wife also works from home and we've grown so accustomed to it that we can't imagine it any other way. I get to spend every day with my best friend... it doesn't get any better than that. We have our own hobbies and friends that separate us for a couple hours each day, but we're always eager to get back to each other. Every relationship and marriage is different, so you may have to create separate offices or plan time away from each other, but I think the rewards outweigh the struggles ten-fold.

To really put it in perspective, I've often considered it and realize that I would work from home for $50k rather than work in an office for $250k, without any hesitation. You will get spoiled, and you may never be able to go back to office life. Be prepared for that.

Thank you for your response! The hours of scrolling the internet sounds familiar to me...I am focused in the morning and when I get through what I need to do, I have nothing left to fill the rest of the day.  I am hoping this will be the same at home, but then will have the ability to do something useful at home that I wouldn't have been able to do when I was stuck in the office. 

Do you and your wife share an office?  Do you have any written or unspoken rules that make working in the same space easier?  I think that this is one of my biggest concerns.  We have a good relationship, so I am really hoping that my husband feels the same way as you do after we work together.  Off Topic: I hope that you tell your wife exactly what you said here, as this would mean the world to me to hear this from my husband.

I started working from home a few years ago after working out of the office for a few years.  I think that’s one advantage, because you don’t have to learn the job while remote.

I’ll be honest at first I absolutely hated it. I didn’t realize how much value random water cooler talk provided. I felt very isolated and did not enjoy many aspects of it. I did free up more time because my boss stopped giving me those random assignments just because I was in their line of sight. People also stopped asking me for help even though they could call me or message me.  In a lot of ways you become out of sight out of mind.

I would recommend getting dressed and wearing shoes in the morning. Good way to get in the working mindset. You also might find yourself wanting to go do an activity/dinner at night because you get a little stir crazy in the house.

About a year in I finally adjusted.  I got used to it, but also my wife started working from home and that helped so much. We have separate offices which I think is key. But we have little chats throughout the day and often eat lunch together.

Looking back now I don’t think I could ever go back. I love not commuting. I cook a lot and it makes it so much easier. If I stop working at 5:00 I can be making dinner at 5:01 and be eating by the time I normally would have gotten home.  I honestly would struggle to go back at this point. It’s just too convenient of a lifestyle.

Thank you also for your response and recommendations.  In my current position, I am the only person in my office that does what I do and my home office is about 1000 miles away, so I am already "technically" remote from my team and manager.  In the past couple years, I have gotten over the isolation/out of site out of mind feeling with my team, but this may reoccur when I have no one to talk to (other than my husband).  I think that if I mentally go in thinking the adjustment will take about a year, then I will be good to go! 

I may be able to set up a separate office space from my husband, but it would be at the other end of the house and I am not sure the wifi reaches.  Any ideas?

Marley09

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Re: Working from Home- The Mustachian Way
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2017, 07:30:32 AM »
Eliminating the commute and work clothes makes it more Mustachian off the bat, and I do all of the things that you hope to do. Possible back to reality points are going stir crazy if you are someone who needs company and being in the house all day if you don't try to get out.

I am so happy to hear that you are able to do those things!!!  I have two young children, so I have limited time outside of work hours to do anything for myself.  I am hoping that this will let me feel like I have a little bit more control over my life without needing to plan 10 steps ahead (like now!).  I will come up with some ideas to keep my from going stir crazy, especially during the cold winter months!!

LifeHappens

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Re: Working from Home- The Mustachian Way
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2017, 07:36:11 AM »
I've been working from home for 8 years now and I am 100% spoiled. The thought of going back to a cube farm is part of why I'm driven toward FIRE.

+1 to all those who say you might get a little stir crazy being at home all day. You will probably need a few evening activities that get you out and about. I often go for a walk with my DH after working hours to relax and say hello to neighbors.

In terms of setting up your office, make sure you have good ergonomics. It's worth spending a few $ for a decent desk, chair, good mouse, keyboard and monitor setup. Trust me, it will save you many $$$ on physical therapy later!

Also, you will naturally move around a bit less than you would in an office. Shorter walks to the kitchen, bathroom and printer. Give yourself a few movement breaks and maybe rig up a standing workstation as well.

pbkmaine

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Re: Working from Home- The Mustachian Way
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2017, 08:10:01 AM »
I had a retired husband and worked mostly from home for a few years. The most important thing for me was to have a place where there was good sound separation during phone calls. In Maine, that was our basement, which was as quiet as a tomb. In Florida, that was usually my husband’s closet in the master bedroom. I have an expressive, extroverted husband who loves to curse while playing with software programs. If your spouse is quieter, this might not be a problem.

Laura33

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Re: Working from Home- The Mustachian Way
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2017, 08:11:50 AM »
I would negotiate for a certain number of paid trips back to HQ every year, such as at least once a quarter -- you need to keep your face in front of people to avoid being forgotten/overlooked/first in line for the next layoff.

Ditto the separate office concept.  I find it very distracting when DH and I are both working at home at the same time.  If this were more of a regular thing, I would need to set up a separate workspace for me.

If you have kids, make sure the office has a door on it.  :-)  I know it sounds basic, but my current office doesn't (took it off in a reno and never replaced, because the hall is small with two other doors), and BOY do I miss that!

Know how you work and make "rules" that hold you to it.  My problem is procrastination.  At the office, I naturally get spurred out of it, because people walk by and I look up and see the time and think, "oh shit."  At home by myself, man, sometimes I look up and it's noon -- and by that time, it's "oh fuck."  So when I was full-time WAH, I had to make rules for what time I started work and how long I allowed myself to break for (so I didn't throw in a load of laundry and get distracted by the dirty dishes in the sink and then remember I needed to defrost something for dinner . . .).  Your situation will be different, of course; the key is to be conscious of your own pitfalls so you can plan workarounds.

slb59

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Re: Working from Home- The Mustachian Way
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2017, 08:35:58 AM »
+1 to negotiating visits to the office to help them remember you exist, and to boundaries/separate spaces with your spouse.

I'd add start looking around for cheap/free places with wifi to work. I do a very anti-mustachian splurge and buy a cup of tea at Panera and work there for 2-3 hours a week. For free, I could work from the library, the local university, or any parks within wifi distance from those buildings. Making a plan to get out of the house every 2-3 days has been key to maintaining my sanity.

One of my favorite things about working from home is that it makes baking bread so much easier. I'll put the dough together over lunch (I have a couple recipes I can do in 10 minutes or so), then set the timer and get up and do the next step throughout the afternoon, giving me fresh and delicious bread by dinner time without sacrificing any real work time. There's nothing cozier than working in a sunny spot at home while bread bakes in the oven.

EconDiva

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Re: Working from Home- The Mustachian Way
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2017, 09:40:54 AM »
I would negotiate for a certain number of paid trips back to HQ every year, such as at least once a quarter -- you need to keep your face in front of people to avoid being forgotten/overlooked/first in line for the next layoff.

Ditto the separate office concept.  I find it very distracting when DH and I are both working at home at the same time.  If this were more of a regular thing, I would need to set up a separate workspace for me.

If you have kids, make sure the office has a door on it.  :-)  I know it sounds basic, but my current office doesn't (took it off in a reno and never replaced, because the hall is small with two other doors), and BOY do I miss that!

Know how you work and make "rules" that hold you to it.  My problem is procrastination.  At the office, I naturally get spurred out of it, because people walk by and I look up and see the time and think, "oh shit."  At home by myself, man, sometimes I look up and it's noon -- and by that time, it's "oh fuck."  So when I was full-time WAH, I had to make rules for what time I started work and how long I allowed myself to break for (so I didn't throw in a load of laundry and get distracted by the dirty dishes in the sink and then remember I needed to defrost something for dinner . . .).  Your situation will be different, of course; the key is to be conscious of your own pitfalls so you can plan workarounds.

Ditto to this post all the way.

I've been doing this about 6/7 months.  I wish I had negotiated the ability to go back to HQ a few times a year.  I feel like I need people to see my face...but I also need (want?) to see theirs at least a few times a year at minimum as well. 

My problem is procrastination as well.  I am trying to figure out how to tackle it as it's a bit worse now WFH.  But that's always been a weakness of mine.  For me, setting a schedule and sticking to it is a big deal.  I hate mornings, but in reality I do really still need to be getting up at a somewhat early time in order to get everything done by a certain time.  Also, if there are things you're going to do, establish that you'll block a minimum time off your calendar to do it, but honestly I'd block it in the afternoon/evening so work gets done FIRST.  (Unless it's a doctor's appointment or something that 'must' be done earlier.)

Don't know if anyone has touched on this but you 'may' need to mention to some friends and/or family about this.  I had to casually put my foot down about this when I had a roommate who would bring family over to stay overnight with us or they had friends visiting during the week...sometimes the family member would knock on my door during conferences, ask if I wanted to go out shopping with them in the middle of the day, etc.  I had to let just a couple of people know although I was working from home I was still WORKING.  But that was just a personal thing I encountered.