Author Topic: Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time  (Read 982 times)

sdt1890

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Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« on: December 06, 2017, 08:01:09 AM »
What are the biggest lessons you have learned and/or suggestions you would have for working from home?

For me, I would have the house to myself, so no distractions and am self motivated, so being productive would not be an issue. The industry I work in does not entail face to face meetings, so working remotely would also save me my existing commute time (approximately 1 hour each day).

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2017, 08:40:58 AM »
Iceberg been full-time WFH since 2013. Not commuting is really fantastic. Having the house to yourself is great, but for my peace of mind I find it really helpful to have a room I just use for work so that I can close the door on it when I'm done.

Syonyk

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Re: Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2017, 08:58:24 AM »
"Have your work space separated from the rest of life space."  Somehow or other.

Workspace is work time, the rest of the space is not-work time.  If you merge the two spaces, you end up with serious trouble separating work and not-work.  Been there, done that, don't do that.  Not fun.

I have a wife and kid, so when we moved most recently, I built myself an office out of a shed - remote, solar powered, and purely my work/hobby space.

https://syonyk.blogspot.com/2016/07/solar-shed-summary-my-off-grid-office.html

Having the separate area to work is very, very nice from a separation perspective, and it's also very nice from a distraction perspective.
My random project blog - ebikes, DIY, fans, and more: http://syonyk.blogspot.com

Rubic

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Re: Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2017, 09:01:05 AM »
Iceberg been full-time WFH since 2013. Not commuting is really fantastic. Having the house to yourself is great, but for my peace of mind I find it really helpful to have a room I just use for work so that I can close the door on it when I'm done.

+1

It's important to separate your work life from the non-work life.  Even more so
if you are self-employed, because the working hours can take over your life.

When I was doing this, envious people would assume I could take off whenever
I wanted and work reduced hours.  The reality was just the opposite.

sdt1890

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Re: Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2017, 09:51:35 AM »
"Have your work space separated from the rest of life space."  Somehow or other.

Workspace is work time, the rest of the space is not-work time.  If you merge the two spaces, you end up with serious trouble separating work and not-work.  Been there, done that, don't do that.  Not fun.

I have a wife and kid, so when we moved most recently, I built myself an office out of a shed - remote, solar powered, and purely my work/hobby space.

https://syonyk.blogspot.com/2016/07/solar-shed-summary-my-off-grid-office.html

Having the separate area to work is very, very nice from a separation perspective, and it's also very nice from a distraction perspective.

Good advice. In my particular situation, I would have a basement office set up where I can close the door upstairs, which I think would be ideal.

Syonyk

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Re: Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2017, 10:13:09 AM »
Good advice. In my particular situation, I would have a basement office set up where I can close the door upstairs, which I think would be ideal.

That's a reasonable split - I've known people with basement offices.  If you have a wife/kids, there needs to be a solid set of understandings about interactions/interruptions.  Since I have a separate structure, it's a bit less of a problem - my wife usually pings me on Hangouts, though they'll occasionally knock on my door if they're playing out in the lawn and my daughter wanders over.  She knows that my office is not somewhere she's allowed unsupervised (it's locked, anyway), but I don't mind her in here on occasion.
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soccerluvof4

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Re: Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2017, 10:40:38 AM »
I agree and when I was working out of the house I wanted a separate room on separate floor that I didn't walk buy when I was done for the day. Liked having work out of site out of mind as much as I could. Having Natural light was important and some backround soft music but not a great view so wishing was outside!
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ditheca

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Re: Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2017, 11:46:09 AM »
I work from home full time and love it.  I have a small bedroom set up as my office.

The kids (age 6-10) learned quickly to stay away when the door is closed unless there's a real emergency.

Actually the biggest problem right now is that the kids are shy of coming to my office even at night when I'm just relaxing.  They go to DW every time, but evenings are when she is busiest with schoolwork.

So I think I need to make a big 'Open' sign to put on the door after hours.  And maybe a 'Closed' for DW!

I do spend a lot of my free time in my office.  Terrible separation of work and life, but it doesn't bother me much.  I was just working with some Chinese coworkers last night from midnight to 2 AM, and sometimes take unofficial breaks during the regular workday (like right now!).  I don't feel like I work too much.

ohmylookatthat

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Re: Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2017, 02:19:20 PM »
Have a small electric heater so you can heat just your office, instead of the whole house

Llewellyn2006

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Re: Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2017, 03:15:25 PM »
I make sure that I only do work during the hours I designate for working and anything else waits until later. I love working at home and highly recommend it.

APBioSpartan

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Re: Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2017, 03:33:38 PM »
I am a full time telecommuter and I love it!

Pros:
-Eat out less
-More Flexibility
-More money!!  Working from home allowed us to supercharge our Rover business.  We make about $1,000/mo right now having dogs sleep under my desk while I work... yay!

Cons:
-Sometimes I get grumpy from the lack of human interaction
-People are less nice to each other because they're talking to people that they have never met, and probably never will, and are stressed with deadlines. 


nawhite

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Re: Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2017, 05:08:11 PM »
Been WFH since 2013. Biggest advice is pay attention to company culture. If everyone in your office works remotely things are great. Everyone "gets it," meetings happen via teleconference and not in person, managers have a way to track work performance other than "time in seat."

Every single time I've heard of a person or company having trouble with work from home it came down to a culture issue:

1) Conference calls where more than a couple of the people are in a conference room together are terrible for those working from home. It is better to have everyone call in from their desks in their own offices if you value the contributions of your remote workers.
2) Managers didn't have good processes in place to track work completion. If you don't have a ticketing system and use it religiously, work from home employees are bound for failure as they won't get recognized for accomplishments as much as in person workers and the managers will always have in the back of their heads "maybe that person is just dicking around all day."

Personally, I'll never work for another company that isn't 100% remote or 100% in office, the split is where things go wrong fast.

Next biggest lesson for me, have hobbies that involve other people even if it means spending money. It can get lonely just you and the dog and the tired spouse when he/she gets home.

We live in an RV full time while still working remotely. Check it out at http://therecklesschoice.com

MayDay

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Re: Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2017, 07:31:59 PM »
I did it and hated it. 

Having a totally separate space is strange advice to me, but obviously multiple people find it valuable!  I had my desk in the master bedroom.  H and I sleep in that room and literally do nothing in it from 6 am to 9 pm, so it worked great for an office.  I am tidy so I didn't have crap spilling all over the room.

The hard parts for me were:
-Lack of interaction and camaraderie with coworkers, and lack of interaction and direction from my boss.  It felt very isolated.  My boss was an extremely hands off manager, which overall is not bad!!!!  but when you work from home and you never see, talk to, or interact with other people from work, it can feel a combo of aimless, pointless, and unmotivating, if that makes sense. 
-Hard to stay on task- look there is laundry to fold!  Look my chickens are playing in the yard!  Look at my good book!  Just being in my home, I was distracted by all the non-work things. 

I got a normal office job after 6 months and I am thrilled.  Now my H is working from home and he hates it too.  We are both introverts, for the record.  Some people obviously love it, as you can see from the PP's.  I love it like one day a week, maybe 2, but not full time, I would never do full time again unless I was desperate.  And if I did I might go crazy and spend 500$ a month for a coworking space. 
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Dave1442397

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Re: Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2017, 07:31:30 AM »
I love it. I have a separate office, but nobody else is home most of the day anyway. The reduction in stress from not commuting is amazing (horrible commute - 30 miles each way, can vary from 40 mins up to 2.5 hours coming home).

Everyone works from home at least two days a week, so even if I venture into the office, chances are it's pretty empty. I also work with people scattered around the US plus an offshore crew that work until around 10am our time.

I can concentrate better at home than in the office, and I've never been late with a project.

StarBright

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Re: Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2017, 07:45:04 AM »
I've been working from home full time for 9 years while we move around the country for DH's job.

I loved it the first 3 years or so. I also lived close enough to commute into the office once a month for a few days. So I found I was much more productive and didn't have to deal with office politics and it was great.

The longer I do it and the farther I move from the office, the less I like it and I agree with MayDay about the isolation and lack of direction. I have enough to do that I'm always busy but what I find is that most people don't think to tell me when a priority has changed. I'm very much out of sight, out of mind.

My number one advice would be to make sure you leave the house every day. It is something I really struggle with and it adds to the isolation.

Poundwise

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Re: Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2017, 08:14:29 PM »
Most of my issues revolved around not having the house to myself.

However one bit of advice that could apply to you is:
Don't just compartmentalize your space, compartmentalize your time. In other words, pick a time of day after which you will NOT WORK.

I found it very hard to just turn off and stop working. As a result, I ended up being given more and more and more work... but being paid no overtime (because I was contracting)... until I burned out.

Syonyk

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Re: Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2017, 08:24:45 PM »
Yeah, that's one of the nice perks of my workspace being totally separate from my house - I simply can't do "work" when I'm in the house.  Not meaningfully.

One thing that I've found as well: The further I am along my path to "Eh, you know, I don't feel like doing that work... sorry, find someone else...", the easier it is to separate things out.  Back coming out of college and in early grad school, I was hungry for work, because, well, I was usually pretty close to being literally hungry.  You want to pay me?  Don't care what it is, yes, I'll learn how to do it and do it.  "Biking across town to Aldis to buy the bulk packs of ramen" level finances.  It did beat where I was working, but I had to pay someone an awful lot to take my lease. :/

Now?  I'm not FI, but I'm a lot further along, and have plenty of side projects going on that are interesting.  It's much easier for me to say "no" now.
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spokey doke

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Re: Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2017, 09:22:47 AM »
What are the biggest lessons you have learned and/or suggestions you would have for working from home?

For me, I would have the house to myself, so no distractions and am self motivated, so being productive would not be an issue. The industry I work in does not entail face to face meetings, so working remotely would also save me my existing commute time (approximately 1 hour each day).

No distractions???

If only (for me)...if I didn't have things that had to be done at a particular time each day, I could easily putter away hours doing stuff around the house, surfing the internet, playing with my dogs,...hmmm...what is in the pantry that looks good?...and on and on...
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isaakthepirate

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Re: Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2017, 12:02:17 PM »
I work from home only, and am fine with a desk in my bedroom (though I don't share a bedroom with my SO, so it's kind of an office space with a bed).

Biggest help for me is a regular routine of things that support me being happy/productive/creative. Here's mine:

- Journal every morning. Great brain dump and gets me focused, gets stuff "out of my head" and onto the page, into a list. (I'm actually following up on my "forum" note from today's pages). I used to have "oh shit, I totally forgot..." but now I never do. I've been doing 3 pages of handwritten journaling "morning pages" for about 7 years. I've skipped maybe a few dozen total days (including vacation) in all that time, and most months never miss a day because I value it so much.

- Read motivational books at breakfast. Since you're not around other people to pump you up (or drag you down), I found it useful to get advice, motivation and ideas from trusted reading every morning. I read at least 15m at breakfast, everything from Buddhist philosophy to sales training - anything that feels helpful to my work, productivity and creativity. Nonfiction in the morning, fiction at night.

- Block time. I find it best to work for about 60m solid without any distractions (web browsing), then take a break. Then I'll get up, maybe refill my tea, play a quick game or whatever for about 10-15m. Then dive back in for another hour. I use timers a lot. If I have something I'm really avoiding, I give myself a 15m timer, and quit after 15m unless I suddenly love it.

- Exercise Daily In my experience, I work more efficiently and densely than any time I worked in an office. I often need to blow off steam for focusing that much. I walk every day, outside of more rigorous exercise, to help integrate my learning and walk off the day.

- Meditate Too much to be said on this topic, but I couldn't live without this. Been sitting regularly for about 15 years and find new things to appreciate about it still.

- Checklist I literally have a checklist with all of these things, plus "What other successes did you do today?" to help acknowledge what I'm doing and see what's useful. I take notes on it, and it is actually super helpful if I feel like "I did nothing today," and then I fill out the checklist. Happy to send you my version if you want to modify it for yourself.


Roadrunner53

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Feedback from those who Work from Home Full Time
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2017, 01:47:06 PM »
Can some of you who are self employed share what you do to make money?

I have done ebay and it can almost be like a full time job. It is a time suck. I have gotten bored with it but need to start selling some house hold stuff again. I have looked for jobs on line but most are just scam stuff. If I am going to work, I want to make it worthwhile. I am very detail oriented and when I used to work, the last job I performed was technical writing. It was so interesting and I would get my head so wrapped around writing that I didn't want to go home because I was on a roll! Unfortunately, I have no degree for technical writing so there is no future doing that. If I had a do over in life, I would pursue a degree in that. Funny, I worked with engineers and ghost wrote their technical reports and most of them despised writing the details of their experiments. Strange, I loved it!