Work from home getting harder

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an_asker
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by an_asker »

Beach wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:20 pm I appreciate the wisdom on this forum, not really sure if its appropriate to bring it up but here it is.

I have been working from home since March because of the pandemic and it is continually getting harder and more time consuming. I feel that management is loading us with more tasks and more work than ever before. Is this the same for anybody else working from home who used to work in the office? I am finding it more and more difficult to keep working in this environment but didn't know if this is normal or what. I like the idea of working from home, but the blur between working and home life is getting fuzzier.
The biggest decision you can take is to allot X number of hours per day to your company and no more. Draw your boundary.

Yes, there will be the day or two when you will need to work late. Take it off the next day so folks around you understand cause and effect.

Of course, if you're in a rat race company where you might stand out like a sore thumb, this will be an issue. On the other hand, if you work at a place where extra effort is not rewarded and less effort isn't punished either, it is quite easy to do this!
MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

JBTX wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:08 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:59 pm
JBTX wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:52 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:26 pm OP,


If you do not know how to say no and block your non-working hour from working hours, it is going to be hard for you.


Learn to say no. Stop working in the non-office hours.


KlangFool

P.S.: I had worked from home and mostly from home for about 10+ years. I have no problem managing my hours. I know how to say no.
I agree with you conceptually, but sometimes easier said than done. Some do not take no for an answer. My last gig I said no and I no longer work there.

While time management and managing expectations is important, executives tend to favor those who do not say no, and those who say no eventually find themselves on the chopping block.
JBTX,


<< executives tend to favor those who do not say no,>>


1) Not all executives are equal. Some are more important than others.


2) If you say yes to everyone, you are bound to fail everyone.


<<I agree with you conceptually, but sometimes easier said than done.>>


3) Yes, it is not easy. But, if you don't, you are guaranteed to fail with poor health eventually.

This is the simple truth about the American workplace. If you are useful, you will be overworked until you say no. If you are too free, the laid-off is around the corner.


KlangFool
I don’t disagree. I’ve never been one to work long hours. I go to great lengths to increase productivity and efficiency, and it usually works. But the downsides of that are:

1. Some executives will just give you more
2. Some executives are impressed with butt in seat time
3. Some executives will just resist your efforts and planning and efficiency
4. To the extent you streamline and eliminate work, and don’t put in extra butt in seat time, you appear more expendable when those mandatory cuts come around.

The key for me, and I think you have said the same, is being prepared when that happened. The couple of times I was laid off mostly I just shrugged. We had plenty of reserves and wife had good second income.
Depending on the nature of work, it may be difficult to draw a line between on work and off work. I spend quite a time reading journal papers not directly related to my current work, but might be beneficial some day. Am I on work or off work?
MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

stoptothink wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:41 pm
IMO wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:27 pm Don't work from home. However, I will say, I've been EXTREMELY dissatisfied during this whole WFH thing with many of the services I've interacted. The customer service part has been horrendous. People don't seem to commit to actually sitting at a desk space and working from home, they just seem to want to go about their outside work lives during normal working hours, having you leave a voice message or maybe a text/email and get back to you at their leisure (if I'm lucky). Prior to the WFH craze, I never experienced this level of poor customer service.
I had employees ghost me for days (even weeks on a few occasions) - literally produce nothing, not show up for video calls, not respond to emails - and I was basically told by HR that there was nothing I could do. The experience made me take an internal transfer so I no longer had to be responsible for the productivity of individuals who for all intents and purposes refused to work while at home. My wife had two long-time co-workers let go because they did similar (produced nothing for weeks at a time, without any explanation). As someone formerly directing a large team, it's no different than the office: those who are productive will most likely continue to be, but those who weren't will likely become even less productive and it's more difficult for their superiors to do anything about it.

WFH really works for us personally, but I'll never accept a position where I have to manage WFH employees again.
"Work From-Home" is not "Work-Free Home". One of the reasons why wfh is so popular. :wink:
KlangFool
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by KlangFool »

JBTX wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:08 pm
4. To the extent you streamline and eliminate work, and don’t put in extra butt in seat time, you appear more expendable when those mandatory cuts come around.

The key for me, and I think you have said the same, is being prepared when that happened. The couple of times I was laid off mostly I just shrugged. We had plenty of reserves and wife had good second income.
JBTX,

We are all expendable. I would rather use my time and energy to learn new skill and capability than counting on someone to stand up for me during the laid off. In one of the rounds of laid off, my executive and the whole chain of command was laid off too. They were expendable too.

Balance is the key. Do enough. And, keep some time and energy for learning new skills and capabilities too.


KlangFool
KlangFool
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by KlangFool »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:15 pm
Depending on the nature of work, it may be difficult to draw a line between on work and off work. I spend quite a time reading journal papers not directly related to my current work, but might be beneficial some day. Am I on work or off work?
MathIsMyWayr,

If I am your boss, why should I care? As long as you did the work that I assigned to you in a timely fashion with good quality, why would I care what you do with the rest of your time?

Count the result/output. Not the time.


KlangFool
MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:32 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:15 pm
Depending on the nature of work, it may be difficult to draw a line between on work and off work. I spend quite a time reading journal papers not directly related to my current work, but might be beneficial some day. Am I on work or off work?
MathIsMyWayr,

If I am your boss, why should I care? As long as you did the work that I assigned to you in a timely fashion with good quality, why would I care what you do with the rest of your time?

Count the result/output. Not the time.


KlangFool
KlangFool,

Any boss can judge your work on previous assignments. What ultimately counts is not the past performance, but the prediction about how you will be productive in future unknown assignments. Will this guy be proactive and ready for new challenge? Or is he a programmed robot?
KlangFool
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by KlangFool »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:42 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:32 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:15 pm
Depending on the nature of work, it may be difficult to draw a line between on work and off work. I spend quite a time reading journal papers not directly related to my current work, but might be beneficial some day. Am I on work or off work?
MathIsMyWayr,

If I am your boss, why should I care? As long as you did the work that I assigned to you in a timely fashion with good quality, why would I care what you do with the rest of your time?

Count the result/output. Not the time.


KlangFool
KlangFool,

Any boss can judge your work on previous assignments. What ultimately counts is not the past performance, but the prediction about how you will be productive in future unknown assignments. Will this guy be proactive and ready for new challenge? Or is he a programmed robot?
MathIsMyWayr,

Why should I care? That may be good for your career and future. But, it is not my problem. My goal is to keep my job and make sure that you did my assignment now. As for the future, especially your future, it is not my concern.


Your boss is not looking out for your future. He/she may not be able to ensure their own future in the first place.


If you cannot do the future assignment, I just replace you with someone else. You have a problem. I as the manager do not have a problem.

KlangFool
MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:48 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:42 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:32 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:15 pm
Depending on the nature of work, it may be difficult to draw a line between on work and off work. I spend quite a time reading journal papers not directly related to my current work, but might be beneficial some day. Am I on work or off work?
MathIsMyWayr,

If I am your boss, why should I care? As long as you did the work that I assigned to you in a timely fashion with good quality, why would I care what you do with the rest of your time?

Count the result/output. Not the time.


KlangFool
KlangFool,

Any boss can judge your work on previous assignments. What ultimately counts is not the past performance, but the prediction about how you will be productive in future unknown assignments. Will this guy be proactive and ready for new challenge? Or is he a programmed robot?
MathIsMyWayr,

Why should I care? That may be good for your career and future. But, it is not my problem. My goal is to keep my job and make sure that you did my assignment now. As for the future, especially your future, it is not my concern.


Your boss is not looking out for your future. He/she may not be able to ensure their own future in the first place.


If you cannot do the future assignment, I just replace you with someone else. You have a problem. I as the manager do not have a problem.

KlangFool
True in a construction site. The best strategy is to keep you and your boss in the same boat. Show your boss you are also a good choice for the future assignment.
Last edited by MathIsMyWayr on Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
KlangFool
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by KlangFool »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:52 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:48 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:42 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:32 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:15 pm
Depending on the nature of work, it may be difficult to draw a line between on work and off work. I spend quite a time reading journal papers not directly related to my current work, but might be beneficial some day. Am I on work or off work?
MathIsMyWayr,

If I am your boss, why should I care? As long as you did the work that I assigned to you in a timely fashion with good quality, why would I care what you do with the rest of your time?

Count the result/output. Not the time.


KlangFool
KlangFool,

Any boss can judge your work on previous assignments. What ultimately counts is not the past performance, but the prediction about how you will be productive in future unknown assignments. Will this guy be proactive and ready for new challenge? Or is he a programmed robot?
MathIsMyWayr,

Why should I care? That may be good for your career and future. But, it is not my problem. My goal is to keep my job and make sure that you did my assignment now. As for the future, especially your future, it is not my concern.


Your boss is not looking out for your future. He/she may not be able to ensure their own future in the first place.


If you cannot do the future assignment, I just replace you with someone else. You have a problem. I as the manager do not have a problem.

KlangFool
I=you, same guy.
You have one or more bosses that you need to report to. If you run a business, you need to answer to your customers.

KlangFool
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wander
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by wander »

I am more productive working from home than at workplace and I like it very much.
Exchme
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by Exchme »

Gattamelata wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:17 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:44 pm
finite_difference wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:28 pm Any tips for how to go about saying no?

Like, I’m too busy right now but could help manage it if we hire another person to work on that project or help me with this other project?

Or do you just say “No.”?
finite_difference,

I am working on X and Y now. If you want me to work on Z, it will not be done until time A.


If you are not going to give me a priority, I will work on Z whenever I finish X and Y. I do not know when I will get around to work on Z.


When they cannot stand on getting Z late, they will either drop Z or find someone else to work on Z.

If the person asking is not your manager, ask them to talk to your manager first. Or, forward the request to your manager and explain what else that you are working on.

KlangFool

P.S.: On my last job, no one can ask me to work anything until they give me an account to bill on. And, I can only bill 40 hours per week.
This is good advice generally. In my experience, the discipline of discussing task priority with my manager is valuable and an excellent habit to get into; not only when new tasks are introduced, but at check-ins and 1:1s and such as well. I like knowing that my work is aligned with my manager's priorities, and I like being able to speak knowledgeably about what my manager values at the moment.

I have had some managers who weren't especially organized who appreciated the exercise for their own benefit, too - it helped them to think through what was most important to them. In the event that anybody else complained about what I chose to work on, my manager was then equipped to shut them down without having to consider it first.
This is really good advice, openly discuss what your understanding of the priorities were, your best estimate of how long the tasks will take and try to work collaboratively with your boss on resetting priorities. Depending on your job, the degree of completeness is often a variable that can be used to keep more balls in the air, for instance, maybe they only need a rough draft/quick review right away. Your boss has a boss and everyone is reacting to new business conditions all the time, so plans changing is normal, this will help everyone make plans around the most important things done to the right level of detail. If your boss just tells you it is all a top priority, then you know your boss is a fool, because clearly something is at the top of the list. But since the fool can fire you, you would need to figure out a way to transfer or leave as soon as you can.
smitcat
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by smitcat »

KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:55 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:52 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:48 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:42 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:32 pm

MathIsMyWayr,

If I am your boss, why should I care? As long as you did the work that I assigned to you in a timely fashion with good quality, why would I care what you do with the rest of your time?

Count the result/output. Not the time.


KlangFool
KlangFool,

Any boss can judge your work on previous assignments. What ultimately counts is not the past performance, but the prediction about how you will be productive in future unknown assignments. Will this guy be proactive and ready for new challenge? Or is he a programmed robot?
MathIsMyWayr,

Why should I care? That may be good for your career and future. But, it is not my problem. My goal is to keep my job and make sure that you did my assignment now. As for the future, especially your future, it is not my concern.


Your boss is not looking out for your future. He/she may not be able to ensure their own future in the first place.


If you cannot do the future assignment, I just replace you with someone else. You have a problem. I as the manager do not have a problem.

KlangFool
I=you, same guy.
You have one or more bosses that you need to report to. If you run a business, you need to answer to your customers.

KlangFool
If you run your own business you answer to yourself - then you receive the customers you deserve.
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wander
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by wander »

KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:44 pm
finite_difference wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:28 pm Any tips for how to go about saying no?

Like, I’m too busy right now but could help manage it if we hire another person to work on that project or help me with this other project?

Or do you just say “No.”?
finite_difference,

I am working on X and Y now. If you want me to work on Z, it will not be done until time A.


If you are not going to give me a priority, I will work on Z whenever I finish X and Y. I do not know when I will get around to work on Z.


When they cannot stand on getting Z late, they will either drop Z or find someone else to work on Z.

If the person asking is not your manager, ask them to talk to your manager first. Or, forward the request to your manager and explain what else that you are working on.

KlangFool

P.S.: On my last job, no one can ask me to work anything until they give me an account to bill on. And, I can only bill 40 hours per week.
I don't know about you. But for me, I always have an account to charge on. If I have to ask someone to give me an account to bill on every time, that means the job is not stable and I am ready to find another one.
stan1
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by stan1 »

I have several employees (new to work from home since March, 2020) who think they are being more productive. They are focusing on their specific work, talking to their direct team members, and not openly talking to their customers or manager (me). They are behind schedule and not meeting customer requirements. I'm sure the 1%ers at FAANG company are doing better, but the people who don't even get interviews at those companies do have jobs and are still developing advanced skills necessary to work this way. I have some employees who flexed very well to WFH, some who are learning with me (as a manager), and others want to be free agents who do what they want. I'm working on their replacements.
Last edited by stan1 on Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Petrocelli
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by Petrocelli »

I go to my office every day. I like having the separation between work and home. Also, I can get much more work done at my office.

I think working from home is harder to start with.
Petrocelli (not the real Rico, but just a fan)
tim1999
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by tim1999 »

My experience has been the opposite of the OP. Without the distractions and inefficiencies of a large office, I am able to get my weekly work done in about 25 hours and spend the rest of the time doing things I enjoy instead.

If my employer doesn't go permanent WFH when COVID blows over, I'm going to go work for a company that does.
MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

wander wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:29 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:44 pm
finite_difference wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:28 pm Any tips for how to go about saying no?

Like, I’m too busy right now but could help manage it if we hire another person to work on that project or help me with this other project?

Or do you just say “No.”?
finite_difference,

I am working on X and Y now. If you want me to work on Z, it will not be done until time A.


If you are not going to give me a priority, I will work on Z whenever I finish X and Y. I do not know when I will get around to work on Z.


When they cannot stand on getting Z late, they will either drop Z or find someone else to work on Z.

If the person asking is not your manager, ask them to talk to your manager first. Or, forward the request to your manager and explain what else that you are working on.

KlangFool

P.S.: On my last job, no one can ask me to work anything until they give me an account to bill on. And, I can only bill 40 hours per week.
I don't know about you. But for me, I always have an account to charge on. If I have to ask someone to give me an account to bill on every time, that means the job is not stable and I am ready to find another one.
Nothing to do with job security. It depends on the policy of your employer. Government contracts require proper charging by 1/10 h, at least it used to.
an_asker
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by an_asker »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:15 pm [...]
Depending on the nature of work, it may be difficult to draw a line between on work and off work. I spend quite a time reading journal papers not directly related to my current work, but might be beneficial some day. Am I on work or off work?
I believe per the thread, the issue is if you didn't do this pre WFH but now - because of WFH - you doing this. Are you?
MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

an_asker wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:00 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:15 pm [...]
Depending on the nature of work, it may be difficult to draw a line between on work and off work. I spend quite a time reading journal papers not directly related to my current work, but might be beneficial some day. Am I on work or off work?
I believe per the thread, the issue is if you didn't do this pre WFH but now - because of WFH - you doing this. Are you?
I did more pre WFH mainly because of the availability of color printers at work. Journals mean technical journals.
KlangFool
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by KlangFool »

wander wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:29 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:44 pm
finite_difference wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:28 pm Any tips for how to go about saying no?

Like, I’m too busy right now but could help manage it if we hire another person to work on that project or help me with this other project?

Or do you just say “No.”?
finite_difference,

I am working on X and Y now. If you want me to work on Z, it will not be done until time A.


If you are not going to give me a priority, I will work on Z whenever I finish X and Y. I do not know when I will get around to work on Z.


When they cannot stand on getting Z late, they will either drop Z or find someone else to work on Z.

If the person asking is not your manager, ask them to talk to your manager first. Or, forward the request to your manager and explain what else that you are working on.

KlangFool

P.S.: On my last job, no one can ask me to work anything until they give me an account to bill on. And, I can only bill 40 hours per week.
I don't know about you. But for me, I always have an account to charge on. If I have to ask someone to give me an account to bill on every time, that means the job is not stable and I am ready to find another one.
It is not stable. I am unemployed now.


KlangFool
an_asker
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by an_asker »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:08 pm
an_asker wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:00 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:15 pm [...]
Depending on the nature of work, it may be difficult to draw a line between on work and off work. I spend quite a time reading journal papers not directly related to my current work, but might be beneficial some day. Am I on work or off work?
I believe per the thread, the issue is if you didn't do this pre WFH but now - because of WFH - you are doing this. Are you?
I did more pre WFH mainly because of the availability of color printers at work. Journals mean technical journals.
I realized they were technical. But if you were doing more pre WFH, then you are now definitely "work"ing less post Covid WFH!
athenslb57
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by athenslb57 »

GG1273 wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:46 pm
checkyourmath wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:40 pm WFH is a joke. I would quit my job in a heartbeat if this was the new normal. I thrive off human interaction not a bunch of emails and meetings.
I'm exactly the opposite! Couldn't stand the mindless chatter or hearing the same story 11 times in 2 hours as "neighbors" friends would stop by.
Before the pandemic, I would get up from the shared space and move to a different floor with no one on it.

We, though, are on video chats as I work w/people all over the country.
I decided to stay on instead of retire as I was planning, can pick and choose a different time if the situation changes.

I hope it works out for you.
I feel the same way. Much easier to get things done without the mindless chatter.
an_asker
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by an_asker »

KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:18 pm [...]
[...]
[...]
When they cannot stand on getting Z late, they will either drop Z or find someone else to work on Z.

If the person asking is not your manager, ask them to talk to your manager first. Or, forward the request to your manager and explain what else that you are working on.

KlangFool

P.S.: On my last job, no one can ask me to work anything until they give me an account to bill on. And, I can only bill 40 hours per week.
I don't know about you. But for me, I always have an account to charge on. If I have to ask someone to give me an account to bill on every time, that means the job is not stable and I am ready to find another one.
It is not stable. I am unemployed now.


KlangFool
KlangFool:

With due respect, I am glad you are out of that toxic environment. I had a similar job when I first worked after grad school. Only "billable" hours counted. And they used to give you (OK, me) 50 hours of work that I could only bill 30 hours for, then complained about my not being 100% "billable".

I couldn't wait to quit the place. The company used to provide consulting services to government agencies, which meant that we couldn't - for conflict of interest reasons - work for private companies that would pay way more for less work. And the competition between firms like ours used to be cut-throat to get the limited jobs from the government agencies.
MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

an_asker wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:44 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:08 pm
an_asker wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:00 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:15 pm [...]
Depending on the nature of work, it may be difficult to draw a line between on work and off work. I spend quite a time reading journal papers not directly related to my current work, but might be beneficial some day. Am I on work or off work?
I believe per the thread, the issue is if you didn't do this pre WFH but now - because of WFH - you are doing this. Are you?
I did more pre WFH mainly because of the availability of color printers at work. Journals mean technical journals.
I realized they were technical. But if you were doing more pre WFH, then you are now definitely "work"ing less post Covid WFH!
Possibly. As I indicated earlier, the extened wfh makes it difficult to stay motivated The off-work self education related to work needs motivation. It requires a high level of concentration.
KlangFool
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by KlangFool »

an_asker wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:52 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:18 pm [...]
[...]
[...]
When they cannot stand on getting Z late, they will either drop Z or find someone else to work on Z.

If the person asking is not your manager, ask them to talk to your manager first. Or, forward the request to your manager and explain what else that you are working on.

KlangFool

P.S.: On my last job, no one can ask me to work anything until they give me an account to bill on. And, I can only bill 40 hours per week.
I don't know about you. But for me, I always have an account to charge on. If I have to ask someone to give me an account to bill on every time, that means the job is not stable and I am ready to find another one.
It is not stable. I am unemployed now.


KlangFool
KlangFool:

With due respect, I am glad you are out of that toxic environment. I had a similar job when I first worked after grad school. Only "billable" hours counted. And they used to give you (OK, me) 50 hours of work that I could only bill 30 hours for, then complained about my not being 100% "billable".

I couldn't wait to quit the place. The company used to provide consulting services to government agencies, which meant that we couldn't - for conflict of interest reasons - work for private companies that would pay way more for less work. And the competition between firms like ours used to be cut-throat to get the limited jobs from the government agencies.
an_asker,

It is not that bad when I had a long-term project that booked my full 40 hours for a few years. But, when that project completed and my follow-on project was canceled due to COVID, I was laid off.


KlangFool
an_asker
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by an_asker »

KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:59 pm [...]
an_asker,

It is not that bad when I had a long-term project that booked my full 40 hours for a few years. But, when that project completed and my follow-on project was canceled due to COVID, I was laid off.


KlangFool
We didn't have any multi-year projects. But we did have a couple that extended a few months. As I was an new immigrant, I didn't realize that money is made by jumping ship when pickings are slim. I thought loyalty works. Not!!

That sucks - about Covid and layoff. Hope you get back up quickly! :sharebeer
KlangFool
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by KlangFool »

an_asker wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:19 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:59 pm [...]
an_asker,

It is not that bad when I had a long-term project that booked my full 40 hours for a few years. But, when that project completed and my follow-on project was canceled due to COVID, I was laid off.


KlangFool
We didn't have any multi-year projects. But we did have a couple that extended a few months. As I was an new immigrant, I didn't realize that money is made by jumping ship when pickings are slim. I thought loyalty works. Not!!

That sucks - about Covid and layoff. Hope you get back up quickly! :sharebeer


Thanks. I had reached my Financial Independence number. I will be fine one way or another.

KlangFool
HawkeyePierce
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by HawkeyePierce »

I have greatly enjoyed taking mid-afternoon naps. :happy

My company has adapted well. We hired hundreds more engineers in 2020 and are gearing up for a thousand more.
tiburblium
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by tiburblium »

How does your company manage the workstream today? If there is no tool or system in place today, you will need to do this for yourself so you can let your boss know when you are at capacity and what your status is

I am not following how WFH plays a role here, how does sitting in the same building with your boss solve this problem for you?
finite_difference
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by finite_difference »

KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:44 pm
finite_difference wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:28 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:26 pm OP,


If you do not know how to say no and block your non-working hour from working hours, it is going to be hard for you.


Learn to say no. Stop working in the non-office hours.


KlangFool

P.S.: I had worked from home and mostly from home for about 10+ years. I have no problem managing my hours. I know how to say no.
Any tips for how to go about saying no?

Like, I’m too busy right now but could help manage it if we hire another person to work on that project or help me with this other project?

Or do you just say “No.”?
finite_difference,

I am working on X and Y now. If you want me to work on Z, it will not be done until time A.


If you are not going to give me a priority, I will work on Z whenever I finish X and Y. I do not know when I will get around to work on Z.


When they cannot stand on getting Z late, they will either drop Z or find someone else to work on Z.

If the person asking is not your manager, ask them to talk to your manager first. Or, forward the request to your manager and explain what else that you are working on.

KlangFool

P.S.: On my last job, no one can ask me to work anything until they give me an account to bill on. And, I can only bill 40 hours per week.
Thank you! Great advice.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh
Valuethinker
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by Valuethinker »

Beach wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:20 pm I appreciate the wisdom on this forum, not really sure if its appropriate to bring it up but here it is.

I have been working from home since March because of the pandemic and it is continually getting harder and more time consuming. I feel that management is loading us with more tasks and more work than ever before. Is this the same for anybody else working from home who used to work in the office? I am finding it more and more difficult to keep working in this environment but didn't know if this is normal or what. I like the idea of working from home, but the blur between working and home life is getting fuzzier.
In theory I gained 2-2.5 hours a day by not commuting. Say 10 hours a week.

In practice, I am working those additional hours. I know my productivity is lower.

Post Covid-19, management is talking about 2 days at home, 3 days at work as the "norm". I somehow doubt they will give us 6 hours less of work to do a week.
Pandemic Bangs
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by Pandemic Bangs »

KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:26 pm
Learn to say no. Stop working in the non-office hours.
I know I have been less respectful of these boundaries lately. I may fire off an email on Friday afternoon that, in the old days, would not even be seen until Monday AM (no one had "work" laptops or could even access our system from home). Now I think I may be creating stress over folks' weekends. I try to clarify that I do not expect a response let alone task completion -- I just don't want to risk forgetting to get the word out.

I do think that presence-in-the-office had been a decent proxy for productivity (I know that is not accurate) so there is some suspicion around what is happening at home. I think it is helpful to have some rough numbers at hand -- "On a typical day, I complete x instances of task y, field 20 calls, and respond to or triage 100 emails, etc." Just saying "I work x hours at home" is not the same as showing that you worked x hours in the office, imo.
Wait 'til I get my money right | Then you can't tell me nothing, right?
Mudpuppy
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by Mudpuppy »

Beach wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:20 pm I have been working from home since March because of the pandemic and it is continually getting harder and more time consuming. I feel that management is loading us with more tasks and more work than ever before. Is this the same for anybody else working from home who used to work in the office? I am finding it more and more difficult to keep working in this environment but didn't know if this is normal or what. I like the idea of working from home, but the blur between working and home life is getting fuzzier.
I track my time and the last half of 2020 was the MOST time I have ever put in at my job. At Thanksgiving, I came to the realization that the long work hours were having physical and psychological implications after watching a video on YouTube where the person described their body having panic attacks separately from their conscious mind. I wasn't quite to that point, but all the warning signs were there.

So I told my bosses I was pumping the brakes. I showed them the data I had gathered on how work was consuming almost every waking weekday hour, except when I took breaks for meals or caregiving, and consuming a large number of weekend hours. I told them I was applying limitations to my work hours: no more weekend or late night hours just to make arbitrary deadlines.

I received a long vacation after turning in a project right before Christmas (and that project ended up half a day late with the pumping of the proverbial brakes, but still completed). I just returned back to work this past week and the pace, so far, has been reasonable. There is still one project from last year that was deemed non-critical that I'll need to work on, in addition to the projects for the new year, but it's still considered low-priority, so it can be put off longer if necessary.

I'll temper this personal anecdote with the caveat that I'm a state worker in a union-protected position, and it very much would have been a valid union grievance had I filed about the hours being put in to meet arbitrary deadlines. So my bosses' reactions might not translate to private industry. However, if your boss seems to be a decent human being who has shown some level of empathy with their workers, let them know you have too much on your plate and need help prioritizing projects.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by unclescrooge »

stoptothink wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:27 pm
GG1273 wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:46 pm
checkyourmath wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:40 pm WFH is a joke. I would quit my job in a heartbeat if this was the new normal. I thrive off human interaction not a bunch of emails and meetings.
I'm exactly the opposite! Couldn't stand the mindless chatter or hearing the same story 11 times in 2 hours as "neighbors" friends would stop by.
Before the pandemic, I would get up from the shared space and move to a different floor with no one on it.

We, though, are on video chats as I work w/people all over the country.
I decided to stay on instead of retire as I was planning, can pick and choose a different time if the situation changes.

I hope it works out for you.

I love the complete autonomy I have now and the social aspect of the office was just another hassle for me. The wife has struggled, as she was very close to her team and she is more of a social animal than I am. From a productivity standpoint, both of us have thrived (with two young kids at home), while many of our employees and colleagues have struggled - to say the least. Both of us agree that it would be really difficult to return.
I was WFH for five years prior to covid-19.

I never requested it, but everytime my boss changed, I stopped going to work another day a week. Eventually is became 100% and no one ever thought to question anything as the new boss just thought this was how things always were. :twisted:

Putting in face time is only good in those professions where attendence is valued over performance. Otherwise, it's mostly a huge time-suck.
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TheAccountant
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by TheAccountant »

I spoke with HR at one of our regional Accounting firms and she said the #1 reason provided why applicants are looking for a new job is that they do not like working from home.
flyingcows
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by flyingcows »

TheAccountant wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 3:48 pm I spoke with HR at one of our regional Accounting firms and she said the #1 reason provided why applicants are looking for a new job is that they do not like working from home.
How strange, but to each their own.

Some of the young people I work with expressed interest in going back to the office, but in these cases it was mostly because they had room mates and a less than ideal WFH office setup. These were also the few people who lived intown and within walking distance to the office. Maybe just offer wework access to people in this situation, make it optional as a sort of win/win solution and ditch the office real estate
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TheAccountant
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by TheAccountant »

Having been on both sides of the matter, I can see their point.

I was happiest with a hybrid approach. WFH one or two days a week, and in the office the remaining days.

WFH full-time takes away the sense of camaraderie. Zoom meetings aren't the same as seeing people in person.

Office full-time leads to faster burnout. Sometimes the daily grind of sitting in traffic, the weather, dealing with people, etc. can be a bit overwhelming.

Hybrid seems to be the sweet spot.

Everyone is different, but that's how I feel as an Accountant working through all of this.
finite_difference
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by finite_difference »

KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:18 pm
wander wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:29 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:44 pm
finite_difference wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:28 pm Any tips for how to go about saying no?

Like, I’m too busy right now but could help manage it if we hire another person to work on that project or help me with this other project?

Or do you just say “No.”?
finite_difference,

I am working on X and Y now. If you want me to work on Z, it will not be done until time A.


If you are not going to give me a priority, I will work on Z whenever I finish X and Y. I do not know when I will get around to work on Z.


When they cannot stand on getting Z late, they will either drop Z or find someone else to work on Z.

If the person asking is not your manager, ask them to talk to your manager first. Or, forward the request to your manager and explain what else that you are working on.

KlangFool

P.S.: On my last job, no one can ask me to work anything until they give me an account to bill on. And, I can only bill 40 hours per week.
I don't know about you. But for me, I always have an account to charge on. If I have to ask someone to give me an account to bill on every time, that means the job is not stable and I am ready to find another one.
It is not stable. I am unemployed now.


KlangFool
If you are FI are you really unemployed? Also, I think you are doing an admirable “job” in extolling sage advice to new Bogleheads. I, for one, am grateful for your many insightful posts. The pay might just not be what you’re used to ;)
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh
KlangFool
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by KlangFool »

finite_difference wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 1:48 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:18 pm
wander wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:29 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:44 pm
finite_difference wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:28 pm Any tips for how to go about saying no?

Like, I’m too busy right now but could help manage it if we hire another person to work on that project or help me with this other project?

Or do you just say “No.”?
finite_difference,

I am working on X and Y now. If you want me to work on Z, it will not be done until time A.


If you are not going to give me a priority, I will work on Z whenever I finish X and Y. I do not know when I will get around to work on Z.


When they cannot stand on getting Z late, they will either drop Z or find someone else to work on Z.

If the person asking is not your manager, ask them to talk to your manager first. Or, forward the request to your manager and explain what else that you are working on.

KlangFool

P.S.: On my last job, no one can ask me to work anything until they give me an account to bill on. And, I can only bill 40 hours per week.
I don't know about you. But for me, I always have an account to charge on. If I have to ask someone to give me an account to bill on every time, that means the job is not stable and I am ready to find another one.
It is not stable. I am unemployed now.


KlangFool
If you are FI are you really unemployed? Also, I think you are doing an admirable “job” in extolling sage advice to new Bogleheads. I, for one, am grateful for your many insightful posts. The pay might just not be what you’re used to ;)
finite_difference,


A person could be FI and unemployed if the person is still looking for employment. When the person stops looking, then, the person would be Retired Early (FIRE).

<<The pay might just not be what you’re used to ;)>>


Not sure what do you mean by that. My portfolio is up about 30K YTD. At this rate, my portfolio growth will be several times my previous gross pay.


KlangFool
New Providence
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by New Providence »

Have you considered renting individual office space to utilize until returning to the bigger office? Some regions of the USA have seen significant drop in the price of rental space.
You probably don't need much space, but could find an inexpensive lease to show up to work and ease the workload.

I think in the future some people will organize "pods" to replace the office being unavailable. Something similar to "pods" organized by parents to send their kids when schools closed down.
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by KlangFool »

New Providence wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:15 pm Have you considered renting individual office space to utilize until returning to the bigger office? Some regions of the USA have seen significant drop in the price of rental space.
You probably don't need much space, but could find an inexpensive lease to show up to work and ease the workload.

I think in the future some people will organize "pods" to replace the office being unavailable. Something similar to "pods" organized by parents to send their kids when schools closed down.
New Providence,

I believe that something like this had existed now. Please check out the following sites:

https://www.wework.com/

https://www.instantoffices.com/en-us/us


Is this what you are referring to? Or, something else?


KlangFool
New Providence
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by New Providence »

KlangFool wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:29 pm
New Providence wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:15 pm Have you considered renting individual office space to utilize until returning to the bigger office? Some regions of the USA have seen significant drop in the price of rental space.
You probably don't need much space, but could find an inexpensive lease to show up to work and ease the workload.

I think in the future some people will organize "pods" to replace the office being unavailable. Something similar to "pods" organized by parents to send their kids when schools closed down.
New Providence,

I believe that something like this had existed now. Please check out the following sites:

https://www.wework.com/

https://www.instantoffices.com/en-us/us


Is this what you are referring to? Or, something else?


KlangFool
KF,
yes, that's it. I hear of many MegaCorps reducing office space and having employees return only part time. I think that those options you list will be important for employees requiring 5-day a week office.
an_asker
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by an_asker »

KlangFool wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:03 pm [...]
My portfolio is up about 30K YTD.
[...]
KlangFool
Wow! That's marvellous on a 60/40 split!! :sharebeer
KlangFool
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by KlangFool »

New Providence wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:41 pm
KlangFool wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:29 pm
New Providence wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:15 pm Have you considered renting individual office space to utilize until returning to the bigger office? Some regions of the USA have seen significant drop in the price of rental space.
You probably don't need much space, but could find an inexpensive lease to show up to work and ease the workload.

I think in the future some people will organize "pods" to replace the office being unavailable. Something similar to "pods" organized by parents to send their kids when schools closed down.
New Providence,

I believe that something like this had existed now. Please check out the following sites:

https://www.wework.com/

https://www.instantoffices.com/en-us/us


Is this what you are referring to? Or, something else?


KlangFool
KF,
yes, that's it. I hear of many MegaCorps reducing office space and having employees return only part time. I think that those options you list will be important for employees requiring 5-day a week office.

My local library offers their meeting room for free too.

KlangFool
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Elsebet
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by Elsebet »

TheAccountant wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 4:34 pm Having been on both sides of the matter, I can see their point.

I was happiest with a hybrid approach. WFH one or two days a week, and in the office the remaining days.

WFH full-time takes away the sense of camaraderie. Zoom meetings aren't the same as seeing people in person.

Office full-time leads to faster burnout. Sometimes the daily grind of sitting in traffic, the weather, dealing with people, etc. can be a bit overwhelming.

Hybrid seems to be the sweet spot.

Everyone is different, but that's how I feel as an Accountant working through all of this.
100% agree. My last company had 2 days remote/3 days in the office and i loved it. I like getting out of the house a few days a week and seeing people, going to lunch, taking different routes for daily walks, and patronizing a different set of businesses than I normally do. I feel weirdly disconnected WFH full-time, as if I don't really exist fully in the world. The remote days are a great break for quiet work where I need to heavily concentrate or take training in a quiet atmosphere.
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca
smitcat
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Re: Work from home getting harder

Post by smitcat »

Elsebet wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:00 pm
TheAccountant wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 4:34 pm Having been on both sides of the matter, I can see their point.

I was happiest with a hybrid approach. WFH one or two days a week, and in the office the remaining days.

WFH full-time takes away the sense of camaraderie. Zoom meetings aren't the same as seeing people in person.

Office full-time leads to faster burnout. Sometimes the daily grind of sitting in traffic, the weather, dealing with people, etc. can be a bit overwhelming.

Hybrid seems to be the sweet spot.

Everyone is different, but that's how I feel as an Accountant working through all of this.
100% agree. My last company had 2 days remote/3 days in the office and i loved it. I like getting out of the house a few days a week and seeing people, going to lunch, taking different routes for daily walks, and patronizing a different set of businesses than I normally do. I feel weirdly disconnected WFH full-time, as if I don't really exist fully in the world. The remote days are a great break for quiet work where I need to heavily concentrate or take training in a quiet atmosphere.
"I feel weirdly disconnected WFH full-time, as if I don't really exist fully in the world."
Agreed - I also find it is much easier to seperate (layoff) persons when they are never physically in the office/worksite.
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