Tips on working from home

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sawhorse
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Tips on working from home

Post by sawhorse » Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:47 am

There's a chance that my husband's company will tell employees to work from home. One of his co-workers was at an event with someone who tested positive for coronavirus. They'll still have to meet deadlines and participate in conference calls.

Can anyone who has successfully worked from home provide tips on staying focused and productive?

We live in a small apartment, so he'll have to work from the main room. We have no children or pets.

RandomPointer
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Re: Tips on working from home

Post by RandomPointer » Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:56 am


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Noobvestor
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Re: Tips on working from home

Post by Noobvestor » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:05 am

Well, as I told my brother when I emailed him this afternoon from my typical no-pants midday work situation: you get used to it!

But I hear from people who aren't used to it: keep your routines as much as possible, separate work/play spaces as much as possible, and to the extent that you're used to spending time commuting, replace that with walking or something similarly safe and innocuous. Also, if you don't already, buy a separate work desk (it can literally be a $20 IKEA table, doesn't matter) for work-only purposes. This helps a lot, for me at least.
Last edited by Noobvestor on Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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investing engineer
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Re: Tips on working from home

Post by investing engineer » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:07 am

I'm also in a similar situation. It doesn't seem any different, and there isn't really any special tips: we just stick to each of our own desks...

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unclescrooge
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Re: Tips on working from home

Post by unclescrooge » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:12 am

Get a big screen monitor, if used to one at work.

medic
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Re: Tips on working from home

Post by medic » Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:50 am

some tips:

get familiar with the video conference software the company uses

get a webcam - it helps when other people can see you and forces you to get dressed in the AM (e.g keeping a routine). Some apps have a feature that will blur the background so people aren't looking into your home. If not, setup your workspace so your back is to a wall.

get a good mic and headset so you can communicate easily

manage your hours - while some people find it easy to get distracted, this usually wears off after a few days when you realize deadlines are still coming up. the bigger issue is that it's hard to turn off since work is "right there". A lot of people work longer hours or feel they need to respond right away to signal that you're working and not goofing. Set boundaries.

to stay focused - set goals on what's going to get done each day. this is a tactic even while in the office, but it's more important at home to keep you accountable to yourself

Freetime76
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Re: Tips on working from home

Post by Freetime76 » Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:55 pm

I worked from home for 2 years, analytical-type work. The biggest issue was getting my family (husband :shock: ) to understand that “just asking me a quick question” a bunch of times a day blew my ability to concentrate all day long... :wink: . The second biggest issue was learning that no, you can’t come ask me said question when I’m on a conference call and presenting or if it’s not muted.

Replace the work at work routines with home ones. Examples:
- Designate a location for working. Set up your papers, laptop, whatever. Put away at the end of the day.
- Shower, shave, dress for the day.
- Keep a schedule, including breaks
- Make a rule for when no interruptions- if family talks to you and texts 5 times a day, choose times for those things. Just like at the office, interruptions eat up your concentration and productivity. If you can do this, maybe you can have more breaks :D because you’ll get more done in less time.
- Get up often to walk or move around. Don’t just sit rooted to the sofa all day.
- If you have important meetings on video conference, check the WiFi speed (and lightingif they need to see you) ahead of time.

Ultimately, you’ll have more time in your day!

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Sandtrap
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Re: Tips on working from home

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:58 pm

sawhorse wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:47 am
There's a chance that my husband's company will tell employees to work from home. One of his co-workers was at an event with someone who tested positive for coronavirus. They'll still have to meet deadlines and participate in conference calls.

Can anyone who has successfully worked from home provide tips on staying focused and productive?

We live in a small apartment, so he'll have to work from the main room. We have no children or pets.
Considerations:
1 A dedicated private area helps greatly, (spare room?)
2 Stick to a schedule, like going to work, no interruptions, no distractions, don't mix house tasks with work.
3 Accept that it may take more hours or less hours of work to accomplish the same tasks as at work.

j :happy
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TxAg
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Re: Tips on working from home

Post by TxAg » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:15 pm

Easy. Don't turn on the tv.

chw
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Re: Tips on working from home

Post by chw » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:21 pm

i worked from home successfully for 12 years. For me, I set up a home office space that was away from the rest of the home so I could focus on the tasks at hand without distraction or interruption. If you live in a smallish apartment with only 2 people, and I think you said a dog, I would seek to partition off a part of the bedroom with a small desk/workspace/chair, and leave you the main living space- otherwise, even though you try to remain quiet, he will continue to see you walking thru, the dog doing what dogs do, etc. Everyone is able to blot out the outside differently, but I found have a dedicated space for work let me achieve at the highest level- actually higher than when I was working in an office.

Tdubs
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Re: Tips on working from home

Post by Tdubs » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:24 pm

Freetime76 wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:55 pm
I worked from home for 2 years, analytical-type work. The biggest issue was getting my family (husband :shock: ) to understand that “just asking me a quick question” a bunch of times a day blew my ability to concentrate all day long... :wink: . The second biggest issue was learning that no, you can’t come ask me said question when I’m on a conference call and presenting or if it’s not muted.

Replace the work at work routines with home ones. Examples:
- Designate a location for working. Set up your papers, laptop, whatever. Put away at the end of the day.
- Shower, shave, dress for the day.
- Keep a schedule, including breaks
- Make a rule for when no interruptions- if family talks to you and texts 5 times a day, choose times for those things. Just like at the office, interruptions eat up your concentration and productivity. If you can do this, maybe you can have more breaks :D because you’ll get more done in less time.
- Get up often to walk or move around. Don’t just sit rooted to the sofa all day.
- If you have important meetings on video conference, check the WiFi speed (and lightingif they need to see you) ahead of time.

Ultimately, you’ll have more time in your day!
All this. I was really astonished that my family did not accept that I was really working, and they were irritated at my exasperation at their interruptions. Requests that I do errands or attend to minor household issues only stopped after angry confrontations. You have to be firm from the get-go.

3feetpete
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Re: Tips on working from home

Post by 3feetpete » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:38 pm

I worked from home and found I was more productive. No doorway conversations about football etc.

One piece of advice is that you make it apparent to your employer that you are indeed being productive. Some managers not in tune with remote working will automatically suspect that people will take advantage of it. Frequent emails, calls, spreadsheets or other work products spaced throughout the workday will let them know that you are working diligently.

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