19 votes

Work From Home (WFH) Thread - March 16th, 2020

I suspect many of you are, like me, working from home today and in the near future. I thought that it might be nice to have a single thread where we can chat about WFH and our day to day lives while self-isolating in order to feel a bit less isolated. If people think this kind of thing is a good idea, perhaps this can be a daily (or weekly o_o) thread.

Feel free to talk about:

  • Day to day life at home
  • What's on your agenda for work
  • Your thoughts on self-isolating and quarantine.
  • Casual talk that you might normally have with coworkers .
  • Anything else! (Though of course, the rest of the site still exists)

I personally tend to get more work done while working from home as there are less interruptions in the form of meetings and informal breaks. So in a weird way I'm looking forward to this time in order to get quite a bit done. Still, it's hard not to get cabin fever.

How are you all doing?

23 comments

  1. [8]
    Adys
    Link
    I've worked from home my entire career (15 years ish), with extremely rare exceptions. I won't give the standard rundown of "separate work & play spaces", "dress up for work" etc kind of advice…...

    I've worked from home my entire career (15 years ish), with extremely rare exceptions. I won't give the standard rundown of "separate work & play spaces", "dress up for work" etc kind of advice… instead, if you need advice, feel free to ask.

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      gpl
      Link Parent
      So this is something I'm actually curious about given that the idea of working from home has been in the news lately. What set of circumstances have led you to work from home for so long? By that...

      So this is something I'm actually curious about given that the idea of working from home has been in the news lately. What set of circumstances have led you to work from home for so long? By that I mean: Are you self-employed, or perhaps you are geographically separated from the office you work for? Do you have coworkers that you interact with virtually?

      I think in the next few weeks a lot of people (and companies) are going to be realizing a lot more employees can work from home than they previously may have thought.

      5 votes
      1. Adys
        Link Parent
        I always wondered why people would willingly spend so much time away from home, waste so much of their life in traffic/public transports just to go there and back, etc. When it came to start...

        What set of circumstances have led you to work from home for so long? By that I mean: Are you self-employed, or perhaps you are geographically separated from the office you work for? Do you have coworkers that you interact with virtually?

        I always wondered why people would willingly spend so much time away from home, waste so much of their life in traffic/public transports just to go there and back, etc. When it came to start working on paid jobs, they tended to be for companies in other countries, so remote was the only option. I got used to it early, and it never made sense to me to do it any other way.

        I later founded a company (that is now on 10 FTEs) which was day-0 remote, with cofounders in 2 other countries. It's important to meet up regularly, but daily office life makes very little sense except for some people who literally NEED an office to be productive (and my feeling is, those people could be taught The Way).

        6 votes
    2. [2]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      Any behaviors you'd adopted to further separate life and work?

      Any behaviors you'd adopted to further separate life and work?

      2 votes
      1. Adys
        Link Parent
        So like I said, dress like you're going to the workplace (don't work in PJs) and separate your work and play spaces. For a lot of people that means if possible having a dedicated room for "the...

        So like I said, dress like you're going to the workplace (don't work in PJs) and separate your work and play spaces. For a lot of people that means if possible having a dedicated room for "the office". For me, it meant just having a dedicated desk, and that desk was pretty close to my main desk but it was a separate computer I had primarly work stuff on, and zero tv/games/what not.

        Another thing which is more relevant for freelancers was to really get a separate work email. I'm a big fan of Google accounts so my personal email is a gsuite account on my last name, and anything work-related goes to a company gsuite account (I recommend doing this even if you're independent; makes you look a lot more professional). Separate calendars and everything.

        And in large companies especially, it's important to say no to out-of-office-hours notifications, emails etc. If you're reading/responding to those, you're on the clock; if you're off the clock, you're not even checking them. Be reachable in case of emergencies, make it clear it's an emergency way of reaching you.

        6 votes
    3. [3]
      wundumguy
      Link Parent
      How do you know when you're done for the day?

      How do you know when you're done for the day?

      1 vote
      1. Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        (I'm not the person you're asking, but...) I have a routine. I sit down and start work at pretty much the same time every day, and I get up and finish work at pretty much the same time every day....

        (I'm not the person you're asking, but...)

        I have a routine. I sit down and start work at pretty much the same time every day, and I get up and finish work at pretty much the same time every day. Sometimes I'll slack off during the day, so I'll decide to do a little bit of extra work at the end of the day to complete something I should have got done - but, even then, there's a hard cut-off time beyond which I will not work. Anything I didn't do today, will just have to wait until tomorrow.

        4 votes
      2. Adys
        Link Parent
        Highly depends on your job, but also on the way you personally prefer working. One of the advantages of WFH is that you can work your own hours. I like thinking about it in terms of: "I'm done for...

        Highly depends on your job, but also on the way you personally prefer working. One of the advantages of WFH is that you can work your own hours.

        I like thinking about it in terms of: "I'm done for the day once I've finished all my goals for the day. I may continue working in order to get a head into tomorrow's work."

        2 votes
  2. rogue_cricket
    Link
    Thankfully I actually work for a company that makes software so people can work from home... videoconferencing, telephony, communications, etc. We know what we're doing and have always had a...

    Thankfully I actually work for a company that makes software so people can work from home... videoconferencing, telephony, communications, etc. We know what we're doing and have always had a flexible WFH policy.

    But also I am so tired. We have had to ramp up so much, so fast. I am at least glad that I am helping keep the lights on for everyone else.

    6 votes
  3. [2]
    minimaltyp0s
    Link
    The biggest thing I learned from 3 years of working from home that I will be very mindful of when it's imposed in my new place from Wednesday is this: they are not doing you a favour by letting...

    The biggest thing I learned from 3 years of working from home that I will be very mindful of when it's imposed in my new place from Wednesday is this:

    they are not doing you a favour by letting you work from home.

    In fact, it's quite the opposite.

    I found myself in a constant destructive cycle of feeling like I owed my employer something for it and that I somehow needed to "make up for it". The consequence was that I was never truly "off" at any point in the entire day: I'd log on first thing, have my laptop with me the whole day, right through to when I went to bed. I didn't have enough work to fill that time but since they were "letting me" work from home I felt like I had to prove that I was worth it.

    Take breaks. Build and maintain boundaries. Turn off. They're not doing this for you!

    5 votes
    1. Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      That may have been true for you, but it's not true for everyone. My management really did offer for me work from home for my benefit. They're not getting anything out of it. I don't do more work...

      They're not doing this for you!

      That may have been true for you, but it's not true for everyone. My management really did offer for me work from home for my benefit. They're not getting anything out of it. I don't do more work than I would in the office. I don't work longer hours than I would in the office. The only thing they're saving is the expense of electricity to run my computer at work. The only person who benefits from this arrangement is me.

      The management at my company is very good and flexible about allowing people to work from home when they need to. The benefit is not that they get more work out of those employees; the benefit is that the employees are happier and more loyal. Employee turnover costs money. Keeping employees happy saves money in the long run.

      I agree with your advice about taking breaks and maintaining boundaries. This is very valuable for developing healthy work habits at home. Because having your laptop at home should not result in you working every waking hour.

      5 votes
  4. [4]
    teaearlgraycold
    Link
    I'm trying to stave off cabin fever by spending as much non-working time away from my desk as possible. I also plan to do a lot of biking outside without really going anywhere. That way I'm no...

    I'm trying to stave off cabin fever by spending as much non-working time away from my desk as possible. I also plan to do a lot of biking outside without really going anywhere. That way I'm no less isolated than I am in my apartment.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      CedarMadness
      Link Parent
      Biking is 100% my plan, unfortunately the weather here hasn't really been cooperative the past few weekends. Too cold and rainy for me to want to go outside and do much. I've been getting into...

      Biking is 100% my plan, unfortunately the weather here hasn't really been cooperative the past few weekends. Too cold and rainy for me to want to go outside and do much. I've been getting into Zwift this winter, though, so I'll likely be on there at least an hour every day, otherwise I'll go completely insane from sitting inside doing nothing.

      2 votes
      1. Parliament
        Link Parent
        Same here re: weather. We started our self-quarantine on Friday, and the only time I've been out since then other than going on walks was to drive around the city and see how busy it was. I can't...

        Same here re: weather. We started our self-quarantine on Friday, and the only time I've been out since then other than going on walks was to drive around the city and see how busy it was. I can't remember the last time I went on a drive just to drive. I'd love to get on my bike if it stops raining constantly.

        1 vote
      2. teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        I had a big biking trip planned for this past weekend and didn't let the rain stop me. I can tell you that biking for 3 hours in the rain when it's 51F outside isn't super fun, though.

        I had a big biking trip planned for this past weekend and didn't let the rain stop me. I can tell you that biking for 3 hours in the rain when it's 51F outside isn't super fun, though.

        1 vote
  5. Icarus
    Link
    My company did not have a work from home policy and thus does not have enough laptops and VPN tokens for everyone. People are experiencing login issues and coming to me for help since our IT team...

    My company did not have a work from home policy and thus does not have enough laptops and VPN tokens for everyone. People are experiencing login issues and coming to me for help since our IT team is inundated with calls.

    Needless to say, this is what happens when you think you don't need to have a work from home policy/plan while located in the Bay Area.

    4 votes
  6. Parliament
    Link
    I work from home a couple days each week anyway, so the main difference is having my wife here and a 2-year-old to look after. Honestly, I've been too distracted to get that much done today. The...

    I work from home a couple days each week anyway, so the main difference is having my wife here and a 2-year-old to look after. Honestly, I've been too distracted to get that much done today. The subject matter of my job seems so insignificant in the backdrop of a pandemic.

    4 votes
  7. moocow1452
    (edited )
    Link
    Our official policy is that the back office people can work from home, but us grunts on the floor have to work on the floor until further notice, since the admins have laptops and we have...

    Our official policy is that the back office people can work from home, but us grunts on the floor have to work on the floor until further notice, since the admins have laptops and we have desktops. I've been passive aggressively bringing it up with everybody who calls in because I'm petty and I already have been hospitalized with pneumonia within my lifetime and rather not go through it again.

    @Icarus, we're dealing with this as well, and our sister desk in Manila having to deal with city wide quarentine. Fun Monday.

    EDIT: one of the agents is taking their tower home to test if they can connect from home. We will find out tomorrow if it works.

    3 votes
  8. [3]
    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    I work from home and have for a couple of years, feel free to AMA if you'd like or want advise, tips, etc.

    I work from home and have for a couple of years, feel free to AMA if you'd like or want advise, tips, etc.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      wundumguy
      Link Parent
      How do you know when you're done for the day?

      How do you know when you're done for the day?

      2 votes
      1. AugustusFerdinand
        Link Parent
        The same way you know if you went to the office. I stop working when the clock hit's 5pm unless there is something I want to get done that takes me past that or there's some emergent need for me...

        The same way you know if you went to the office. I stop working when the clock hit's 5pm unless there is something I want to get done that takes me past that or there's some emergent need for me to work later. I take a strict work/life balance approach and working from home does not change that.

        4 votes
  9. Bullmaestro
    Link
    Not currently WFH but my company is buying laptops for many of the employees in the eventual case that we do need to stay home. I work in the accounts team so most things I'll need to be in the...

    Not currently WFH but my company is buying laptops for many of the employees in the eventual case that we do need to stay home. I work in the accounts team so most things I'll need to be in the office for, due to the fact that I need access to paperwork.

    Given the government announcement today, I think our office is gonna be locked down real soon.

    2 votes
  10. Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    I started working from home 2 days out of 4 about 18 months ago (my commute is nearly 2 hours each way, so the boss offered to let me avoid that). For the past 6 months, I've worked at home 3 days...

    I started working from home 2 days out of 4 about 18 months ago (my commute is nearly 2 hours each way, so the boss offered to let me avoid that). For the past 6 months, I've worked at home 3 days out of 4 most weeks (for various reasons). So working from home 4/4 days isn't that big a change for me.

    My big problem working from home is self-discipline. I'm typing this very comment about working from home while I'm working from home! I tend to finish a work task, then jump to something else like Tildes or reading the news, then jump back to another work task.

    However, I don't have a lot of work to do each day. I'm employed for a 5-hour working day, but I only have about 2-3 hours of tasks to do each day. This inter-task procrastination allows me to spread my tasks out over a longer period, so it looks like I've been working all day. If I started at 10:00 and finished at 13:00, then was offline for the whole afternoon, that would look worse than sporadically working across the day from 11:00 to 16:00. So, the sporadic task-then-procrastinate-then-task model works for me and for my colleagues.

    2 votes