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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on Work from Home

    I'd be interested in hearing thoughts/experiences on 'work from home' as opposed an office?

    I'm kind of torn on if I want to do it or not. I just walk to work so really no savings on commuting and I'd like to maintain complete separation of work and home.
    But on the other hand if I obtain work from home status I then have the freedom to move anywhere and not have to worry about finding a new job.
    I should be able to save a lot on razors and soap too.

  2. #2
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    I have been working from home full time for three or four years. I went to the office last week for the first time in at least six months. Before that it was about a year and a half.

    Advantages: no commuting in DC traffic, no paying $100+ per month for parking, way less miles on car (lower insurance rate, less gasoline, etc.), work/life balance

    Weirdness: I have never met my boss in person, you have to get used to not ever seeing co-workers, odd to know people only by voice, difficult to get to know other co-workers

    Disadvantages: work/life balance (you have to be able to walk away each day - else you work all the time to all hours of the night and weekend), IT issues, hardware issues, office supplies (toner cartridges, paper, etc. get expensive/very inconvenient to get from office), have to work even when the rest of the world is closed due to weather, your ISP better be reliable

    You need to maintain contact with the outside world. It would be really easy to work from home and never see or interact with other humans - except the pizza delivery guy.

    Also, you need a dedicated work space separate from the rest of the house. My neighbor works from home once or twice a week. She uses the family computer area as her "office". She gets pissed on the days the other family members are home (schools closed) and she is trying to work from home.

  3. #3
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    Thank you. Definitely a lot to consider here.

  4. #4
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    Depends on your personality, IMO.
    If you like to be with 'people', at home work gets to be a little isolated.
    I worked from home for years, can't beat it. Nice outside, take a break bike ride. Need something, take a break and go get it. Raining, finish the big job!
    BANNED

  5. #5
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    yeah, turning into a non-voilent version of Ted Kaczynski is definitely a concern but one thing in my favor is I live in the middle of a big city with lots of friends nearby.

    For sure I've considered cycling. I don't intend to abuse it and just do less work but if I want to go an extra 20 miles on my morning ride I don't have to worry about turning heads walking into the office an hour late so I can just work a little later that day. Or visa versa, start early and blow the joint an hour earlier than I would have been able to get out of the office.

    I won't officially have 'flex time' but I'm pretty sure my boss will be cool with that sort of thing if I'm at home.

  6. #6
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    I love it but not for everyone

    I Work from Home - The New Yorker

  7. #7
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    I've been working from home for about 8 years now. Started off one day a week at home and four in the office. Now it's four days at home and one in the office.

    I really do prefer working at home. It's quiet and few interruptions. I can get more done in a couple hours at home than I can an entire day in the office.

    The office is a cube world filled. It's noisy and with constant interruption.

    The home office is its own room. Nice desk, chair, couch, tv. A view out the front of the house and nice and quiet. The sound of the cat shuffling in and out doesn't interrupt anything.

    I still have conference calls and meetings, but many of those are international, so being in the company office really doesn't matter. I speak with my boss every day or so and let him know what I'm up to. It's nice when I'm trying to figure out something and he says, "just go for a short ride and figure it out". Can't do that from the corporate office.
    Bad decisions make great stories - JP

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  8. #8
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    Thanks guys.

    I'm 99% sure I'm going to go for it. There's a lot I don't think I'll like about it but having the ability to move and keep my job trumps all the negatives, I think.
    I don't plan to move and as of now wouldn't want to but things change so wheather I use it or not knowing I'll have the ability is comforting.

    Ideally I could just go work from home in the future when/if I wanted to move too far away to commute in but I can't be given the assurance the option will be there in the future so it's now or (potentially) never.

  9. #9
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    A home office requires a home office space with self-contained communication systems. Learn to close the door, turn off the lights and shut down the communications at the end of your day less Type A personalities become less productive over time.
    I am 100% convinced the internet and social media are not the salvation to human civility.

  10. #10
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    My wife and I both work from home and I couldn't ever see going back. The only real drawback is that no matter the time of day, there is always work that you could be doing. So it's not unusual to see she or I working late into the night.

    For me, it helps that I get paid for what I accomplish and not just plugging away hourly. The more I get done, the faster I make the green. That is a nice incentive to stay focused.

  11. #11
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    I think Crit_Boy summed it up pretty well.

    IME, I have a hard time staying focused on work when I'm at home. Even with an empty house I'm just too prone to taking "a second or two" to play with the cat, get the mail, talk to the neighbor, play some ukulele, etc. Before I know it I have 2 hours of time to account for when I wasn't doing squat workwise.

    The caveat here is that my office isn't a cube farm and there are only 2 or 3 of us in the building on most days.

  12. #12
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    On the one hand, I would miss certain aspects of the commute, and certain co-workers. I already ran into the bodega guy the other day on the street, and he was like, "Where have you been?? You are such a nice customer!" Stuff like that is sweet.

    On the other, holy crap I do not miss the immature co-workers. They seem to stick the loud people with the quiet people (me.) I couldn't take much more of my cube-neighbor's personal life being broadcasted relentlessly. From others as well, the shouting, the cackling, the arguing........it was unreal.

    It's a giant weight off my soul being home now. Getting some chimney work done today, chores are (mostly) current, got time to shop and cook and dabble in copper "art," it's tremendous.

    Work-from-home is always a fantastic option. I was more productive at home due to the peace and quiet. But I'd hate to *always* be home.

  13. #13
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    I will be working from home , looking forward to it actually.
    Planned out the office , IT stuff taken care of.
    Going to enjoy it.

  14. #14
    Opus was just napping
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    Mrs. TMB started working from home when we moved to Roanoke and she kept her job back in Durham. She likes working from home, but does miss the interface with her co-workers. That said her boss lives in Asheville and much of the company is spread out over the globe...so the working from home thing at her company is not unique in any way.
    In the time of battle you don't rise to the occasion you resort to the level of your conditioning...

  15. #15
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    if the state agency I previously worked at would have continued to offer tele-work, I would probably not retired when I did.

    being able to avoid the cube environment for a few days a week was very nice...no commute, no stupid meetings, no annoying co-irker hassles, etc etc...

    but, they revoked that option, so I bailed. don't need the aggravation of being in the office 5 days/week with a bunch of people I had little respect for.
    the 45th POTUS is inept, corrupt, and a pathological liar. and those may be his better qualities...

  16. #16
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    So, what I haven't seen mentioned is research on the topic... in my weak asz memory, and I have read tons of research on this topic over that last 4 years... in a nut shell: very productive workers are even more productive from home. As much as 50% more!!! Moderately productive workers lose about 20% and low productivity workers lose 50% or more. All in all it is terrible idea for employers. Lots of companies are pulling employees back in now, the new trend... Me? No way. I'm at workaholic risk as it is. I'm also on call at times. It sucks. I'm also management level so I have a hard time with no show employees. I also like some of my fellow managers a lot. I get support and learn from them and them from me... I can't work in pajamas. It's f'd up. It's unnatural. I can't even wear scrubs. I'd hate home based work.
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

  17. #17
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    I've been offered a similar setup. My employer came to his senses recently and threw a fistful of improvements to my bottom line and topped it off with a apology. One of these new terms was that I could work from home, from anywhere I want, and if that did not suit me I could go full 1099.
    This is a small four person shop, no overhead or machines, just a few PC's and a printer.

    I miss interfacing with co-workers when I go out in the field to a client location and working from home just amplifies that. Right now I am doing work from home Fridays, which is great because I get to be closer to my 2 month old and it gives my wife a break... but I find myself not as productive as I am at work because baby this and baby that. If the house was empty, I am sure that I would not have these issues. Another thing I worry about is staying current. I feel as I already don't get enough of it even in the office setting, if I were to work from home exclusively I feel like my skills would decline even further due to the lack of interaction with other people in the field.

    After 28 years on the east coast, my wife is ready for a move and so am I. Tired of seeing great shots of people skiing Rockies or fantastic summer rides out in CA or CO. NJ culture seems equal parts getting fat, throwing cigarette butts out of car windows while honking your way towards you nearest shopping mall. It's the pits. We could take this work from home opportunity and use it to move to CO or CA where I can continue to work from home, or use it to hold me over as I search for more local opportunities. Thing is.... it's tough to pull the lever on change.
    "That pretty much sums it up. I'm 43 and my max is ~178-180. If that HR chart was mine or Froome's, we'd be on the verge of death. But for you it probably looks like a normal workout." -TLG

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  18. #18
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    I work for myself and only need the internet to do it. I worked out of my house for @ 4 years before I realized it just wasn't healthy for me. I like what I do, so it lead to me doing it all the time and all the days being the same. It's not like I worked 12 hours a day, but I would have work life and non work life mixed together every day. Added to that my wife would be pushing honey do's into the mix at any opportunity. For me, going days without interacting with other people was very isolating. I felt like I never got out of the house.

    I finally rented an office a couple of miles away, so it's not like I have any co workers, but I do see other people and the short bike commute is enough to clear my head and make a distinction between work and not work.

    So, the short answer is that it depends on your personality, how disciplined you are and your needs.

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