Post # 1
So my fiance has recently accepted a promotion that is going to be a great opportunity for us, but is going to require us to move about 3 hours away from where we are currently. We’re both pretty excited because it will give us a chance to start our marriage out in a place that neither of us have ties to, and we just purchased a new home together that we are both excited about! One of the biggest worries about him accepting this position was me trying to find and start a new job two months away from our wedding.
Luckly, when I approached my boss about this transition, I brought up the possibilty of staying with them and telecommuting. I wasn’t sure if they would go for it or not, but they are letting me! I work in the IT department at a small university, so pretty much anything I do can be done just as easily remotely. The agreement we came up with states that I will work 2 days a month on campus (I lead the trainings for one of our systems, so it will be used primarily for me to do trainings), and remotely the rest of the time. This isn’t a big deal since my sister and my fiance’s family live in the town.
I’m really nervous about starting this new format of work, but really excited at the same time. My biggest worry is keeping myself motivated all of the time. I will be required to have Skype calls with my boss on a weekly basis to update him on what I’m working on, so I know that will help me stay motivated.
For any of you that have telecommuted – what are your favorite things about it? What do you struggle with? Can you share some tips with me to make the transition easier? Thanks in advance!
Post # 2
The occasional work from home days that I get are awesome. I get to sleep in, stay in PJs all day when I feel like it, and generally just do my own thing. Sometimes it gets a bit lonely, so I make sure to schedule drinks with friends and other social fun stuff for after work so I don’t feel quite so alone. I also make sure to go to a designated workspace to make sure I stay in the “I am at work” mindset– the couch is comfy, but it just feels like I’m on vacation instead of actually at work doing things, so I make sure to sit at a desk and make sure I connect that space with work.
Post # 3
For a short time I worked with a firm that would allow me to work for home on a freelance basis. It was fine as long as I set boundaries. I am the type of person who will work 24/7 if those connections are left open. I had to learn to limit myself because I found that I would start reading my emails at 7am and wouldn’t put away my laptop until 7pm.. Clearly not ideal. Ultimately I told them that I was only available from 7am until 3pm. They liked that I started early because by the time they got to work they had material to review and respected that I was offline at 3pm. On occasion I would get a phone call asking me to logon but not frequently… So yeah… boundaries.
Post # 4
At the moment I have the occasional work from home day with work. I usually find myself working harder when I working from home, as if I have to prove that I’ve been working. I do sometimes find it a bit lonely but I’ve put the radio on or some music on in the background and that usually helps. If you’re on the phone a lot for work then you might not have that issue.
I’m currently looking at jobs that will allow me to work from home (we’ve just bought a house and can’t afford to live any closer to my work than we currently do and I’m looking to decrease my commute). The things I’m considering with this application are: do I have a dedicated space to work, can I deal with being alone all day, if I can’t deal what coping mechanisms are available to me, how often are they expecting me to be at my phone, are they expecting me to give up my lunchtime walk and be available 100% of the time? If offered the job I plan to still wear work clothes so that it feels like I’m at work. I plan to give myself set hours to work within, as I would at work and I plan to keep my work routine as much as I can (my lunchtime walk, stepping away from my desk to make personal calls and making sure to keep my usual work hours). As I’m at home, my phone will also probably be somewhere in the house and not on my desk so I’ll be less distractedly that (and I already never use my work laptop for anything non-work related).
Post # 5
That’s awesome your company is letting you do this! I work from home full time and generally I love it. The main issue I have is feeling kinda isolated/cabin feverish from time to time. When that happens, I’ll usually go to a cafe or something. I also find it helps to a have clearly defined end of the work day, which in my case is usuallly cracking open the wine 🙂
Post # 6
Guantanamera : Luckly there is a loft area that we’ve already designated as my “office”, so I will definitely have a desk set up that I will work at. I’m the same way – if I worked from the couch I would feel like it was vacation and probably slack off. I’m also worried about the lack of social interaction, so I’m hoping Fiance and I can meet some new people up there quickly!
emmabird : That’s one of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from anyone that I know who works from home. Typically with my job, I’m asked to log in at home on occasion, but never to an extreme amount. I’m hoping I can keep pretty good boundaries with them. They are normally pretty good about making sure we only work 8-5, that we take a lunch every day, and that we don’t stay at our desk the whole day, so hopefully they will respect me in the same way once I’m working out of home. But i’m a little worried about getting used to that myself like you said – I tend to respond to work e-mails outside of business hours too much as it is.
Post # 7
I’ve been a full-time telecommuter for years now. It has its benefits and its pitfalls. I have a hard time pulling myself away from work. My advice is:
– Go for a walk or workout regularily. You don’t realize how much walking you do in a given day even if you’re working at an office desk job. The walk on your commute, going from your car to office, getting up for coffee, going out for lunch, etc. When you’re at home all day, you’re stuck in however many square feet you live in and get up a lot less.
– Remember to take breaks and eat lunch away from your desk/computer.
– Get ready for work everyday. Obviously, you don’t want to sit in business attire if you don’t have to but shower, get ready, put some makeup on, do your hair, etc. Don’t get in the habit of staying in PJs all day (sweatpants are fine ;))
– Have a designated working area/room in your home and leave your work in there and close the door at the end of the day.
Post # 8
Pretty much what other PP have said. I set myself a start and finish time, and still get dressed and do my hair (may or may not wear makeup.) I have a dedicated office that is only for work and make sure I eat my lunch in the kitchen not at my desk. This is all for if I’m working for my boss’s company from home. (I usually work at the office for this but occassionally from home.)
I also run my own business and when I’m working on my own client’s projects I’m a bit more slack/flexible with my hours and will sometimes work from the couch 😛 I find if I set certain times for things I get more work done, ie saying to myself I’ll make a cup of tea at 2pm or something.
Post # 9
I LOVE working from home. Like, really love it. However, I don’t have a set schedule – I generally keep business-ish hours but just have to get my work done by the deadline. Definitely set up an office – it doesn’t have to be a separate room, but don’t get into the trap of working from your sofa. Also, working from home does not akwats mean that you are now automatically housekeeper, chef, and constant errand runner. Technically, if you are doing the same job as you did before, but from home, the only difference is that you now don’t have to waste time on a commute.
Post # 10
SLOBee : Good point with “working from home does not akwats mean that you are now automatically housekeeper, chef, and constant errand runner.” Apparently everyone thinks because you work from home, you don’t actually work. I had a relative ask me if I could babysit their kids during the day “Because you work from home”. I almost lost it. haha.
Post # 11
mrsbeeloved : EXACTLY! Granted, my schedule is super flexible so I am able to do all those things, but I hear from a lot of others who work from home that people think they are just avaialble to do whatever during the day. Not really.
Post # 12
I coach a weight loss and wellness program out of my home and I LOVE it. I stay on task using time blocking on my google calendar. No checking the news or social media during certain blocks. This method keeps me really focused and productive. Good luck!
Post # 13
Schedule and routine were absolutely essential for me. I had to work harder to schedule and allot my time because it was easier to drift or get distracted. Often getting out of the house can be really helpful as well, going to a library or coffee shop for certain things. I would often do my emails while eating breakfast and warming up to the day. Go for a run, then head to the library for more focused and creative periods of work. then head home and wind down with more menial administrative type stuff as my mind would start to burn out.
Post # 14
I work from home about 70% of the time. I have an office in my basement but I find it very difficult to disconnect if I’m not paying attention. I’ll work 60-70 hours a week and not realize. SO make sure when you’re don’t that you’re really done for the day.
Post # 15
Thank you all! I didn’t have a chance to respond over the weekend, as I had my bridal shower out of town and was busy the whole weeked. I really appreciate everyone sharing their experiences and tips with me!
mrsbeeloved : I definitely plan to continue working out before work and taking a walk on my lunch break. I’ve always walked on my lunch break and definitely don’t want to quit doing that since I won’t be walking around much at home. Thanks for your tips!
cinnapep : I like the idea of setting certain times for things. I’m going to keep my coffee maker down stairs so I can use going down to the kitchen for another cup of coffee as a reward 🙂
SLOBee : Yes, this!! So many people keep telling me how I’ll have all of this extra time to do stuff.. umm, no I won’t – I will still be working my 40 hours a week. All I will be gaining is my 20 min commute time that I will no longer have!
mrsbeeloved : I would have lost it too! One of the first things in my telecommuting agreement is that if Fiance and I have kids while I’m still telecommuting, we must either have a nanny there or take our children to daycare during my work day. My mom was surprised by that until I asked her to imagine having a Skype with a screaming baby in the background.. ha.
SLOBee : It will definitely be nice to be ABLE to do all of those things at times.. but yes, it won’t be possible all of the time and I can see why some people don’t understand that.
beekind : That will be my biggest problem – staying on track and off social media since nobody will be there to see what I’m doing.. but I will have to log what I’m working on by the hour to turn into my supervisor, so hopefully that will keep me on track.
wolfeyes : Unfortunately my work has to be done at my house unless approved in advance. I work in the administrative IT department and hadle a lot of very sensitive data, so I have to be on a very secure connection at all times that I’ll be working.. but I will probably make my morining coffee and sort through e-mails with some coffee on the couch before I go up to my office for the day.
Can.I.Be.Mrs.C. : This is something that I’m sure my Fiance will really help with. He’s pretty good about stopping me from working on work related things on the weekend (I’ve always been bad about checking my work e-mail over the weekends, which is not required at all). Anytime he catches me responding to a work e-mail, he tells me to put it away and enjoy my weekend/evening.