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Ask Slashdot: What Are Your Tips For Working From Home?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the play-with-the-thermostat-as-much-as-you-want dept.

Businesses 480

ichard writes "In a couple of months I'm going to start working from home full-time. I've been thinking about the obvious things like workspace ergonomics, but I'm sure there are more subtle considerations involved in a zero-minute commute. What are other Slashdot readers' experiences and recommendations for working from home? How do you stay focused and motivated?"

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Fist post! (0, Offtopic)

Jimbookis (517778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407771)

Fist post

Get past the wanking stage (5, Funny)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407775)

Re:Get past the wanking stage (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407983)


Re:Get past the wanking stage (1)

Etrigoth (1119741) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408123)

+1 truth.

Close the door. (5, Informative)

GiorgioG (225675) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407799)

If you don't have an office in your home, get a different job. Close the door and make sure your spouse/family knows that between XX:XX and XX:XX hours, you're working, you're not home.

It takes some getting used to...but they'll get it eventually. Just keep the door closed.

Re:Close the door. (4, Insightful)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407827)

Absolutely, you beat me to it.

Working from home is nigh on impossible unless you have a door to close.

Re:Close the door. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407989)

So you can masturbate chronically in between (and sometimes during) conference calls wearing nothing but your socks and a thin coat of Chee-toe residue all over your hands and groin.

Re:Close the door. (3, Funny)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408041)

Kim Dotcom, is that you?

Re:Close the door. (3, Informative)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408163)

Working from home is nigh on impossible unless you have a door to close.

I get by just fine without a door. You can put your headphones on and tune out the rest of the world.

You can also rent space in one of those shared offices. It's cheap and a lot easier to claim the deduction. The IRS rules really need to catch up with the internet age. A lot of people are working at home but can't understand the bizarre rules and trying to slog through an 8829. If you work at home give people a standard office deduction. It doesn't matter if you work in a bedroom or the garage.

Re:Close the door. (3, Informative)

PRMan (959735) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408207)

The lack of door may be fine for YOU to ignore your family. But it's not nearly as good for keeping THEM from bothering you. Out of sight, out of mind. I can actually lock my office door (previous owner). Sometimes, my youngest was coming in so often I locked it.

Re:Close the door. (5, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408209)

I see this type of post every time, and after a decade of telecommuting myself, I can tell you it's pretty much bunk with a few provisos. Unless you are easily distracted buy any sound, then you don't need a work cave to work in. Your first few weeks at home will seem like a holiday. Enjoy them while they last, because while every noise will initially be distracting, movies on TV, tunes on the radio, eventually reality sets in and your deadlines start looming and all of that will become background noise.

If you are concerned initially you can invest in an office and then work your way out of it to a more comfortable setting. if you are typical worker, then you already face typical distractions at work and being at home is no different. Depending on your tolerance level you may need to abstain from things like a TV in the background. Test your limits.

Communication is key. Is is very easy to become isolated at home. Avoid doing everything by email. Odd as it sounds, that becomes more attractive the longer you work from home.

Take breaks. Although it's common to take breaks while in an office, it's much more difficult to do at home oddly enough. You tend to be 'on' for your full 8 hours, even when eating. Stop every so often, get out for lunch. Make yourself do so at least a time or two a week.

Avoid scheduling service calls while working if possible, especially with dogs (of applicable). It tends to throw your day into havoc with dogs barking, door bells ringing, maine people in your home asking questions, all while trying to do 'business'.

Ensure you have a phone with a mute button. You will be surprised how often it becomes necessary when a family member or a pet is making noise while on conference calls

Get the necessary gear for an IP Phone. Your cell bill will thank you.

Ensure you have local admin on your workstation. This isn't always necessary for an office user, it can be very necessary for a home user with a need to tweak a setting without driving into the office to get some desktop person to 'fix' something you could easily do yourself.

Organize everything in your calendar for both home and work. It is unavoidable that you will start scheduling things during your work day. Make absolutely certain you give yourself plenty of warning when there are possible conflicts. Also ensure that your work-mates will know when you are avail or not. IM is ideal for for presence. Make sure you use it. Ensure people honor your availability. It becomes VERY easy for people to assume you are always available since you are at home. Be polite but firm.

Last but not least, enjoy it a little. Work in your PJ's, or even naked often, but be prepared for a video call at a moments notice if so equipped.

Lastly, Avoid touching yourself while on conference or video calls. That's just creepy.

Re:Close the door. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407883)

If you don't have an office in your home, get a different job. Close the door and make sure your spouse/family knows that between XX:XX and XX:XX hours, you're working, you're not home.

It takes some getting used to...but they'll get it eventually. Just keep the door closed.

THIS! X 100! This is the single biggest problem those with a family will run into and the real negative is not the impact to your job, but the impact (hurt feelings) to your family if they don't understand. You'd better have some very well understood ground rules in place.

Re:Close the door. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407945)

Certainly. Although you can enjoy your smoke or coffee break and talk with them (that's what I love of wfh), but they have to know it'll be real quick.

Re:Close the door. (1, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408093)

I don't know why family would have any more "hurt feelings" then when I said I'm doing homework..... and then they'd leave me alone.

When I worked at home, I used to turn-on the TV (usually RT News), which is pretty much the same thing I do now in the office (except over the net). I've never understood people that demand silence; my brain wanders if it lacks audio stimulation.

Re:Close the door. (5, Interesting)

Maniacal (12626) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407921)

Big +1 on this one. It's essential that your family/friends/etc recognize that when you're in there you're "at work" and need to be treated as such. That being said, be flexible if your company is. Sometimes when working from home I'll run and pickup my kid from school even though my wife usually does that. Just because he'll think it's cool that dad picked him up and it's a nice break in the day. My work is based on accomplishments, not hours so I have that flexibility and I use it.

Couple of other things:

1) Get ready for work! Don't just slump out of bed and jump in the chair. Eat breakfast, take a shower, get dressed. You'll be more productive, I guarantee it.
2) Don't get caught in the trap of working too much. When your work is at home it can be hard to walk away from it. If you're done for the day, stay done.

Re:Close the door. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39408059)

Sign up at a gym or something that gets you out for a reason and then schedule it. It can be flexible but don't spend all your time at work.

Re:Close the door. (4, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408173)

Not me. I'm most productive immediately after I wake-up until I eat lunch. It makes no difference how I'm dressed. (Though I do need breakfast.)

I'm not sure why working from home is such a "big deal". Our farming ancestors (or tailers, bakers, storeowners, etc) did it for 5000+ years. It's normal.

Re:Close the door. (4, Insightful)

frisket (149522) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408197)

Add to that:

3) Make your place of work (study, wherever) comfortable and pleasant to work in. You're going to be in there for many hours, so make it habitable.

4) Arrange for whatever level of activity logging you need. At some stage, a PHB is going to ask why all these slackers work from home, how do we know they're working, etc etc ad nauseam; so you're going to have to be able to print off logs or a summary or something to show when you started and stopped throughout the day (I find regular commits and the svn log useful: YMMV).

Re:Close the door. (1, Interesting)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408023)

Also, if you are not implicitly motivated, go fuck yourself. Why would you need to motivate yourself? Do you not have work that needs done in order to get paid? Wow.

Re:Close the door. (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408049)

It takes some getting used to...but they'll get it eventually. Just keep the door closed.

I don't have a family, but the last time I looked for an apartment (in San Francisco, where everything is expensive) I made sure to look for one where at least the bedroom has a door, for pretty much the same reason. Then I don't keep anything that resembles a workspace in the bedroom. The idea being that once I'm up and at 'em, I've transitioned into "work mode."

There's another reason to keep one specific area of your home reserved as an office, too: Taxes. You can often write off that portion of your rent.

Re:Close the door. (5, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408067)

Communicate 10 times more than you think necessary. Out of sight, out of mind. Everyone will forget you are there. So you'll be passed over for bonuses and promotions, and if there's any conflict with someone working in the office, they'll bad mouth you 1000 times and you'll never hear about it.

I did it for a year, and it was great the first 6 months, but then my boss changed, and it was all downhill from there.

Have a morning routine (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407807)

For me, the most important thing was to still have a morning routine. I still showered, had breakfast, got dressed, etc. Casual business attire isn't necessary, but you need something more than pajamas to work in all day. When your morning routine is done, you know it's time to work. It still gives your brain a launching-point for the day.

Re:Have a morning routine (5, Interesting)

aoteoroa (596031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407867)

Fully agree. I liked to get up have a shower, get dressed, then step out of the apartment walk up the street and grab a coffee, then walk home...and start work. The process of stepping out the door had a psychological effect of getting me ready for work.

I work from home and make $$$$$$$$$$ (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407957)

First, I get up and fuck my wife.

Then I drink a bottle of scotch.

Then I program.

  I say Fuck you. I'm getting my work done.

Kiss my ass.

Re:I work from home and make $$$$$$$$$$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39408045)

Thank you ... you made my day

Re:Have a morning routine (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407961)

My brother-in-law works from home and has a very set routine. He gets up at the same time every day, showers, shaves, dresses, eats breakfast, and then he takes the kids to school. On the way back, he stops at the 7-11 and fills his commuter mug with coffee. He goes back home, comes in the other entrance, and walks straight to his home office. When the day is done, he reverses the process, picking up the kids, and coming home, with them, through the front door.

He claims it's the transitions from home mode to work mode and back again that makes it doable.

Re:Have a morning routine (4, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408205)

My brother-in-law has almost the very same routine. He gets up at the same time every day (about 10:45), thinks about showering for about three seconds, changes t-shirts, eats breakfast in front of the tv, eats lunch in front of the tv, has a massive dump, has a Red Bull at 3 to keep his strength up, goes outside to yell at the kids walking home from the bus stop, walks up to the packie for beer, starts drinking on the couch on his front porch, moves back inside before sunset and turns the tv back on, drinks himself stupider, and then calls it a good day's work.

He claims it's the transitions from home mode to work mode and back again that makes it doable.

Get a dog (5, Insightful)

Captain Kirk (148843) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407821)

You need something to make you get out of the house and walk 20 minutes at least twice a day. Get a little dog. I've 2 Bichon Frieze and without them I would need surgery to get off my computer chair.

Multiple monitors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407825)

Multiple monitors are key. This may not apply to you, but depending on how much data you plan to haul across a network / VPN, you may be a lot better off with a machine at your work's physical location and remote desktop instead of sending all the traffic across. This can be useful for development if you are using something like Incredibuild, since that way you could share the compilation load. Just make sure that, whatever you're doing, you can use multiple monitors. Lots of versions of Windows can't do multi-monitor remote desktop.

Re:Multiple monitors (1)

LDAPMAN (930041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408021)

I have a 27" iMac and 2 27" Thunderbolt displays. It makes a world of difference. I can have multiple remote sessions and lots of VMs open.

Re:Multiple monitors (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408107)

"2 27" Thunderbolt displays"

I'm guessing work is paying for them.

Re:Multiple monitors (1)

LDAPMAN (930041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408183)

Yes, but since I work for myself it all comes out of the same wallet. The extra productivity meant they paid for themselves in a week or two. Having the right tools is worth the cost.

Don't have anyone else there. (4, Interesting)

theJML (911853) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407833)

Seriously, don't have a significant other or children at home. It's my biggest hurdle. I used to be all about working from home, but trying it after having a daughter means "Daddy's trying to do work" turns into "Yay! Daddy's Home!!! Let's bug him ALL DAY!".

If I got a job that required working from home, I'd probably build a small shed in the backyard with insulation, power, and ethernet and just work out there so they're less likely to bust in every 5 minutes or be screaming down the hall or whatever.

Mod parent up (5, Insightful)

Shandalar (1152907) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407899)

Not only will there be endless distractions, but your significant other may resent you being present but not helping around the house. Even a very intelligent and rational significant other can fall into this resentment, and probably will. I don't recommend it.

Don't (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407835)

Your wife and/or kids will not be able to understand that working hours mean you are unavailable. You will have to be a jerk to try to enforce your working hours, leading to the dumbest fights you've ever been in. Like the classic - "Why didn't you fold some laundry when you were on the phone?" That you were trying to concentrate on your biggest client is not an acceptable excuse.

Rent yourself a storage closet up the block, steal some wifi, and build yourself an office 3 minutes from home. AND DON'T TELL THEM WHERE YOU ARE.

distractions are bad (1)

theNetImp (190602) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407837)

If you cna have a home office, with no TV or distractions, as you'll get nothing done. Also if you're wire/significant other has a job, keep the same work hours as to not b disturbed when you need to get work done.

Re:distractions are bad (2)

BinBoy (164798) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408017)

Agreed. Distractions are the biggest problem. Stay away from the TV. When work gets tough, even the most boring TV show can be tempting. Stay off of youtube as well.

Pretty lousy actually... (1)

JoeDuncan (874519) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407841)

...there's not enough customers, and I have to cash out to my GF.

Sell your pants (1)

harduser (1451499) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407847)

You won't need those anymore.

Get outside for a walk! (5, Insightful)

phallstrom (69697) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407849)

(been working from home for 6 years...)

You don't realize how much you walk during the day until your office is 20 feet from your bedroom. I find it helps immensely to take a quick walk in the morning, lunchtime, and after work to clear my head. Also... you don't realize how much "de briefing" you go through on your drive home. You still need to do that instead of jumping right into family/kid/dinner time. Maybe not as long, but something to detox...

And lastly, if you've got wife/kids at home, it will be an adjustment for *everyone* and can take a long (6mo - 1yr) to get used to.

Re:Get outside for a walk! (2)

w3woody (44457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408007)

(Worked at home for 9 years about a decade ago, and recently started working at home again, and has parents who worked at home for nearly two decades.) Absolutely! I would highly recommend getting out of the house in the morning and in the evening, at the very least; in the morning it helps organize your thoughts and in the afternoon or evening it helps organize your thoughts. And getting out helps with the "cabin fever" as well.

You need a reliable VPN (4, Insightful)

Dark$ide (732508) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407851)

Make sure you know what you're going to do when your VPN or phone line or cell phone fails. It doesn't happen to me too often (thankfully I've got two different ways of connecting to my companies VPN) but when it does it's a PITA. You need a plan for whether you phone in and take the rest of the day off or drive in to the local branch office and use the backbone network there.

You also need a very reliable ISP. My lovely ISP in Aberdeen, Scotland are fantastic, when BT make my ADSL break Internet for Business [] are straight on to them. I get a nice warm body to speak to that speaks English and addresses me by first name - I don't get some random call centre in the Sub-Continent.

Re:You need a reliable VPN (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407987)

Make sure you know what you're going to do when your VPN or phone line or cell phone fails. It doesn't happen to me too often (thankfully I've got two different ways of connecting to my companies VPN) but when it does it's a PITA. You need a plan for whether you phone in and take the rest of the day off or drive in to the local branch office and use the backbone network there.

Anther option is to use a cellular internet device as backup (either something like a Mifi, or a cell phone with a tethering plan). Then even if your primary connection goes down, you always have a backup

Re:You need a reliable VPN (1)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408159)

And 4g is damn fast. Rivals my cable.

set up a work office (3, Interesting)

a2wflc (705508) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407853)

And only use it for your job. When you're in it, you are "at work". I'll "work from home" evenings or weekends at my kitchen table or couch. But there is a physical difference between when I'm "at work" vs "working from home" even though it's in the same house. Been doing it that way 8 years. I'd spent months at a time working from home before that and this is much better.

Re:set up a work office (2)

dwye (1127395) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407995)

Also much easier when it comes time to deduct the home office use from your 1040. Not using your kitchen for work or your home office for your WoW raids makes the documentation much cleaner when the inevitable tax audit comes, somewhere in the next few years.

Rule #1 (5, Insightful)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407857)

Don't have children.

Re:Rule #1 (4, Insightful)

The Optimizer (14168) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408071)

Mod this up.

I was about to say if you have a wife and young kids - DON'T WORK FROM HOME. Your work won't be taken seriously, and you will be CONSTANTLY interrupted and your marriage will likely suffer.

Seriously, this has happened to myself and EVERY other guy I know who has young kids and tried working from home (admittedly, 5 guys total) . Their wives didn't respect the need for isolation, and saw them as available to watch the kids and do anything else they wanted to. They would interrupt any time they felt like it, and ignore repeated requests not to. To them, it was like "Hey I work from home too! He's just sitting here on the computer not doing much. If that was me, then I would be able to stop and do something else. He can take the kids while I take a nap and then go to a movie with my girlfriends!".

Outside and social activities (2)

TheTruthIs (2499862) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407861)

You definitely need to schedule some outside activities like sport or walking or whatever gets you out of your home. You also need to have social activities, it gets quite weird after months of working alone, even though you have a wife. No outside activities and no social interactions make the home worker go CRAZY. Trust me.

Regular hours (2)

rbowen (112459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407863)

Dress professionally. Keep regular hours. Work as though you were at work.

Two Words (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407869)



Also, good time management is a must; sitting around the house can make it tempting to attempt to multitask (i.e., clean the garage while your code compiles), but every divergence from the job you're being paid to do will negatively affect your ability to do said job in an efficient, timely manner.

At least, that was my experience working from home. YMMV definitely applies to this one.

no comments (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407871)

They're either too distracted to comment or too undistracted to comment.

Set up your environment properly. (1)

Jimbookis (517778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407879)

In all seriousness, I am trying to do contract work from home with a child who spends some time in the week at kindergarten. It's next to impossible to work when I am awake and in a productive frame of mind. - You need to make sure the kids are out of your hair so you don't have to reserve any brain energy to keeping an eye on things. - You need to make sure any older children and adults understand to leave you alone while you work except for lunchtime. - If you can, set up in a room that isolates you as much as possible from the rest of the house. - Occasionally mix things up and take the laptop the local library (most in .au have free WiFi and cheap printing) or someone elses house (where it's quiet) so you don't get cabin fever in your own home. - I have found that I work best when I have a room with a lot of natural light. If you can't to that get some flouro tubes that have spectrum similar to sunlight. - Start early. Working late is bust for me. - Have a solid brekkie.

Working from home (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407881)

Get a remote desk top that can accomodate cloud storage so you can move from device to device to keep you freash and not feel compelled to stay hours in your bunker. Schedule time that is consistant that you won't internally negotiate away. Enjoy the freedom and celebrate your successes. Done right you will get more done in less time. The first three weeks are the toughest.

Commute to your office (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407889)

Make sure you have a separate room with nice lighting and a door that you close to keep out any distractions. Keeping the door closed worked for me as a mental exercise enforcing the idea that I am at work. The kitchen and entertainment areas of the house are closed.

Also, it helps to go through a morning routine like you would if you had coworkers in the same office. Get dressed, eat breakfast, and then go to your office.

Enjoy the benefits of skipping the long commute to a remote office!

A home office (2)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407891)

Have a room devoted to being a home office, and don't use the home office for anything other than job-related work, otherwise there won't be enough of the job/play disconnect.

Close the door. (2)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407895)

Put out the cat. Put out the kids. Put out the girlfriend/wife/paramour/needy friend. Put on the headphones. Focus, focus, focus...

Set clear boundaries (4, Insightful)

Americano (920576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407897)

Here's the first few things that spring to mind from my experience, working from home about 50% of the time:

1) Construct a sturdy firewall your work time and personal time. Don't allow family and friends to treat your work hours as "free time," and don't allow your workplace to say "since your workplace is your home, you're always at work!" Honestly for me, the hardest part was telling family and friends, "yeah, I'm working from home, but that doesn't mean I'm not working," and getting them to accept that they can't just pop by whenever.

2) Video- and/or voice- chatting can be super helpful, if you can get your coworkers used to communicating that way. Also, a consistent & constant instant message presence allowing people to reach out and get in touch with you quickly and easily can be helpful. You won't be in the office, but availability via other methods will help dilute the "out of sight, out of mind" phenomenon.

3) If you like a little social interaction during your day, investigate co-working setups - with people you work with, or at commercial/public co-working spaces. Or, find a coffee shop/library etc. that might allow you to set up camp for the day. A day like that now and then I find to be fairly energizing. Your mileage may vary.

Work or Don't (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407901)

Draw a really clear line between working and not-working. When you sit down to work just work - no web surfing, personal email etc. It may help to have some ritual like getting dressed in real clothes instead of PJs, putting on some article of "work clothes". Find some way of making work different from sitting at your computer other times.

Once you stop working actually stop and don't login to work, check work emails, etc. If you decide to do these tasks, go through the "working" ritual to draw a clear line.

Failure to make these distictions will mean that you will never really feel satisfied that you have worked enough and will never really relax.

Redundant internet and phone (3, Informative)

bastafidli (820263) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407903)

If your company give you stipend, use it. Get both DSL and Cable so that you are not cut off when one goes down. Thats what I did. Do the same with phone, have cell phone and regular phone so that you are reachable.

Re:Redundant internet and phone (2)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408157)

Yep, vitally important if you intend to work from home for any significant time. I use an ADSL connection as my primary connection but have a 3G USB modem I can plug in if it goes down (which it hasn't ever, really, but you never know).

Sadly my phone line is quite long (>4 km) so my 3G connection is actually faster than it! (Get 10-12 Mbit down from it, as opposed to ~6 Mbps from the DSL). Latency is worse though obviously.

Exercise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407907)

I worked at home for 6 years. I was never more productive than when I took the opportunity to get in shape and exercise regularly. A good run or bike ride in the afternoon always seemed to allow me to work a couple extra hours in the evening.

Some tips from personal experience (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407911)

- Make sure you compensate by going out regularly, even if it's just running errands. Removing the workaday social interactions you would otherwise get from an outside workplace can have noticeable effects even in the short-term.
- Make a schedule and stick to it. This will keep you from procrastinating or irregular hours. The advantage is that you can choose which hours are best for you, but the challenge is to stick to it.
- Set an office space up for yourself, not a desk in your bedroom. This space should be a pure *work* space. If you end up finding you have trouble with this, considering renting a single-room or shared office-space and set up shop there.
- Make sure you understand all the finance aspects of going into business for yourself. I can't speak for other countries, but there may also be a ton of government programs at your disposal, from simple information seminars to help desks to grants, financing, and tax benefits. Figure this out first!
- The toughest part about working from home for me has been selling. It takes up half my time, and it's the toughest/least enjoyable part of the job. Consider this, if it applies to your situation of course.

Depends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407913)

For me, it can be very quiet and isolating if you enjoy being around people. Sometines it is difficult due to distractions (family, neighbors dog, etc.). Forget about ergonomics. I've been doing this for over 2 years with a laptop, Costco foldup table and chair.

Bad thing is being out of sight and out of mind. I'm lucky most of my team is dispersed geographically, so IM, email, etc are the standard methods of communication. If you use the phone, get a wireless headset so you can walk around (get coffee, spy on neighbors, etc.)

I wouldn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407925)

I would suggest that you do not work from home full time if at all possible. Meaning working from home a few days is fine, but only working home is not good for you.

It is not good for you on personal basis, the outside interactions are valuable to you for your other relationships.
It is not good for you professionally, you are losing much professional growth which happens at the office. It is hard to be in touch with what is going on.
It is not good for you mentally, after a while you will become disconnected.

It might seem great, but the reality is the commute isn't that bad and seeing and meeting new people is valuable to your growth.

Some people see it as the way of the future, but it will kill productivity in the long and severely limit your professional growth.

Re:I wouldn't (1)

LDAPMAN (930041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408115)

Nonsense! Working from home can actually accelerate your career if you do it well. Not only that, in many companies, they are doing webex and conference calls even when all the participants are in the same building. I've been working from home for years with some of the worlds largest companies. All of them are virtual. I don't think I've had a meeting where everyone id physically present in a decade.

Backyard office (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407933)

I've always thought that if I return to working from home, I'd build a backyard office: []

By being separate from the house it's easier to separate work from home life. When I used to work from home I got distracted by home things. And TV.

Don't get stuck in the house (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407939)

I have been working from home for over 3 years. The number one thing? Get out of the house as often as you can. Make time to do something outside the house. Even during the middle of the day if possible. Don't allow yourself to get stuck in the house all day and night.

Working at home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407949)

Over the years I've found the best way is to keep a schedule, get dressed (something other than lounge around clothes - makes a mental difference), let everyone at home know you are working, and take breaks. Since you aren't commuting, unless you have to match the office workers schedules (other than for conference calls and such), you can start early, take a longer lunch if needed, and get done earlier in the day. This helps to keep peace around home.


Partition work from life (1)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407963)

It's too easy to slip into a bad routine where you intermingle work and home. YOu might find yourself working all the time, or interrupting work to do a few domestic chores here and there.

Both are bad.

Set up an office area. Keep all your work related stuff there. That way work is still 'at work', even if you don't go to the office daily.

Get good comms. Either an all you can eat phone plan, VoIP, or a company provided phone. You'll find it gets real expensive real quick the first time you have to make a long distance teleconference that churns on for 4 hours. Get your Internet sorted out. Very important to be as quick as possible... You don't want to be waiting to download that 20M email attachment that some PHB sent you. Waiting sets up temptation to slack off for a few mins.

Keep receipts for everything. If your company doesn't reimburse you then deduct it on tax.

I also recommend a couple of inline power meters. Set them up to measure the consumption of all your work related gear. Log it daily. If you need air-con then keep a log of running it. Most countries allow deducting work from home expenses, but unless you have detailed logbooks you'll be stuck at a statutory rate which really isn't indicitive of the real cost.

Oh, and get a good desk and chair. You will be able to get the company to spring for the chair under OH&S provisions. Don't skimp here, your comfort is important.

Have a plan (3, Insightful)

obi1one (524241) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407965)

I've been telecommuting for ~20 months now. For me, the key things to do to stay focused and productive are: separate work from the rest of your life, have a plan of what you are going to do next, and have a plan for dealing with the inevitable times when you become unfocused.

To keep life and work separate, you can have an office that is only for work (no gaming/web surfing), or, if that isnt in the cards, have a different computer. I really like having the work computer run a different OS. Linux is for work. Windows is for play. That way I am not tempted, and I have that sense of 'being' at work/

Having a plan is crucial to keeping going. If you finish something and think 'what should I do now' youll be reading slashdot within seconds. I try to do my planning at the end of the day, so I have a nice list of bite sized tasks for the next day already waiting for me.

Despite my best efforts, sometimes I realize I am not focusing on work. When that happens, I have a few things I can do to get refocused. The first is to change desks. A change of scenery and position (sitting vs standing) is nice sometimes. Next, I can make coffee. It takes a few minutes, so it gives me a chance to psych myself up, knowing that when the coffee is ready it is time to get back to worrk. Finally, I have ear protection, usually used while chainsawing etc. When I put it on, I cant hear anything but my own breathing, and focusing on your breathing is a common meditation technique, so maybe tat is why it works. Anyway, it really quiets the mind and gets me back to focusing on work.

Stay connected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407971)

It is important to stay connected with people at the office.

I know someone that proposed to work at home and go it approved. But once she was working from home, she felt very excluded and alone. A lot of conversations happen in and around work. For some people its good to get away from those distractions, but others need that connection.

Do not work from home if your work life is your social life. That human connection is worth a lot. Your situation could easily be different, but this is something to consider for a few people thinking of working at home.

clean workspace (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407975)

For me the most challenging aspect of working from home was that I treated it as a chance to do all the "work" that I had to do around the house, like cleaning, changing light bulbs, taking out the garbage, and so on. The little dopamine rewards from completing these small tasks were more rewarding than actually biting into the bigger projects I had for the work day.

So, keep your home clean and tidy all the time. Make sure these little tasks aren't calling out to you. If you just can't help yourself, set out a 30 min period at the beginning of the day to do all of that stuff, then get down to work.

Good luck!

Lucky gits (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407981)

Time management boils down to willpower, which is a trainable skill. A podcast I listen to [] talked about related topics a few weeks ago. Questions of ergonomics and workspace arrangements and flow are probably specific to your particular job and preferences, but a good chair makes a huge difference. If you splurge on anything in your workspace that should be it.

Until there's a way to install and replace hardware over the internet, I'll never be able to work from home; not with my current job at least. :(

Barking birds, screaming dogs and chirping babies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407991)

My tips:

1. No background noise - Pets and children will irritate your employer.
2. Get a dedicated office line, a good quality speaker phone and headset - No one else in your household should be allowed to use your office line.
3. Never let the phone ring more than twice otherwise your employer will think you are doing chores around your house.
4. Set office hour boundaries - Otherwise your employer will have you available for customer needs in all time zones.
5. Ink jet printers are worthless, get a laser multifunction device.

Personal time (1)

OhEd (877009) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407999)

It helps to have a job you love and are committed to. The biggest issue that I have found is that I need to be vigilant to keep my work out of my personal time.

What works for me (1)

btherl (2263512) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408003)

Here are some things I've found to work for me, in rough order of importance:
  1. 1. Talk to people about working from home. This needs to be done regularly so I can deal with any issues as they come up. This is the most important!
  2. 2. Meet co-workers face to face regularly, if practical. Otherwise use some other substitute to give a feeling of connectedness.
  3. 3. Let sunlight in in the morning. Exercise regularly. Look away from the screen regularly. Stand up regularly. Eat lunch outside. Generally, take care of my body.
  4. 4. Always ask myself "Am I doing something which makes a difference right now?". Most of the time I am not, so I need to be constantly reminded.

Stay away from the kitchen (1)

HeyBob! (111243) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408005)

Work as far away as you can from the kitchen! When you do eat, don't turn on the TV. There's always an episode of Star Trek or Seinfeld that while stop you for an hour (or more)

From a full time home worker (1)

Amasuriel (1176527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408011)

The advice about making sure the family knows work comes first during your work hours is good. Make it clear that if you come out to stretch your legs and chat for 5 minutes doesn't mean you are done for the day or can take an hour to mess around, and make sure if you are in the office, no one should bother you unless its an emergency. The biggest thing for me was setting goals based on accomplishments instead of time. You WILL spend time getting distracted by family etc or just taking advantage of the fact that you can go for a nice walk at 3:00pm (if you are allowed to be offline). You will also end up spending time on evenings and weekends working because if you think if something at 11:00pm on a Saturday you are much more likely to do it right then then wait until your "at work" Monday.

Either way, its really really hard to accurately track your time when working from home. Some people seem to like a rigid schedule, but as a programmer I much prefer flexibility. Some people rigorously track their time, but that gets annoying. My solution is to set myself daily / weekly tasks though should be reasonable if I worked ~7 hours day for 5 days and measure myself more on that then on trying to figure out exactly how much time I spent in my seat. You still have to feel it out a bit, but it means you don't have to sweat too much about the fact that work and home will blur together a bit.

Get face time with your coworkers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39408013)

Last time I worked from home I made it a habit to commute to the office once a week (70 miles one way, usually on Fridays) to stay in touch with everyone else. I was the lone application developer for the company, so time in the office was my chance to get feedback/etc. from the people who used the shit I made. Yes, there's e-mail and the phone, but having a proper sit-down to talk about feature requests or entirely new projects people wanted always helped me more.

forget promotions (4, Insightful)

geo3rge (937616) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408033)

You need to be very careful or you will soon be "out of sight, out of mind". I worked from home for more than 15 years (recently involuntarily retired), and except for the people who had to deal with me, it was as if I did not exist. This may be fine with you, but if you are at a place where you need to schmooze to get ahead, it's bad. Also, you need to have the company finely delimit what is *their* IP and what is your own. My former company's attitude was that if I thought of it, it was their idea. Working from home blurs the lines. On the bright side, I was *much* more productive as a programmer/ software designer at home than in the office.

Don't talk to anybody (1)

Sigvatr (1207234) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408035)

Do not use any form of instant messaging. Do not use Facebook. If you really need to ask someone a technical question, join a pertinent IRC channel and leave as soon as you are satisfied. You might have the motivation to work from home, but do not expect other people to understand. It was very difficult getting my wife to understand that I really needed to work and I didn't have any time to talk; if you have family who will be around, you will need to lay down rules and boundaries. The most important aspect of working from home is enjoying what you do. If you don't feel motivated to work, then you are fucked.

Been working from home for 2 years (3, Insightful)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408039)

Note that I live by myself in a small apartment, so YMMV. Some things I do:

1. Always wear pants while on the phone. I like to imagine everyone else is wearing pants while I'm talking to them, so I do so myself.
2. Find some noise maker, because silence will make you go a little nutty. I used to do music, and still do sometimes, but I've found sports talk radio is best. Doesn't matter if you like sports, It sounds like there are people talking, which will make it not seem so lonely. I don't mean lonely like "I'm so sad", I mean "fuck, there's no one here all day". lonely.
3. Go out to lunch fairly regularly. You need to remember to leave your home sometimes, and interact with people (especially outside your normal comfort zone, like your family). Otherwise you fairly quickly forget how to interact in a group.
4. Work hours change a lot. I find myself working in the middle of the night a lot, and taking the afternoons off. Don't forget to take advantage of the perks, it's not just a 0 minute commute. You can go grocery shopping in the middle of the day now. Banks are open just for you. Same with post offices. Just make sure your workmates vaguely know your schedule, and how to get ahold of you. Communication is key.
5. More perks. Those times where you just can't get past a mental block, you can go to your home PC, or to your musical instrument, or to your TV, and just blow off some steam. It's OK! Don't feel bad about it, just don't spend too much time away, and don't let your IMer show you as "Away" for too long. I always come running back if I get an IM or an Email.
6. Work hard. Make your managers feel like you're an integral part of your team, even when you're not in the office. In my case it's helpful because everyone works from home, but you can do it even if that's not the case.

Don't snack (1)

drwhat99 (2596325) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408051)

If you work with other people, make sure to reach out to them often. At least one person, once a day. Check in with your bosses at least once a week, probably more. (Maybe that's built in, who knows)

Ideally, have a door on your office. And make the family/roommates understand that work time is that and that only. They should pretend you are not there for the most part.

Get dressed for work, at least at first. This helps you get into work mode.

Using a chat program with the main people you work with will be helpful to them, as most of them have idle markers to show if you are there and using your computer. This can help keep you honest if you have trouble with that sort of thing. Although, I suppose if you do have trouble, there are about a million ways around that one, the most obvious being that watching a movie at your computer would let you keep the mouse moving every few minutes. But don't do that. Don't even have a TV on your office.

Keep yourself honest. If you are sleepy and NEED to nap, take a nap. But then make sure you work late to make up the work/hours.

I personally try to check email only about 3 times a day(8am, 11am, 3pm). I am an engineer working on projects, so interruptions are a bad distraction and there is never anything so urgent that I can't take 3 hours to get to it. Your situation may vary, or may not even apply.

Don't keep facebook/twitter or any self-updating news or distractions open. If you must, check them at lunch.

Eat a good breakfast. So many office goers skip that meal, or eat something packaged/processed rushing out the door. But you have time, and you don't need to eat right as you get up; you can wait an hour or two if needed. []

Give yourself a real lunch break, even if it's only 15 minutes. Use that time to check social media, news, investments, whatever you like to keep tabs on throughout the day.

Prevent home office ass: Don't even keep snack food in your house. Don't buy it. Then when you are bored, or frustrated, or whatever it might be that would drive you to your kitchen, there won't be anything there to eat.

Structure and communication (1)

Arturus (6457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408055)

I've been a 100% telecommuter for 7 years now and here's the important things I've learned:

1) Set a clearly defined schedule that works well with your team. I work with many people still in an office and I work a 9am-6pm schedule with 1 hour lunch at the same time they do so I'm always available when they are.
2) Dedicated office space. You need to have a work head space in addition to a home head space. The lack of decompression time in a commute and such is very noticeable, especially during crunch times at work.
3) Optimize your communication setup to be available to your team. My work relies a lot on IM, plus I've got a VOIP phone line, and I use Growl/Prowl to forward my instant messages to my phone when I'm working on a secondary machine, or otherwise not sitting at my main work machine.
4) Be proactive on communication: You'd be amazed at how much useful information gets conveyed in water cooler and casual conversation in an office that is actually relevant to work. You need to be very proactive in maintaining strong communication with your coworkers to stay in the loop and keep others in the loop.

I'll break a bit from the pack here... (4, Interesting)

Zapotek (1032314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408081)

...and say that I do the exact opposite.
I've no set hours, no routine, no dedicated space, I play guitar when I'm blocked and have a movie or TV series playing all the time to provide a distraction (for some reason not multitasking doesn't work for me).

So what I'm trying to say is that this is completely subjective, just do what feels natural.

The most important thing is to be passionate about the projects you pick up, if you are then never mind staying focused, you'll go into overtime without even realising it.

Good luck man.

Get Up and Go to Work (2)

trongey (21550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408087)

Just like when you worked elsewhere:
- Set the alarm and get up
- Take a shower, brush your teeth
- Dress for work (this one is important). I've known people who did the work-in-your-pajamas thing, and everybody could tell the difference.
- Keep proper food around for lunch, or if you can afford it go out for lunch most days.
- If you have a spouse/significant other you SERIOUSLY want to sit down ahead to time to make sure everybody is clear that just because you're home all day it doesn't mean that the cleaning, laundry, and dishes will be done at the end of the day. We all know that housewives used to do all that and more, but they weren't on somebody else's clock when they were doing it.

Also, be sure to set up a proper work environment even if the best you can do is to put a decent computer desk and chair in your bedroom. A couch or kitchen table is not a workplace, and you don't want it to be one.

Don't work at home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39408095)

Easy: don't work at home. Rent a small office nearby, preferably one within walking distance. 1.5 miles is about a 30 minute commute by sneaker. I rent a small space in downtown San Francisco. I could easily rent something for half the price by renting in the neighborhood I live. Small, commercial spaces are almost always cheaper than residential; sometimes insanely cheaper.

I did the same thing in San Jose. I rented my own, private office (not one of these shared suite deals, like Regus; that's an option, too, but usually a overpriced) for like $200/month.

IMHO, working at home is often a bad idea. It can easily lead to depression, lack of exercise, and other poor habits. Those things in turn make you less productive. It's fun to work in your pajamas, but that means you're understimulated. We need those tiny environmental stresses--like having to get dressed and shower before you step out into the world--to keep our mind active and engaged.

Granted, if you live in the 'burbs the alternatives are less attractive because of distance. But if you live in or near a large city where you can find office space within walking distance, def just rent an office.

Work with goals... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408111)

I used to have productivity problems when working from home. Sometimes it was just to easy to get distracted with Youtube, or maybe it was watching people walk past my window, or even my cat deciding that was the right time to bug me for attention. To my surprise it turned out the problem was simply not having strong goals.

Usually when I'm working from home I'm doing scripting and sometimes these projects take several days to complete. It was a little too easy to get to the end of the day and feel like I hadn't accomplished anything. (Which often made me work longer throughout the day.. something I wasn't getting paid for.) I finally got a handle on it by doing things like saying "Okay, I've got to get this functionality done by noon. Then, by the end of the day, I have to have these things done." By working towards that goal, distractions were not as distracty and sometimes I'd get done even a little ahead of time. By that point it was a lot easier to put the mouse down and say "okay, I'm done for the day." I could even treat myself to being done a little early on Friday!

I think this is the sort of thing people have been saying all along, but I didn't realize just how important that was until I tried it myself.

Focus (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408113)

The most difficult thing for me is focus. Without that frustrating ritual of getting up early, commuting to/from work, and physically walking into a different space, it can be difficult to snap into "work mode". The temptation to slack off can be quite strong, especially if what used to be your play environment is now your work environment.

What works for me is a combination of half-steps. For one, I have a separate little area, away from all my tech toys and other household distractions, where I can sit with a laptop and stare out the window. When I'm having trouble starting a new project, that's where I go to clear my mind and be inspired.

Other times, I actually pack up and head to a not-too-busy restaurant or bar. I find the background noise actually helps to isolate me from distractions, and being waited on certainly helps me stay on-task. Obviously this won't work for everyone, but it's all about comfort.

Perhaps the biggest piece, and the one most likely to screw you up, is the fact that you're at home. You have a million things to do at home, and often times the people you live with may expect different things of you. You must set proper boundaries, which is harder than it sounds because you might not work 9 to 5. How do you communicate to your S.O. or kids that you're trying to work and they need to avoid disturbing you ? If you have a big enough house, dedicate a room as an office and make sure everyone understands it is off-limits.

Conversely, don't overwork. You need be able to switch out of work mode too! Try to set a goal for the day and stop once you reach it. You must be able to walk away and be satisfied with your day's efforts. That goal might be a set number of billable hours, or a project milestone. The important thing is that once you attain it, you can take a break and not think about it until the next day. Just as you must not let your home life encroach on your work, you must also leave work "at work", even though that place is now a logical construct rather than physical. When I'm watching TV, or cooking, or playing video games, my mind is blank. I don't worry about bosses, clients and deadlines. I just kick back and enjoy myself. It took some time to achieve that distinction, but it is the one thing that keeps me sharp and revs me up for the next day of challenges.

Make home somewhere you really want to be (3, Interesting)

DFJA (680282) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408119)

I've been home-working for 2 years now, and for most of the last year have been living somewhere far more interesting than my normal home (and about 5000 miles away). It's not often you get the opportunity to do this, so if living in another part of the world is something you've always wanted to do, why not combine the two?

Don't. Do. It. (if you have young kids) (2)

opencity (582224) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408127)

My wife doesn't get it and my kids are in early elementary school psycho stage so I ended up taking a cheap share on a semi office. It was either that, sit around cafes (too old) or only get 4 hours a day.

Be aware of your environment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39408129)

First keep in mind proper lighting is essential, and i dont mean large overhead florescent lighting in your den, proper amounts of real daylight helps one to focus.
Remove any distractions, like the TV, unless you can leave it on in the background, keep well stocked on snacks/drinks as theyll be handy, get a decent comfortable chair that you can enjoy being in for 6-10 hours at a time, a decent laptop or screen you can stand being in front of for the time your in the office working. You should be most zen in your environment, and comfortable being there, add a couple small plants, something low mantainance, like a bansai tree, to remind you why your there. Remember to not become a troll, and get out for a walk, or the gym in the morning, dont become a slacker, stay productive, and most of all be out of there at a set time every day if you have a family/spouse/animals. Just because your working from home now doesnt mean you have an excuse to neglect them. Find your balance, and maintain it. And if you smoke like me, start scheduling smoking break out side that environment, or youll quickly become a chain smoker. Keep the numbers for pizza hut, and the local chinese place ready at hand for delivery when you need to eat, and dont forget to keep the area clean........

Advertise and Politics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39408131)

I worked from home for 7+ years 100% telecommute from Seattle to the Bay Area.

Commute to work was awesome (ie, down the hall).


- you get cut out of the stuff you hear when you have a physical presence in the office. gossip, rumors, instant collaboration, etc.

- it is harder for you to make yourself known and get credit for the stuff you do unless you are really, really good at subtlely making your accomplishments known.

- a change in management can make your work situation (ie, work from home) untenable. After 7 years as a senior contributor, a new Chief Technology Officer (my boss) arrived. The new CTO liked to see his "kingdom" and decided all the remote workers should move to where he was. I had the choice of move across the country or take severance. I took the severance and played full time dad for a couple of years.

- you need to be really, really good at written communication.

- you will need a good phone headset for POTS calls / VOIP calls / Skype / whatever

- who provides the hardware (laptop / desktop), the infrastructure (firewall, switch, VOIP phone), the support (backups, patches)? That all needs to be nailed down before you start working from home.

- you will need to find out what works for you. I found that waking up at 10AM, work for an hour (mail, calls) have lunch, work for a couple more hours, a short nap, work for a couple more hours, dinner with wife, then a marathon session into the night. Decidedly unstandard but I was remarkably productive.

- schedule regular, appointment-like "face time" with the office, whether you need it or not. You need to keep track of people and people need to keep track of you.

What's your "out"? As in, how does this fit into your long term plans?

Make a mental commute. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39408165)

Make a rountine of "going to work". For example, go down to the corner and get a coffee or take out the garbage, fetch the mail or whatever. Trick your brain into thinking you are going to work. When you walk in the door again, you are at work.

More importantly, make a fake commute from work. Go get the kids from school, or do something else outside the house like grocery shopping. Before you do, make sure you replied to all the emails and shut your computer down. When you walk in the door this time, you are home.

After doing this for almost 20 years... (1)

GaryTorello (1573383) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408171)

It still doesn't get easier. There are constant conflicts for your attention when you're at home. I have a separate office, but pretend all I want, I'm still at home. It's just so convenient; sure I can here for the cable guy, Mailman needs a signature, etc. etc. Family is very supportive but that also comes up against my guilty part when the little woman is determined to move the furniture while I'm "at work" ::arrghh:: . In the past 20 years I've also remodeled and moved my office within the house 3 times. If you have an option, choose the most remote room/space in the house to work out of. The last thing you want to be is in the "mix". One thing that I don't believe anyone mentioned yet is your utility costs.. don't underestimate this. Prior to my home office I went to work for someone else every day; I shut off the lights, turned down the heat, I even got to take my daily dump in their septic system. Being home means more lights on, using the stove at lunch, keeping the heat up, etc. My electric bill went up by at least 50%. Yes, you can manage it, but either it's too tough & time consuming or I'm too lazy. The best advice you've received so far is that of scheduling.. if you don't manage your time you'll end up feeling like you are working constantly.. and so will your family.

Time And Space (1)

Centurix (249778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408185)

That's it. Make time, make space. Been doing this on and off for over 15 years. Everything else you get suggested is nice and helps, but the biggest two are these.

Recently watched a talk by John Cleese [] who basically came up with the same two things for his working process.

My wife has been doing this successfully... (1)

Bryan Bytehead (9631) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408201)

It helps that I'm the only one home now.

She rarely uses her cell. We still have a land line (and this still goes for VOIP), and we have multiple cordless phones, and two corded ones. One in the bedroom so we don't miss that special call in the night if need be, even if ALL the cordless are dead, and she has a corded speaker phone on her desk, even though she also has a cordless. Too many phone calls lasting longer than your average cordless phone will handle, and the batteries for that last a year. Especially if the old system has a few years on it, and the phones only last five minutes, and give you zero warning that they are running out. So now we have a new cordless system, 4 phones, not 3, and the base is also a speaker phone for when you can't find a phone.

Now that the kids are all out of the house, it's not a huge deal, but I think it would certainly help if you do have kids, or anybody else for that matter. This system might actually last longer, the batteries are rechargeable AAAs, so the replacements will be cheaper than replacing the system, unlike what we were looking at with the previous system. It also helps that this new system can keep a list of numbers that can be blocked. They ring once, and then nothing.

I cook her breakfast when she's ready (it takes her awhile).

Unfortunately, she doesn't really keep a morning routine, she hits her office in her housecoat, and only gets showered and dressed when I drag her out, or she has a lunch appointment with somebody.

She has no problem with cutting somebody off at the knees if they call (or God forbid knock at the door) and she's busy or expecting a phone call. Even me if I'm out and need to talk to her.

She not only has multiple monitors, she has multiple computers, a work laptop (at one point two of them) with a second bigger screen, and her home system.

She usually VPNs in with GotoMyPC (the ability for the other computer to show what she's doing, and for the other side to take over and do something as well is an absolute must for her). The laptop will go to one PC, and her home machine will go to another PC at the office. Different operating systems, one's XP, the other Win 7.

We live in Florida, her office is in New Jersey.

The FTP server is full. Why they don't upgrade with more storage is beyond me. So instead, they use Outlook's Mailbox as a way to keep things synced among machines.

Cabin Fever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39408211)

About the only thing I can add to this that hasn't already been said is that you'll spend most of the day at home, working, and then most of your evening with family, at home. After about a month, you may find that you just absolutely have to get out of the house go _somewhere_. I don't really have any suggestions on how to combat this, but expect it to happen.

Also, working from a coffee house is something of a fantasy. Sure you can do it, but you quickly run into two problems: You quickly get tired of the coffee shop, no matter how pleasant the place is, as the novelty wears off and you think about spending 8 hours (or even 4) in the place (with work phone calls to field) and cringe.

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