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Working From Home Megathread

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Comments

  • #2


    The underlined bits are quite interesting, and contradictory.
    I know in my job we have people who will refuse to work from home because this was not something that was ever a requirement of their job/contract. And in many cases wfh-ing was refused or at best a struggle.
    Unapologetically, I'm on the side of those who have been called 'the trouble-makers' - but I don't think any company big or small can go from 'tell us 2 weeks in advance why you need to work from home' to 'you must work from home next week'.

    I don't think any company could introduce such a mandatory policy without consulting staff and getting individual approval. This event is unique though and gives rise to circumstances where companies are doing it for other reasons than trying to enforce it on staff. In a large company that was mentioned in the corona thread they didn't even have the facilities in place for people to work from home prior to this but have over the last weeks put in the place the necessary infrastructure to facilitate the option and now issuing guidance to work from home.

    They are doing it based on their own analysis and risk assessment of the current situation and deciding for a number of reasons it is the best option during the current period. If it is for your own safety, the safety of those around you and ensuring the future viability of the company then I don't understand how staff under current conditions would have arguments against it.


  • #2


    sounds brilliant, wish i could do it but i manage a large number of people in an operations setting so not possible for me unfortunately.

    Ah even then you can do it one day a week anyway if you have things like Skype/teams and full vpn access when off site.

    Build the right team and they'll work away regardless of whether you're there or not and it actually empowers them too. Although my guys were level 2/3 deskside. It would be different with something like a service desk.


  • #2


    I've also in the past gotten some short-term contract work from Upwork; in general I found it was absolutely not worth my time - finding and winning contracts takes a lot of work in itself, and the site takes a pretty hefty cut.

    Shortly after I stopped using it, I think they started charging people to apply for contracts, ostensibly to make the hiring process simpler.


    I'm glad I did it, for blagging on my CV, but in my area at least, pay earned for work done was not great. I did get $10 for putting a title on a document once, but that was the far and away the exception.



    There is (was?) also no recourse for unfair feedback - as with Uber, I suppose - if someone gives you three of five stars on a whim, that has a big impact on you getting future clients, and there's nothing you can do about it. I had one guy give me 3/5 stars for punctuality after he took three weeks to send me the job and I returned it in less than 24 hours. Once you lose the 5-stars, it's very difficult to get it back.



    I didn't find it was a great site for me, but some people do seem to make decent money from it.


  • #2


    Working from home is not possible in my job, but I wonder about many people, especially younger workers, being physically able to find a suitable space for working for home to make it a viable option even temporarily for this crisis. With so many people living in quite overcrowded conditions at home, or sharing a room in a house share, or even as a lodger in an owner occupied house, WFH could be near impossible. Of course these conditions are also going to be very problematic in a scenario of widespread infection and need to quarantine, but just from a WFH perspective I don't see it being really possible for many people.


  • #2


    Sonics2k wrote: »
    I worked from home a couple of years ago and after a few months I ended up with cabin fever. Totally lost my mind and was miserable.

    I'm not exactly a social person but with no real interaction with others it was just incredibly draining.

    Working from home once or twice a week is grand, but permanently it's just an awful time.

    That would be my preference too. Generally my industry is suited to it but never seeing people ever isn't healthy for my own head and I think it's better to have time in person with teams.


  • #2


    I work from home a few days every week. Definitely a lot more productive when working from home as there are less distractions. The only difficult part is knowing when to call it a day, much easier in the office. I do miss going out for lunch, the free beer fridge in the afternoons and the office banter. Few days in the office and a few days at home is a nice balance.


  • #2


    I've been working 100% remote for 12 years or more at this stage.

    Work for a US Multi-National . I'd only go in to the local office here about 4 or 5 times in the year . I do travel overseas quite a bit but 70-80& of my time is from home.

    It suits my lifestyle and I would find it extremely difficult to go back to 9-5 in an office now.

    As other have mentioned there are a few key things that you need to have/do to make it work.
      You must have a dedicated "Office" with a door you can close - Sitting at the kitchen table or whatever just will not work. You need to make sure that you block out timeslots during the day for personal stuff e.g. 3:30pm-4pm - Collecting Kids from School or whatever . Put them in your calendar and make yourself unavailable. You'll more than cover the required hours , so make sure you allocate space for your self. Get up and take coffee/lunch breaks , you'd do it in the office , make sure to do it at home. It's very easy to find that you've skipped breakfast and lunch at home.. Also - It might sound silly , but get up and get showered/dressed every day , don't sit at the desk in your PJ's until lunchtime. Certainly for me that act of "Getting ready for work" is an important mental transition. Family understanding that "you are at work" is also important . Partners & Children need to understand that if you are at work you are at work regardless of the fact that you are upstairs in the spare bedroom or whatever. That's why having a door to close is important. For me , if the door is closed then the family know that I am busy and can't be disturbed , but if the door is open they can drop in for a chat etc.


  • #2


    What about the finances of working from home?

    My commute to the office costs practically nothing. It is 1 mile door to door.
    In the event of being forced to work from home, who is responsible for the stability of my broadband connection - Most people's home broadband occasionally goes AWOL and has variable dependability/capacity depending on who your provider is. And who is responsible for paying for it? Most people have it anyway but can get rid of it if they need to save money - we cant if we need it for work. And what about home heating and electricity use? It would be pretty darn cold sitting in the box room for 8 hours per day at this time of year, in a house where the heating is usually off during daytime - and the heating bills will quickly add up. Why should I pay for it while the office get to turn off their heating coz nobody is there?


  • #2


    Tea Shock wrote: »
    What about the finances of working from home?

    My commute to the office costs practically nothing. It is 1 mile door to door.
    In the event of being forced to work from home, who is responsible for the stability of my broadband connection - Most people's home broadband occasionally goes AWOL and has variable dependability/capacity depending on who your provider is. And who is responsible for paying for it? Most people have it anyway but can get rid of it if they need to save money - we cant if we need it for work. And what about home heating and electricity use? It would be pretty darn cold sitting in the box room for 8 hours per day at this time of year, in a house where the heating is usually off during daytime - and the heating bills will quickly add up. Why should I pay for it while the office get to turn off their heating coz nobody is there?

    It's a good point.

    For our fully remote staff who work at home, we pay for their internet connection and other expenses like getting a proper desk / chair etc. I believe there's also some yearly expense for other utilities too. Nothing for fixed staff who work from home at random times.

    If your employer makes you work from home from next week and you don't have a fixed internet connection, who pays? etc.

    I can certainly see the exact extra cost per day in electricity / gas when I work from home!


  • #2


    Ferm001 wrote: »
    Find it very hard to WFH, to many distractions. No actual fixed office in country, as involved in National sales, but find get more done in the various service stations / fast food outlets.

    Would love if there was a cheap network of pop in office spaces around the country. Good B/B, coffee machine, communal area, sealed office cubicles for quiet work, phone calls etc. Would benefit communities, as would allow people the office environment, but not the commute.

    Yes office spaces are a problem when outside the big cities. There is a hot desk option near me I would like to use but at roughly 200 a week its hardly worth it! That's 800 p/m...


  • #2


    I’ve been working from home for 2 days a week for the past 2 years and love it. It has really improved my health and well-being. I get to skip my 2 hour minimum roundtrip commute on those days which is a godsend and means I have so much more energy throughout the week.

    I’m more productive as it’s quiet at home and I can concentrate and focus, whereas in the open plan office it’s nothing but noise and constant distractions, the printer going every couple of minutes, people talking on the phone, people shouting over to others about stuff, people coming in and out of the room, I just find it really hard to work in that environment. I also feel like I am under constant surveillance in the office so I am a lot more relaxed at home.

    I have the heating on for about an hour extra per day on the days I work from home, but that’s only during the winter months. Any extra costs there are offset by the saving on petrol and less wear and tear on the car and tyres etc. I also save money by being able to make lunch at the house on those days.

    Going to ask my company soon if I can work from home 4 days a week, that would be ideal for me.


  • #2


    I'm a software engineer and is a result, WFH is a perk that we receive. Since I started my current job in June 2019, I've taken the opportunity to WFH maybe 4 times. I don't particularly like it, and I find it quite boring. I like going into the office and having a laugh with lads. I need the interaction (even as an introvert).

    Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have the option. If the Coronavirus has an outbreak we will be forced to WFH indefinitely as the office will be closed.


  • #2


    Ficheall wrote: »
    You'd need a phd in maths, and we have no vacancies at present. No more PMs, please.


    71%2BX5O9F7fL._AC_UY445_.jpg


  • #2


    I'm a software engineer and is a result, WFH is a perk that we receive. Since I started my current job in June 2019, I've taken the opportunity to WFH maybe 4 times. I don't particularly like it, and I find it quite boring. I like going into the office and having a laugh with lads. I need the interaction (even as an introvert).

    Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have the option. If the Coronavirus has an outbreak we will be forced to WFH indefinitely as the office will be closed.

    I've found it most useful when I've had health stuff going on and still wanted to work.


  • #2


    I've converted one room at home to an office, have similar equipment to the main office (office chair, multiple screens, docking station, wired LAN, etc), and don't have much in the way of disturbances. Although sometimes there will be a noisy lawnmower outside or a bin lorry tearing around making a racket which can intrude on calls, so it's good to have reasonable sound-proofing in your home office if that's going to be an issue.

    The team I work in is scattered between multiple locations, here and in the US. Some of us work remotely on a permanent basis, the rest of mix working from home with being in the office as we prefer. From a social perspective it works, as my co-workers are often working remotely also. It does pay to have a decent web camera and headset (we use high end logitech HD cameras and top end Plantronics headsets), and decent video conferencing software. Zoom is nice and easy to use, webex is popular too but a bit clunky. Video conferencing done properly works really well, in fact sometimes when we're in the office a few of us will set up a Zoom call anyway so that we can share our screens with each other more easily.

    Messaging channels such as Slack can be great but can also be a distraction if not managed well. One of the challenges I find is how best to indicate my "presence". In the office I'll put on headphones to indicate that I'm in "do not disturb" mode, when working remotely I have to remember to set my online status properly so my colleagues know whether I'm open to being disturbed or not.

    I do regret not installing an adjustable standing desk at home when I had the chance. I have one at work now and I find it a great improvement over a normal desk. I deliver online training occasionally and being able to stand when teaching really helps project in a more alert way compared with being seated.

    Having a structured way of managing team work can help, some form of Agile (if appropriate) using Jira, or Trello, or whatever, so that everyone can see what everyone else is working on can help a team to function better when physically remote from each other.

    As it happens my boss works from home quite a bit too, and weekly meetings on Fridays are done by video conference with most of the team logged in from home. If only a few of us were working remotely, I think we might feel excluded from the office gossip, but as we are all in the same boat that really doesn't seem to happen.

    I still have a desk at the main office, which is 30 minutes away, so if I want to show my face in the building, or talk to HR, or if my home broadband goes down, I can just throw the laptop in a bag and drive on in.

    I don't think I'd like to work 100% from home, but given the choice of 100% in the office or 100% at home, I'd definitely take the home option. I guess it's worth clarifying that I'm well established careerwise and not looking for any additional promotion, nor am I in a management role, so what suits me might not work for everyone else.


  • #2


    I recently left a job where I WFH full time for a job with no WFH options for a variety of reasons.

    I'd echo everything Quin_dub said, but in particular the door to close. I started working from the kitchen table and did that for a few months because I had to convert the spare room into an office first. It was a nightmare. Family members coming into the kitchen and making a cup of tea can't resist the temptation of small talk while the kettle boils.


  • #2


    My ex flatmate whi Intented a room to last year decided they were going to ‘work from home’ - total nightmare. The house went from quiet haven to angry tantrums on the phone and a permanent bad termpered flatmate nagging at people on the phone and thinking it was fine or of interest to shre it with me. That and a huge increase in heating bills ( 20 extra days of 8 extra hours aprox) and significant uptake in Lx use too - plus the comfy rooms became office hangouts for whwn they were bored ir wanted a change of scene - with work files and papers scattered about. Never again.

    I had to take a conference call out of hours the other day & set it up in the main open plan room downstairs - sun beating in necessitated furniture change and an umberella
    indoors and then I had to stage the background as I didnt waNt my private space or photos and drying laundry on show. I really felt intruded upon by the corporate world who felt it was a great idea - not to mention the fear of inconveniencing my (new) flatmate whi had to creep in and whom I had to ask not to cook or use the huge common room in for that hour and a half in the evening. Not impressed.

    From working with a multinational with a lot of sub contractors and young staff it always seemed to
    keep to the same pattern - out of sight out of mind - when the chips were down and there were less contracts to renew it was those who were in the office networking that got the renewals and not those invisible drones who nobody remembered who wete ‘working’ from home.

    Regardless of how hard they might have worked everybody felt they were just in the doss and being paid to mind their own babys - as was often evidenced by the disruptions on skype calls by their children who clearly were at it all day long and clearly rarely corrected.

    As for those I often see in small cafes and stRvucks using their wifi and discussing private figures and details with spredssheats out on public display I have to wonder. I would not be happy if that was my company or vendor and my details out on view like that or being discussed publically. But thats not what working from home is supposed to be.


  • #2


    coming into the kitchen and making a cup of tea can't resist the temptation of small talk while the kettle boils.

    Sounds like a normal office environment :D


  • #2


    Sounds like a normal office environment :D

    That was my first thought too. For some reason, though as I said in the OP this stuff enters your mind in a negative way far more than if you are in the office. In my line of work, the reality is even if I took a few hours off at home that I am far productive overall than at the end of the day than in the office. The kind of work requires a decent amount of concentration and focus into your own world and in the office that is interrupted often and can be hard to even engage the kind of headspace that is optimal to the work in an open office environment.

    Just to add also the natural cut off point of the day in the office can be extremely helpful to reset and move out of the work headspace for the day. I quite enjoy what I do and am naturally inclined toward becoming invested in solving something or working until I have some cut off point that I feel happy leaving it. That can mean sometimes if you get heavily involved in something interesting it can be hard to just leave the laptop to one side and move on with the day while the ritual of finishing work and commuting home gives it that natural end.


  • #2


    If you can do your job 100% from home, then there's a lad in China etc who can do it from his home for a fraction of the price you charge.

    Right now, timezones and standards of English are saving your job. But the Indian lads timeshift their working hours at the drop of a hat. And the Latvian ones are working on their English.


  • #2


    That was my first thought too. For some reason, though as I said in the OP this stuff enters your mind in a negative way far more than if you are in the office.

    I think it's psychological to be honest.

    When you are in the office you're seen, your at your desk it's fairly obvious if you're super busy and if things are going right or wrong.

    In my work, the task can go right and it will probably take a day or day and a half to complete. In can also go wrong and take the day/day and a half to get to the point where you realise it's wrong then the finding the error can be 5 mins to the full day depending.... If I'm in the office that's fine, if I was at home I'd probably end up doing extra work off the clock as I'd be convinced they'd think I'm dossing.


  • #2


    If you can do your job 100% from home, then there's a lad in China etc who can do it from his home for a fraction of the price you charge.

    Right now, timezones and standards of English are saving your job. But the Indian lads timeshift their working hours at the drop of a hat. And the Latvian ones are working on their English.

    That's a very black and white view of things


  • #2


    If you can do your job 100% from home, then there's a lad in China etc who can do it from his home for a fraction of the price you charge.

    Right now, timezones and standards of English are saving your job. But the Indian lads timeshift their working hours at the drop of a hat. And the Latvian ones are working on their English.

    You mean like St Patrick...

    https://youtu.be/TuliPrHmyjU

    Seems to have worked out...


  • #2


    yes, find it more productive, possibly due to an 1.5 extra hours sleep and not having to face the full length of the m50 in the morning!


  • #2


    6 wrote: »
    That's a very black and white view of things

    The poster is basically a troll, I wouldn’t look to much into it ;)


  • #2


    I'm fortunate that I can work from home - I have a phone handset at home and with VOIP I can answer the office phone and transfer calls to colleagues at their extensions - and vice versa.
    The only issue I have is having the hard copy files I am working on, with me when at home so I generally plan in advance what day(s) I work from home.


  • #2


    I think it's psychological to be honest.

    When you are in the office you're seen, your at your desk it's fairly obvious if you're super busy and if things are going right or wrong.

    In my work, the task can go right and it will probably take a day or day and a half to complete. In can also go wrong and take the day/day and a half to get to the point where you realise it's wrong then the finding the error can be 5 mins to the full day depending.... If I'm in the office that's fine, if I was at home I'd probably end up doing extra work off the clock as I'd be convinced they'd think I'm dossing.

    My work would be in a similar vein only a number of tasks spread out over weeks. From experience, I learned to cook the books a little along the way so that a spare plate is always in the air when it might be ready for the press so if the time is needed in the exact kind of scenario you describe it can be procured from other places.


  • #2


    Sounds like a normal office environment :D

    It really isn't. It's like somebody going into the canteen to boil the kettle, then leaving the canteen and chatting to the first sap they see, which is me. And I hated sitting closest to the canteen!


  • #2


    6 wrote: »
    That's a very black and white view of things

    Have you ever trained your replacement in China (or India, Poland, Mexico, Costa Rica, etc) and then been made redundant? I know I'm not the only one has.


  • #2


    Have you ever trained your replacement in China (or India, Poland, Mexico, Costa Rica, etc) and then been made redundant? I know I'm not the only one has.


    As smart as you are I are, and generally Irish people are not dummies - there's always someone out there with an internet connection who is that bit smarter, that bit more motivated, that bit more willing to work odd hours, and that bit more willing to work for less than you.

    Hell, they need not even be as good as you, just 'good enough' and will accept less money than you.

    Basically, Thomas Friedman's thesis in his book The World is Flat.


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