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Has anyone here ever worked out how to master telecommuting?

I have a desk and some dedicated workspace at home. But my wife yells because the coffee machine isn't working, the bath isn't draining, she's had an argument with her sister on the phone and needs to talk, can we order this from Amazon? The dog sits there looking glum because in her mind we should be out hiking; Jehovah's Witnesses knock on the door and won't take a polite "Sorry I'm not interested" for an answer (no joke, that actually happened, today), next door's kid is practicing for Wimbledon against our shared garden wall...tennis ball hits wall, rhythmically, for hour after hour.

I appreciate the gesture on the part of my boss as I work on my department's annual report. Tomorrow morning, 6.45am, I'm going to be back in the office. Life is more productive there.

And I thought the biggest distraction with telecommuting would be the temptation to go and play golf. It honestly never crossed my mind. I was too busy and stressed out to think about golf.

 

 

Edited by ScouseJohnny

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Just because you're not good at telecommuting doesn't mean everyone else is, too.

I could do more in four hours at home than eight hours in the office. The key is obviously just distractions. Remove them. At the office, sometimes you can't. At home, you should be able to. You just chose not to.

And none of that is a judgment of course… just what it is.

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No, you're quite right. And I was wondering how others master this strange art.

The office brings distractions, too, of course - but one can legitimately place a sign on the door that says, more or less, "Working: leave me alone!"

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I work from home sometimes, and am many times more productive there than in the office. I mostly do it when I have to pound something out like a budget or project plan.  The keys for me are:

  • My wife leaves me alone to do my work because she respects that this is how we pay our bills.  If she did interrupt me a lot, I'd just find a gentle way to let her know that I need to focus.  She's cool though, she gets it.
  • I have a dedicated space with all of the technology set out so I don't have to jack around setting up monitors and crap each time.  I have the same setup as in the office, and I basically plug my laptop and headset in and go.
  • I stay as available as I would be in the office, I answer the phone immediately and I am sensitive to the need to communicate as effectively as possible with the people I work with.
  • I have a door to this space.
  • I take breaks and enjoy the time at home, and feed my wife and dogs some attention - it's good for both of us.
  • If I take time out to run personal errands or have a two hour lunch I don't sweat it because I know I'm getting much more done than I would in the office.

I wouldn't want to work from home all of the time, because I enjoy the company of my co-workers and the act of "going to work", but it's definitely a nice change of pace occasionally.

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44 minutes ago, Eric C said:

I work from home sometimes, and am many times more productive there than in the office.

This rings true for me if the network connection is slow at the office.  I have to go between a few different manufacturing sites on a regular basis when I work from the office it's basically like I'm working remotely to begin with.  Couple that with a bad network connection and I'm 100x  better off working from home on the VPN.  So I just pack up and leave.

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I could easily work from home, during the day the house is usually completely empty or if not empty the kids are asleep. However, since I'm the only IT person for where I work, I have to be on campus for the hands on issues that come up. I would be way less distracted at home than I am at work, at least from other people. From a boredom, browsing the internet aspect, it wouldn't be any different.

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It's a matter of just setting that boundary while at home. When I work from home, I go to my office and my wife knows not to bother me unless it's an emergency. It's very easy to get caught up in personal time while working from home. You just have to treat it like you're at your desk. I can do it, no problems. I have some friends that seem to be less productive because it's too tempting for them to watch tv, workout, etc...because it "feels" like free time to them. I actually get more distracted at work than at home. When at the house, I concentrate on what I'm trying to accomplish. At work, my co-worker and myself will start talking about everything under the sun and get less work done. The distractions can easily go both ways

Edited by TN94z

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Some people go to coworking spaces to get work done. Coworking is more popular in big cities though and has been corporatized, I don't like the big coworking companies. I've only used about half a dozen or so coworking spots and you can really put your head down and get stuff done as well as just get away from all too familiar surroundings. Good way to meet interesting people too.

Working from home is a godsend for those who have to take care of family, the flexibility it allows can literally change people's lives drastically.

Another thing about working from home is you can do stuff like go to the range for lunch, keep that messaging/Slack/whatever open. Sometimes people overwhelm you though because they know you're at home.

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Retire, go fishing and golfing, text your wife if you’ve had a good round or caught a nice fish. It works for me

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I've done it for 20 years and working on a book and workshop about it.  Actually happy to see there might be a market for it!

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Just make sure you get a lock for your door for those videoconferences.

 

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You don't have to be a complete dick but you have to be selectively dickish. I mean your livelihood (and implicitly the missus' Amazon purchases..) depends on your ability to get those reports done on time right? 

 

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Slack group for home, ha ha. Yo wife and kids, I don't reply in real, life only Slack. Only when issue is elevated enough levels to deal with in person, will you see me, in person.

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On 7/11/2018 at 5:09 AM, Eric C said:

I work from home sometimes, and am many times more productive there than in the office. I mostly do it when I have to pound something out like a budget or project plan.  The keys for me are:

  • My wife leaves me alone to do my work because she respects that this is how we pay our bills.  If she did interrupt me a lot, I'd just find a gentle way to let her know that I need to focus.  She's cool though, she gets it.
  • I have a dedicated space with all of the technology set out so I don't have to jack around setting up monitors and crap each time.  I have the same setup as in the office, and I basically plug my laptop and headset in and go.
  • I stay as available as I would be in the office, I answer the phone immediately and I am sensitive to the need to communicate as effectively as possible with the people I work with.
  • I have a door to this space.
  • I take breaks and enjoy the time at home, and feed my wife and dogs some attention - it's good for both of us.
  • If I take time out to run personal errands or have a two hour lunch I don't sweat it because I know I'm getting much more done than I would in the office.

I wouldn't want to work from home all of the time, because I enjoy the company of my co-workers and the act of "going to work", but it's definitely a nice change of pace occasionally.

I work from home full time now and every bit of what was said above is a necessity.  

I made my office an Air Conditioned Tuff Shed outside so that none of the normal day to day activities of the home can be heard and bother me.  When I'm in my Office I am effectively gone.

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