Hi, I believe there are a lot of people here who work remote or from home. What are you experiences doing work like that? What do you recommend for making it work better.
When I started working from home I thought it is the best thing it could happen to me, but after a few months I realised it had some major drawbacks.
I had a lot of trouble staying focused all day and to stop working after let’s say 17h. I was taking longer breaks (i cooked myself a lunch) and to make it up I worked longer hours which turned into working entire days and weekends also. I also had some problems with isolation, so I worked from home and didn’t go outside as much as I would if I wold work from an office. Sure I had skype meetings and phone calls but it’s just not the same. I also had some problems with my daily routine. Some day I worked long hours (until 3-4 am) and the next day I woke up really late and my entire day was ruined.
I want to hear from you how do you make it work and what are the biggest problems for you.
If you’re ready to invest around $10-15 daily, depending on where you live, you can work like I did last year, at Coffee shops, each day another one ( of course, just in my hometown, so eventually I ended up going in the same place twice a week, because we have like 5). I found it’s a lot more productive to work like that, I was constantly focused, and when I was taking a break I was just looking around at the people and smoked a ciggarette. Trust me, look for a place where it’s not too crowded and make it your work place for the day, it’s a pretty fun way to work.
@easydevelopment thanks for your reply.
I tried that many times and it’s really working when you want to get things done. The only problem I had was when I had a conference call or a skype meeting, than it is not the best place to work
My vote goes against working in coffee shops, because I just cannot do it. First because I need equipment that I cannot carry around (screens, larger keyboard, etc), second because I cannot work if there is any noise around me. I’m one of the few people who gets the most concentration from a graveyard-like silence.When I work from home, I adopt several tricks to stay focused:
- I prepare lunch the evening before, possibly for a few days, so that I just have to re-heat it. this allows me to enjoy a good meal, without taking more than an hour from the work day (one hour should always be set aside for lunch, eating quickly is a good way to ruin your health).
- I work in a separate room, where nobody is allowed to enter.
- I start and finish as if I were in a normal office, allowing a bit of margin in case of need (e.g. one hour overtime). When it’s time, it’s time, no long stretches until 4AM.
- Silence, silence, silence. No music, no phone, no people. That’s the best way for me to focus.
- Sandboxed meetings and conference calls. They must have a precise start and end time, no overruns allowed.
- Scheduled email checking. I check emails three times a day, and reply accordingly. This allows a constant flow, rather than having a notification interrupting it all the time.
I’m aware that what works for me may not work for others, but I hope it can give you some inspiration.
@easydevelopment thanks for your reply. I tried that many times and it’s really working when you want to get things done. The only problem I had was when I had a conference call or a skype meeting, than it is not the best place to work
Avoid those, and you’ll love it I promise,. And Skype meetings there should be something normal, but not more than once a day, if that’s the case, you should think about getting a “work mate”.Talking in a coffee shop via skype is not like your shouting, but “in the real world” it looks like your talking to yourself ( once I had to do it, and I pretended to talk on the phone while I talked on skype)
One thing that has worked for me is making a schedule for my day. I had everything arranged by hours, including my meals and breaks. I had figured when I should work and when I should take a walk. Working from home demands a lot of discipline. You have to keep repeating to yourself (and your family and friends) that there’s a very strict schedule you can’t overlook. And the fact that you’re the one who established the rules, doesn’t mean you’re allowed to break them. I was even forbidding my family to talk to me when I was working, unless it was something very important. And when a phone called, “I’m not home”, because I was at work, one way or another. If you need a routine for productivity, you must create it and be as zealous about it, as it gets.
p.s. Come to think of it, I need to get back on my own schedule T_T
Control yourself. Make plan, deadline for each project. Work in a few hour after that you can relax by a cup of tea or coffee. Relax and work and relax
Hey thanks to all that have replied. Yes, focus is a major problem when you are all alone the entire day.
I wonder how many of you actually work by themselves and how many in a small team that works from different locations. I work now with two partners and it’s much more fun compared to back than when I was working alone.
Does anyone have any experience with office sharing as I am considering this option right now.
I do. It’s a matter of ensuring that the space offers you a good mix of privacy / focused work space and social interaction. If it’s too much of either, you’re better off working from home or a coffee shop. The ideal mix should include your own private desk that’s not surrounded by a noisy environment, and a dedicated space for socializing. Also, if you go for this alternative to working from home, do make sure you consider every possible aspect involved in your daily routine:
- Distance to workspace – you’ll be forced to calculate this time as unpaid work, so it better be close, or a pleasure to repeat on a daily basis. Otherwise it will be tiring and counter-productive
- Price – be sure you find a spot that’s ideal for your specific requirements. Be picky, ask every possible questions that come to mind. Skype you say? Check for a room / quiet corner. Internet work? Make sure the internet access is great and paid for with a guaranteed secure connection etc.
- Desk assets – perhaps not immediately obvious, but a locker, coat hanger, printer, bean-bags or comfy chairs are a must. Try to look for everything you’d have at home, or better.
- Check for awesome shops / restaurants nearby. Sometimes you’ll end up being in the office longer than expected and you need to make sure you have somewhere to grab a bite to eat
Hope this helps.