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Author: Subject: Working from home sucks
Mr Whippy

posted on 12/5/21 at 07:16 PM Reply With Quote
Working from home sucks

Yeah at first it was great, the novelty of falling out your bed, turning on your machine and being "at work".

However after more than a year I am so fed up with the whole thing. I don't know about you but I seem to be working longer and longer hours, sometimes till midnight, last week till 2:30am! Why? Well cos I have stuff to do and I could, and I would sleep better knowing it was done.

But this is the thing, working hours are all over the place now rather than regulated by when the office closes. You may say well that's just cos you're rubbish at setting fixed times but family life does a good job of mucking that idea up. I'm amazed that I now can't wait to get back to working in the office a my desk!

It's a funny old world.

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jacko

posted on 12/5/21 at 07:30 PM Reply With Quote
You need an alarm clock to set start ,tea break , and finish times and stick to them
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perksy

posted on 12/5/21 at 10:07 PM Reply With Quote
I'd love to give it a try...
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coyoteboy

posted on 12/5/21 at 11:33 PM Reply With Quote
I love working from home instead of the office. The flexibility it allows is awesome - need to nip out to get something and make up the time later, can do. Want to work a bit longer and finish earlier next day - can do. Want to work 9-5, just do it.
I still want to meet work colleagues and some of the interactive aspects are a lot harder (I've employed 2 new team members remotely, it's really hard to on board and welcome them properly). But it's minor compared to the freedom it provides.





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SteveWalker

posted on 12/5/21 at 11:42 PM Reply With Quote
I just work on the basis that when I finish work, I shut off the company laptop and put paperwork away. If I have a couple of spare hours (my wife has health problems and sometimes decides to sleep in the evening), then I might work then, but I simply knock the extra hours off other days, so I work the same 37 hour week - just spread at my convenience. Meanwhile I am gaining massive flexibility and many extra (non-commuting) hours with my family, while saving travelling costs.
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mcerd1

posted on 13/5/21 at 07:27 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SteveWalker....so I work the same 37 hour week...

^^ I'm jealous - we get the same sort of flexibility (even in the office to a slightly lesser extent) - but have to cover 42.5 hours a week

I'm also getting pretty fed up working from home all the time, it just doesn't suit me (I'm too easily distracted) and I've found myself back doing 50 - 60 hour weeks every so often too (for no extra pay )
I think we'll stop paying rent on the extra office space we took on the other year and everyone will end up doing 3 - 4 days from home each week, but I'll probably try and be in the office 3 - 4 days a week

On the other hand my wife loves it, but that means long term she'll claim the desk in the house - so I'll have to be in the office (we have a temporary second 'covid' desk I knocked up out of leftover ply last summer, but its just taking up space in the kitchen)





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jps

posted on 13/5/21 at 07:32 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mr Whippy
cos I have stuff to do and I could, and I would sleep better knowing it was done.

I’m with you in this. I think it’s because mentally you could ‘leave it at work’ as you walked out of the office door, and now there’s not that distinction between ‘thinking about work at work’, and ‘thinking about home at home’. Ironically I travel to my work place most days, drop my son off at the nursery there, then turn round and come back home, then repeat at the end of the day. I must be one of the few people who now has a *longer* commute thanks to working at home!

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r1_pete

posted on 13/5/21 at 08:06 AM Reply With Quote
I used to hate it too, I only did it when I had confidential or sensitive stuff to do.

Long term you can become isolated, miss the tea break chats and general work place 'non work' conversations.

We had a policy whereby home workers were assessed 6 monthly, they had to come into the office face to face, some you could see were withdrawn and had become uncomfortable in a work environment, in such cases they had to work at least 3 days a week in the workplace. Mentioning mental health was avoided like the plague, as some would take advantage, and, we were not qualified to diagnose.

[Edited on 13/5/21 by r1_pete]

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SteveWalker

posted on 13/5/21 at 08:23 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mcerd1
quote:
Originally posted by SteveWalker....so I work the same 37 hour week...

^^ I'm jealous - we get the same sort of flexibility (even in the office to a slightly lesser extent) - but have to cover 42.5 hours a week

I'm also getting pretty fed up working from home all the time, it just doesn't suit me (I'm too easily distracted) and I've found myself back doing 50 - 60 hour weeks every so often too (for no extra pay )
I think we'll stop paying rent on the extra office space we took on the other year and everyone will end up doing 3 - 4 days from home each week, but I'll probably try and be in the office 3 - 4 days a week

On the other hand my wife loves it, but that means long term she'll claim the desk in the house - so I'll have to be in the office (we have a temporary second 'covid' desk I knocked up out of leftover ply last summer, but its just taking up space in the kitchen)


It's not for everyone. I can see people living alone craving some office interaction, those with young children wanting to get away from the distractions or those with limited space wanting their home back.

In my case, my wife has health problems and is in bed all day most days. Our children were at home for much of the year, but they are all at secondary school (Yrs 8, 10 & 13), so could just get on with their work and Zoom lessons (the eldest in his bedroom and the other two in the conservatory) and I'd not see or hear them all day, unless the eldest made me a cup of tea. Luckily we have an abundance of PCs, each with its own desk and we have 350 Mbps internet.

Throughout, I could work 40 hours per week if I wanted and could currently work 45 - all paid - but I am happy with 37 and taking most of Friday off.

I find it less distracting than being in the office. I take breaks from work and do other things (just as I would in the office - but without the cost of a "Costa" coffee) and office banter continues over email, WhatsApp and Teams, but there is less distraction of things going on around.

The only change at home for me was adding a trackball by the keyboard and a USB switch for the keyboard; connecting the company laptop to a spare input on my monitor and a spare ethernet port; and I was then set up using my own 27" 2560x1440 screen, keyboard and trackball, with the laptop as a second screen and Teams camera/microphone on the windowsill next to me.

Oh and I already had a networked A4 colour laser printer and networked A3 inkjet printer.

I am hoping that this job carries on until at least Christmas (I am a contractor), but that we don't go back to more than 1 day a week in the office - they have reduced capacity to 60% and some people need to be in 5 days a week, plus the new management plan requires people to come in where necessary and specifically excludes coming in just to count "office" hours, so there is hope.

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Doctor Derek Doctors

posted on 13/5/21 at 09:46 AM Reply With Quote
I've been doing it a year and absolutely love it.

No commute
No shared toilets (there is always some disgusting person who ruins them)
No whistling wankers (the worst people on earth)
No muppets asking you to sponsor them for some rubbish
No people farting away all day
No boss wandering around nitpicking your work

I have a proper office, I have stuck to my previous work schedule of start/finish/breaks I even wear a work shirt. It means when work is finished I can stop, shut the office change and relax.
But also it means I spend loads more time with my family and can be more flexible to work odd hours or late deadlines if it's really needed.





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pigeondave

posted on 13/5/21 at 11:08 AM Reply With Quote
I'm loving it!
I save an hour and a half a day and the petrol money too.

What you need to do is find an activity to do for your commute time. I've been rippin' it on the MTB.

17:30 comes round, I'll drop the pencil, throw a leg over the bike and hit the SDW or the Dyke.

I think the trick is to do something active. I'm assuming we all have kit cars, if you don't cycle why not spend the commute money and go scare some road cyclists or yourself?

Focus the mind on something else.

I had the issue of not switching off when I worked close to home (7mins), previously it was 30min drive. I used to hit the gym to turn off.

Just an idea

and no I've not lost weight, I'm just eating more to compensate. Downhill on the bike is a gravity thing and I have more potential being 18st

[Edited on 13/5/21 by pigeondave]

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roadrunner

posted on 13/5/21 at 11:24 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by pigeondave
I'm loving it!
I save an hour and a half a day and the petrol money too.

What you need to do is find an activity to do for your commute time. I've been rippin' it on the MTB.

17:30 comes round, I'll drop the pencil, throw a leg over the bike and hit the SDW or the Dyke.

I think the trick is to do something active. I'm assuming we all have kit cars, if you don't cycle why not spend the commute money and go scare some road cyclists or yourself?

Focus the mind on something else.

I had the issue of not switching off when I worked close to home (7mins), previously it was 30min drive. I used to hit the gym to turn off.

Just an idea

and no I've not lost weight, I'm just eating more to compensate. Downhill on the bike is a gravity thing and I have more potential being 18st

[Edited on 13/5/21 by pigeondave]


I'm a road cycoist. Should I buzz some MTBers.

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pigeondave

posted on 13/5/21 at 11:37 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by roadrunner

I'm a road cycoist. Should I buzz some MTBers.


If you're off road in your kit car, I think you might have bigger things to worry about

I don't need much more scaring when I'm out on a bike, so I'll pass this time.

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SJ

posted on 13/5/21 at 03:06 PM Reply With Quote
I've been working from home for 20+ years. You need to be disciplined.
Despite working from home I commute about 13 miles by bike to work every day, even on Saturdays

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nick205

posted on 13/5/21 at 03:45 PM Reply With Quote
Mr Whippy

I worked at a desk as an engineer for 10 years clocking on/off.

Took a sales role (in the same company) working from home and on the road. No clocking on/off, worked silly hours and drove silly miles.

Went back in the office, but still had a laptop. Laptop travelled with me so I still worked silly hours. I'm with you on the "things to do so get them done and sleep better".

Working from home since March 2020 and like you itching to get bac to office life. Some home work seperation and some banter with work colleagues.

As it happens I'm returning to the office next month - looking forward to it.


Has you employer not made any plans for people returning to the workplace?


Are you not allowed to go back in to work?


Strikes me a lot of employers will have to get their people back in soon or they'll have to question leasing/owning/running empty buildings!

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SJ

posted on 13/5/21 at 03:48 PM Reply With Quote
quote:

Strikes me a lot of employers will have to get their people back in soon or they'll have to question leasing/owning/running empty buildings!


Already happened for us.

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coyoteboy

posted on 13/5/21 at 03:53 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nick205
I'm with you on the "things to do so get them done and sleep better"


That's just lack of ability to prioritise.

Prioritise your own stuff too, not work. It takes some doing but you can train yourself to accept that although there's stuff to do, and it might help your employer if you got it done sooner, you're not a robot and you have other priorities in life. You're not a bad employee for not killing yourself with work, you're a bad employee for not shouting up about being overloaded and for being over-worked.

Do I sometimes still do the odd long day? Yes. But I know I'm doing it, and I resent it, despite understanding its value. I certainly don't just blindly work on through the evening like a drone.




[Edited on 13/5/21 by coyoteboy]

[Edited on 13/5/21 by coyoteboy]





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craig1410

posted on 13/5/21 at 04:04 PM Reply With Quote
I've been working from home for many years and couldn't go back to working more than a day or so a week in an office. I find offices terribly distracting and uncomfortable places, especially open plan offices.

I realise not everyone enjoys working from home as it depends a lot on your home environment, your work culture and your own personality. Those all require very different methods to control and resolve.

In my case our kids are all grown up so I have a dedicated office between my bedroom and the kitchen and have a standing desk, comfortable chair, heating and ventilation set the way I like it and generally peace and quiet from 8am until 4pm each day. I work for a US client so they don't even bug me until 2pm at the earliest although sometimes I will get emails or DMs in the evening which I usually respond to if it's something quick, although there is no pressure to do so.

When I worked in an office it was open plan so I was right in the middle of the office between credit control and sales/marketing and the rest of the development team (I'm a software developer). This made is like a scene from the movie "Office Space" at times! My chair was crap and probably cost £20 from a catalogue and my computer was a piece of junk with crap keyboard and worse display. I was always in a battle with my neighbour over the office temperature which I found too hot and they found too cold although they would never consider just putting on a jumper. I was already just in a t-shirt so couldn't really remove any layers. I used to tweak the lock-shield valves shut on the radiators when nobody was looking!

I'm now self-employed so I buy my own computers and have good quality displays and a pretty nice MacBook Pro so the machine is no longer holding me back or giving me headaches and my office is a nice 20C with ideal humidity and plenty of fresh air. I can walk my dogs at lunchtime (or any other time I feel like it) which is good for them and me. I can also exercise whenever I feel like it rather than having to schedule that in the early morning or evening, neither of which work well for me. If I need extra sleep in the morning I can do that, or if I have things in my head I need to get out then I can start early or work late.

The key to all of this is to make the most of the advantages while avoiding the pitfalls. How to do this is different for everyone due to the factors I mentioned earlier, but with a bit of thought and some advice from others it can almost certainly be done. Nobody should end up working significantly more hours than they would do in the office. Even the time saved commuting should mostly be to the advantage of the worker (and environment), not the employer.

Hopefully anyone who is struggling with WFH can get some help from friends and colleagues. If I can help in any way then feel free to ask.

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coyoteboy

posted on 13/5/21 at 04:20 PM Reply With Quote
quote:

The key to all of this is to make the most of the advantages while avoiding the pitfalls. How to do this is different for everyone due to the factors I mentioned earlier, but with a bit of thought and some advice from others it can almost certainly be done. Nobody should end up working significantly more hours than they would do in the office. Even the time saved commuting should mostly be to the advantage of the worker (and environment), not the employer.



Eloquently put.





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James

posted on 14/5/21 at 11:31 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nick205
I'm with you on the "things to do so get them done and sleep better"


I've worked in the office for almost the entirety of the last year as I'm in Facilities.

I didn't realise one of the great things about my previous firm was that the office closed at 10pm. This meant you HAD to go home (and with no laptop that meant stopping work).

At my current place, it's open 24-7 and so I'm fairly regularly here till late.

My better half has WFH throughout, and the novelty soon wore off.

She does a full day, feeds and puts the kids to bed then sits down in front of the laptop and carries on working in front of the TV till midnight.




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"You're killing yourself for a job that would replace you within a week if you dropped dead."


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coyoteboy

posted on 14/5/21 at 11:51 AM Reply With Quote
It's all in your control. Just choose not to do it.

I've done periods of all-nighters and carried on again the next morning.

It killed my relationships, my friendships, gave me back issues.

When you see those failures happen to you, aged 30, you realise you need to prioritise yourself.

When kids are involved it obviously gets tricky, but the problem would still exist if you wre in an office, you'd just have to pay for support.

[Edited on 14/5/21 by coyoteboy]





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craig1410

posted on 14/5/21 at 11:57 AM Reply With Quote
I don't understand why some people feel compelled to continue working longer than they normally would in an office. I could understand it if it was their own business or if they got paid overtime or something.

Personally, I don't even think of a day in terms of hours sat at my desk. I try to think more in terms of "did I do a good day's worth of work?" Sometimes that is the case after just 4 or 5 hours and on other occasions I spend the full 8 hours or so and feel like I've achieved very little.

Even when I worked in an office I would tend to work in "bursts" where I would spend half the time in a fairly unproductive mindset being easily distracted and then suddenly switch to being very focussed and work furiously for a couple of hours. It's just how my brain is wired I guess. I have also worked with people who sit down at 9am and go home on the stroke of 5pm and work at the same rate the whole day and then they don't even think about work until the next day. I think perhaps those people found it hard to understand how I managed to get all my work done each day when they could see me during my unproductive periods chatting to colleagues or whatever. The best way I can describe it is that it's a bit like a race between a sprinter and a jogger. Both can cover the race in around the same time but in quite different ways. Where my strengths really show is when you present me with an interesting challenge where I can maintain the "sprint" pace for much much longer, sometimes days on end. That can certainly cause me to work longer than normal hours but it doesn't feel like work in that case.

It just occurred to me that the fact I'm replying to this post just now gives you an indication of how interesting my current task it!

Anyway, getting back to the working hours thing - people need to figure out why they work longer hours than when in the office and find ways to address it. I'm sure there must be psychological reasons behind this as it is quite common.

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mcerd1

posted on 14/5/21 at 01:01 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by craig1410
I don't understand why some people feel compelled to continue working longer than they normally would in an office. I could understand it if it was their own business or if they got paid overtime or something....
...people need to figure out why they work longer hours than when in the office and find ways to address it. I'm sure there must be psychological reasons behind this as it is quite common.

I don't think its always just an issue with WFH, its just easier to fall into that trap when your at home


Personally when I was strait out of Uni, Single with no kids it was easy to end up in the office from 7:30am to 6:30pm (as thats what a couple of guys with the keys always did) even though the actual hours where 8 - 5.
and later when I had my own key that would end up more like 7:30pm or later (at one point I was even going home at 5 for tea and coming back into the office for 6 till 11pm or later ) (with overtime on maybe 1/4 of that )
these days I married with 2 young kids and priorities have changed somewhat


for me its probably something to do with growing up in a family of farmers and medics - you just have to get the job done, even if that means working 6:30am till 1:30am the next morning (with just a few short breaks for food) for a whole week or more (and that's a 7 day week too) - that was my summer jobs when I was at Uni

[Edited on 14/5/2021 by mcerd1]





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coyoteboy

posted on 14/5/21 at 11:47 PM Reply With Quote
I used to. I love my job and enjoy the challenges, honestly my home stuff is mostly the same as my work stuff. My mind never turns off, I will burntheough a work day and then do another 8 hours of fun tinkering on my own projects. It's just these days I male sure they're my own projects.





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Mike Wood

posted on 15/5/21 at 06:41 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by r1_pete
I used to hate it too, I only did it when I had confidential or sensitive stuff to do.

Long term you can become isolated, miss the tea break chats and general work place 'non work' conversations.

We had a policy whereby home workers were assessed 6 monthly, they had to come into the office face to face, some you could see were withdrawn and had become uncomfortable in a work environment, in such cases they had to work at least 3 days a week in the workplace. Mentioning mental health was avoided like the plague, as some would take advantage, and, we were not qualified to diagnose.

[Edited on 13/5/21 by r1_pete]


This is a very interesting and helpful thread - thanks all.

The observations above are fascinating in how an employer pre-Covid days had realised there could be mental health issues - without mentioning it - and got homeworkers in every six months and how some people's behaviour had changed and how the employer tried to help this.

Like some on here I have generally found home working quite good, short commute, less interruptions compared to the office as well as saving on petrol costs. I am also in for when the couriers and postie arrive with bits for my Austin Healey Sprite and Locost project!(and perhaps where my petrol savings are going!).

I do recognise I am very lucky to have a tiny box room that serves as a study that I can shut the door on work.

Cheers
Mike

[Edited on 15/5/21 by Mike Wood]

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