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Effective working from home? Who does it?

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Effective working from home? Who does it?

Old 06-12-2014, 10:21 AM
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Default Effective working from home? Who does it?

My job in its traditional sense is 8-5, in an office every day but leaving to see local clients nearly every day. For nearly 14 years, my MO has been to come in, get a bit of office work done, go see a client/prospect for lunch and another appt. afterwards...come back to the office around 3 PM, more office work and then go home. Not a bad routine.

Fast forward with technology advances and I can open my laptop from home for any and all office work. My boss is now 90 miles away, not right down the hall as I have been accustomed to...

My employer doesn't care if I ever come into the office, as long as I hit my numbers and take care of my clients. I'm tempted to work from home but can't seem to get motivated in the AM when I try this. My question is for all you folks who work from home- give me some tips on getting motivated and staying focused on getting the job done. I am so engrained in the thinking that if I'm not in the office, I'm not working that I feel guilty working from home. Thanks.
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:28 AM
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I can work from home pretty much any day but I don't -- except for a few times each year when a kid is sick, a contractor is coming to bid on something, car trouble, things like that.

Too many distractions for me. The phone rings, the dog is bored and wants to play, people see my truck in the drive so they pop in to shoot the breeze, stuff like that.

13 minute drive to the office and I have the solitude needed to get my work done and spend the day on THT.
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:33 AM
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I know exactley how you feel. Now on my 2nd year working exclusively from home.

What worked for me was placing myself on a very strict and tight schedule. I literally have my entire day planed to the minute, and nothing interrupts that routine. I am riddled with ADHD and I personally need this type of formula. I am all over the place if I don't stick to it, because when I am home, there's always distractions, but I simply ignore them.
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:34 AM
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Tips for working from home:

If you can't get motivated in the morning than don't work in the morning. Work in the evening. That is the beauty of working from home, you can get the same stuff done but on your own schedule. Work when you are most productive.
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:43 AM
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I'm working (browsing THT) from home right now. Not very productive. If it weren't for a dog with severe storm anxiety I'd be at the office. My wife used to be able to leave work (we worked together) and be home with the dog to prevent her from destroying the place. It's all on me now and it sucks. I'm looking into doggie daycare because I'm just not as productive at home.
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:50 AM
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I work from home probably 90% of the time and absolutely love it. Definitely nowhere close to as productive, but as long as I get my stuff done it doesn't seem to matter much...
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:01 AM
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I’m in management consulting and work from home when not on the road. What always works for me is reminding myself every morning of the fact that I have a couple of key clients and no company to support me if things go bad. Any drop in performance and my income is gone, probably resulting in my wife leaving me and me moving in with my parents. It’s a powerful motivator.
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:06 AM
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I've been working from home for about 9 years now. Our company is doing it more and more as office space becomes expensive and let's face it pretty useless most of the time.

The secret is to have a dedicated room in your house/apt that is just for work..I use my spare bedroom and set it up like an office and that's the only thing it's used for. I only go in there when I'm working and that has trained my brain so that when I'm in there I'm in work-mode.
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:09 AM
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Been working from home for 16 years, I like to get up early say 5:30 and get all the BS stuff done then quit early afternoon unless I have a client meeting late in the day. But I do work at night, weekends etc.
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:09 AM
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I respect the people that can do it. I am way too ADD. If I add in the distractions of the wife, baby and dog I would get less than nothing accomplished.
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Welshtrustee View Post
I'm tempted to work from home but can't seem to get motivated in the AM when I try this. My question is for all you folks who work from home- give me some tips on getting motivated and staying focused on getting the job done. I am so engrained in the thinking that if I'm not in the office, I'm not working that I feel guilty working from home. Thanks.
Put your pants on before noon
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by FishnDive View Post
Put your pants on before noon
I think that is my problem! Gotta get out of the swim trunks...
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by FishnDive View Post
Put your pants on before noon
Haha funny you say that. It's 2:30 and I still haven't gotten there yet.

I've worked from home for 2 years. I have an office about a half hour away. I get a lot of work done at home and can keep up with chores and yardwork when I'm slow. Some days I do get slammed....I either bunker down here or if it's really bad I'll go into the office where it's dead quiet with no TV and a nasty firewall

So far I like it, some days it gets too quiet but I always have the office to go to if I need to. I do meet with with customers and vendors from time to time so I'm not here all day. If I was home all day/all week I would go crazy. My alarm goes off at 7:55AM, I'm logged on at 8 sharp and logged off at 5 sharp....you can't beat that commute

My mother has worked from home for nearly 15 years. She has business need to leave the house maybe once a year. She mainly does financials for a top 50 corp, her boss lives 3000 miles away. She can work at home, at their summer home, or in a beach chair. It doesn't matter as long as there's wi-fi and she loves it. She is about to retire in August but growing up watching her do it taught me how to work hard at home so they let me stay at home.
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:38 AM
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I work from home even though I own my own company and we have an office and warehouse. For 15 years I went to the office to "work" but since I made the 100% switch to working from home, I get seven bazillion more things done each day.

No employees asking questions. I focus solely on business development, strategies and improving key processes that can be accomplished...from a distance.

I'm a big proponent of adopting an office free working style RIGHT NOW. I have everything I need to run my companies from wherever I am.

My day starts early and fishes late. I am basically working all the time, seven days a week....however, I find lots of time to waste on here...because these little mental holidays help me think of new ideas and keep me engaged.

My offices open a few hours after I've started work and close a few hours before I finish. Oftentimes, they leave the office of a night and when they come in the next morning, all their problems/needs/requests have been solved overnight by me...so they can attack their day.

I love it. Don't know why OldPete gave it up.
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:23 PM
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Time Management is key. If your hours are flexible, that is great but set a schedule and deadlines and keep to them.

I also had two standing rules:
1. No TV during the day
2. No grazing

The TV in the background was a complete distraction. "Oh man I gotta watch that..." or "Man that show sucks, let me find something else..." 30 minutes gone

No grazing because it's too easy to head to the fridge or pantry and just make a sammich, eat a bag of chips or whatever.

One other thing that helped me was to get up, shower, shave and get dressed just like I was going to the office (albeit no suit or tie, just a golf shirt and pants or shorts). It put me in a more productive mindset than when I rolled out of bed and went and sat at the computer.
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:27 PM
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A lot of solid advice here. I work from home when I'm not on the road. It was a real struggle for me at first but I've figured it out now. Here is what works for me, you may want to try any or all of these things and see if they help:

1. Set a routine - mine is up at 6 or 6:30, on the computer with the news in the background making a plan for the day, checking appointments, projects, deadlines, and other things that need to be addressed. Depending on how long this takes, I try to head out for a run around 7:30-8:30. Come back shower, and hit it hard till lunch. After lunch is flexible, sometimes another 5-6 hrs of grinding it out, sometimes head to the country club and get a round in. Point being find the routine that works for you and your type of work.

2. Have a dedicated home office. But just because it is an office doesn't mean it can't be comfortable. I have a traditional desk and desk chair, as well as a larger table with chairs for room to spread out, and a small couch. Tv on the wall normally muted on the news. It is office enough that I can be productive but comfortable enough that it keeps from wanting to venture to the rest of the house. I know some ppl who can work from their lay-z-boy and be productive, that ain't me.

3. Switch it up - this isn't a problem for me as it is rare that I spend a full week at home working. But sometimes I will go to a coffee shop or other place, just nice to have a change of scenery, and also feels good to stick it out and get your work done, then plop it on the couch when you get home.

Hope this helps, fwiw I know I couldn't work from home if it was an everyday thing for me. But in combination with being on the road, it is nice for me.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mark000 View Post
I've been working from home for about 9 years now. Our company is doing it more and more as office space becomes expensive and let's face it pretty useless most of the time.

The secret is to have a dedicated room in your house/apt that is just for work..I use my spare bedroom and set it up like an office and that's the only thing it's used for. I only go in there when I'm working and that has trained my brain so that when I'm in there I'm in work-mode.
Exactly. I have a number of folks that report to me who work from home on a scheduled basis, and having a dedicated work area definitely helps. You can tell which people actually work when working from home and which people don't.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JCM 1420 View Post
A lot of solid advice here. I work from home when I'm not on the road. It was a real struggle for me at first but I've figured it out now. Here is what works for me, you may want to try any or all of these things and see if they help:

1. Set a routine - mine is up at 6 or 6:30, on the computer with the news in the background making a plan for the day, checking appointments, projects, deadlines, and other things that need to be addressed. Depending on how long this takes, I try to head out for a run around 7:30-8:30. Come back shower, and hit it hard till lunch. After lunch is flexible, sometimes another 5-6 hrs of grinding it out, sometimes head to the country club and get a round in. Point being find the routine that works for you and your type of work.

2. Have a dedicated home office. But just because it is an office doesn't mean it can't be comfortable. I have a traditional desk and desk chair, as well as a larger table with chairs for room to spread out, and a small couch. Tv on the wall normally muted on the news. It is office enough that I can be productive but comfortable enough that it keeps from wanting to venture to the rest of the house. I know some ppl who can work from their lay-z-boy and be productive, that ain't me.

3. Switch it up - this isn't a problem for me as it is rare that I spend a full week at home working. But sometimes I will go to a coffee shop or other place, just nice to have a change of scenery, and also feels good to stick it out and get your work done, then plop it on the couch when you get home.

Hope this helps, fwiw I know I couldn't work from home if it was an everyday thing for me. But in combination with being on the road, it is nice for me.
Pretty much same for me except for after lunch. I usually start winding down the day around 2pm and am in reactive mode and often lets calls go to voicemail unless it is something I am directly working on that is time sensitive.. Early morning til noon I am wide-ass open. get A LOT done.. I am on the road 30-40%
One thing for sure, you MUST be self motivated to work from home. Way too many distractions.
My wife is a teacher so both her and my daughter are home as well thru summer.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:39 PM
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I've worked from home for 7+ years. I go in to the office for meetings or to use the big copier or color printer. Otherwise I'm online from home or traveling to one of our other office locations for meetings, etc.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:43 PM
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There is no way I could do it. I tried fulltime online classes for college. Nope. I would find myself getting up to take a piss and all the sudden I'm balls deep into fixing a light fixture, or working on my boat, servicing the air handler, etc. I get destracted to easily.
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