| 12:13 am on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I sit here with a shirt n tie on and not much else :)
| 12:27 am on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I work from home.
Almost none of the clients I work for are local, most are not in the same country. I have several I have never spoken to, everything is done by email.
In some ways I miss 'going' to work - there is no longer any clear demarcation between work and home, which means I work silly hours and my house is a tip, I never seem to have time for housework when I can just as easily slip into the office and do 'real' work.
| 12:56 am on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)|
abbeyvet, I've got the same problem with working from home. I don't know when to close up the shop, and went from being a gourmet scratch cook to grabbing sandwiches and chips down at the gas station convenience store. Mainly because I can't find anythiing in the kitchen. ;)
Oh, there's also a client problem working at home. I got an email just this Sunday night after 11 PM and 3 minutes later got another one SHOUTING IN CAPITALS in the message subject line because I hadn't replied. Then SHOUTING IN CAPITALS on Monday because I hadn't answered those. I still haven't, because I don't have that much self-control and I DON'T DARE. :)
The big difference is that with going "out" to work we can set boundaries, but even with that we can still check email from home and access most everything, so I think it runs into time and self-management issues for some of us because we can still bring the work home, so to speak.
| 1:20 am on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I just turned in my resignation from the 'real job' today.
| 1:22 am on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I made the move to full time webmaster a few months ago I love the freedom of picking and choosing when to work. I miss some of the social interaction of the workplace. I now earn twice as much as I used to and have more freedom.
It also means that I can be working at 1.30 am also in shirt and tie and not much else :-)
| 2:46 am on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I work part-time (one day for less than 6 hours usually) for an employer though that agreement was only after they pleaded with me. For the most part I work at home in shorts, sweats, robe and slippers...
| 3:01 am on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I also work from home.
Marcia makes some great points about the disadvantages of working from home. I spent the first two months thinking that working from home is the most wonderful thing in the world. I worked till I fell asleep in my office chair and ended up neglecting a social life and time spent with my better half.
For the next two months, I spent a lot of time sleeping in a little past "normal" operating hours. I also noticed that clients were starting to call me later and later..somehow knowing that I work out of a home office. My hours usually ran from 10:00am to 2:00am.
I think I've figured it out after a year of trial and error. I have set work hours and try to stick to them. Occasionally, when it gets very busy, I add an hour or two a day to my schedule.
It seems to be working. My wife isn't complaining, I'm eating better and I feel good every morning. There's a lot to be said about having a good night sleep.....in bed, not my office chair.
My next obstacle? As my business grows, I find more and more clients phoning and asking if they can meet at my office. I'm thinking aboout renting some office space, just for meetings, but if I'm paying rent for an office would it make sense to move everything there and start a normal commute again?
| 3:30 am on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)|
wonderful posts guys, enjoyed em all.
I love the freedom too and totally agree with marcias points. I would much rather be shouted at in capitals than in person though, not that i would ever stand for either, and NO client has ever called me more than once after 8pm.
I too find that I am always at work, but at least i realize its important to my job that i sit in the hot tub every day to clear my head. I love my work anyway, and dont need to do it.
| 3:51 am on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I've been working from home just shy of 12mths now and I'm loving it. I work longer hours, 7 days a week but it's all for me not an employer who doesn't appreciate your loyalty and commitment but only expects more! Actually I think I'm a harder task master than any other boss I've ever had LOL
I think that although working from home generally means 24/7, 365, you are a better person and true to yourself :)
| 2:11 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)|
>> The big difference is that with going "out" to work we can set boundaries
I still set boundaries even at home. My home office is literally in a room by itself. "Going to the office" is more a state of mind than it is a physical relocation.
>> I find more and more clients phoning and asking if they can meet at my office.
I've run into this problem too but I explain to all of my clients that I work at home and would prefer to meet them at their office or the local coffee shop on the corner. I work at home for my convenience - not to have my work invade my personal and family life. Again - for me it's a simple matter of drawing a mental line in the sand and sticking to it.
| 2:37 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I'm interested in working from home as well, and am in the process of setting up a business. I'm mostly interested in it because I want to relocate to a city with high unemployment, and if I'm working for myself I don't need to worry about that.
I've decided that I definitely need a physical separation-- I cannot work out of my bedroom. I need an extra room, or even a dedicated space in the dining room, or something-- an Office, so that I don't do my work from my bed and never sleep.
I also intend to abide by a more rigorous schedule. I've noted with interest everyone's points about how it becomes a 24/7/365 operation when it's your own, but it's all you-time because you're not working to benefit someone else. I've always worked on that kind of schedule, and now I have the worst of both worlds because my 24/7 schedule has a 10-hour-block in the middle when I'm working for someone else. I figure, if I can just eliminate that 10-hour block of wasted time, I should be golden, right?
And then I wouldn't have a supervisor to lecture me on my lack of fashion sense and how it negatively impacts my chances to claw my way up to middle management. You know, sometimes you don't know whether to laugh or cry at the things people say...
| 2:38 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I used to have the office in the house then moved it out to the barn now I am thinking of moving out of the house and in to the barn to be with the office again.
I have set boundries with the office telephone,I will not answer the telephone out of hours unless I know who it is.
I do think that running ones own business does mean you have to work far harder and longer hours than when in a job.
But I would not have it any other way.
| 2:40 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Most of us go to work every day.
It use to be during the "glory days"
they would let us work from home
two days a week.
My company decided to get rid of all
our "remote" people.
Most companies are now insisting on dress code too.
| 2:41 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I've worked from home since '98, and over time the hours have gotten shorter, but often the day is still 10 + hours long. Although, the fact that most people I know have a 1-2 hour commute to/from work every day makes the 10-12 hours about the same time commitment, yet no hassles with the traffic.
|I still set boundaries even at home. My home office is literally in a room by itself. "Going to the office" is more a state of mind than it is a physical relocation. |
This is a great point, and is reflected in more than just work. It's easy to develop 'room habits', and if you keep your work laptop out of the living room, you should be able to relax in your house without thinking you need to be at work.
Also, (not including project deadlines), and this is my biggest boundry I've set - I never work on Saturdays. I get up Saturday knowing that I won't touch work and it's the day to relax even if it kills me. I have at least one day off, some sort of break from work, at least one day a week. I don't even read industry newsletter, WW boards, etc on that day.
How many people who work from home keep 'standard business hours'? I was always a night owl before being my own boss, and being able to set my own hours even further solidifies my desire to head to bed when the sun starts to come up.
| 2:47 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I have never been this jealous reading a thread in my life.
I still work to live and live to work, but go to "work" every day coat, tie (and pants).
I had periods of time when I have worked from home and have enjoyed them a lot. It is important to set a schedule and stick to it (work out, bf, lunch, dinner, etc). I did work harder/longer but had a grin on my face every minute.
| 4:46 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)|
i just made the move to work from home (unfortuneately, it wasn't my decision). i'm working 10-12 hrs a day, from my desk in my bedroom. it's ok i guess, other that the fact i can't tell myself to stop working sometimes. it's funny when you really have to work 50+ hrs a week, because every penny you get comes from the work you put in. not like when you are on salary, and you can work 25-30 hrs, but still get paid the same amount.
it also helps to have something near your work area that you can focus your attention on for 5 mins every so often, just to break the staleness of the computer screen. i have 2 pet snakes, and every day, one of them will come out of their hiding spot, and just slither around. they are totally fascinating creatures, and the 5 mins that i can watch them until they go back to sleep, totally breaks me away from the monotonous computer screen. it's almost like a "power nap" for me. some things work better for others i guess.
| 5:43 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|Most of us go to work every day |
who is "us", we are all speaking for ourselves here.
I am sorry this is your reality, but it is not everybodies, that is the reason for this post...To find out what each of our "individual realities" are concerning how many of us only work from home.
nothing personal intended by my comments to you tom, and i truly hope you find the reality you want.
I am just as interested in knowing about those who do actually have to go to work. Just because you "go to work" in this business does not mean you are not a success. It often means somebody made you an offer you could'nt refuse.
| 5:53 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I go to work, but work for a very relaxed company. People walk around in pajamas and slippers. So, I think I have the best of both worlds: boundaries and a large amount of freedom. I need to be here though to interact with editorial, marketing, etc. I don't mind cause I don't think I could force myself to work at home since I'm THE biggest procrastinator in the world! :)
| 6:51 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I've worked from home since '95. The first 5 years my business partner (my husband) and I and our 6 computers were squished into about 300 square feet in the dining room of our old house. We now have about 1,000 sqft (out of a 2200 sqft house), with the office in the rooms on the house plan called the "den" and the "formal living/dining" room. We both have windows that open and look out on nice views, and we're only a short walk from the fridge and coffee pot.
I love the fact that if I have insomnia I can get up and go put in a few hours of work (or reading forums), and that if I have a bad cold I can take an hour away from my desk to nap or stare at the TV without having to drive anywhere and if any important calls or emails come in it's just 20 steps (and a few kleenexes) back to my desk. My office (the den room) is right near the laundry room so I can start laundry and start a new project within 5 minutes of each other, and our nervous little cat loves the fact that if a storm hits and she gets scared I'm here at home and can take time away from my project to pet her.
The downsides to home offices are...
I'm usually still in my PJs when UPS comes to the door, and if we have to run an errand (like to the computer store) I'm never ready to immediately leave the house since once I sit down at my desk in the morning I forget about little things like getting dressed or putting in my contact lenses. About a year ago we had one client who thought we were the webdesign equivalent of Kinko's and insisted on dropping by any time day or night to talk about her project -- argh! Anytime we have someone who wants to meet in our office we have to clean house (ack!) since we have an open house plan and when you walk into my partner's office area you can see the kitchen and our family room and any dirty dishes or piles of crap on the couch do not make a good impression. If we forget and leave the business telephone ringer turned on at night we sometimes get woke up by stupid fax folks calling us at 2am (and we don't have a fax machine hooked up to our business line so it just rings and rings and rings). And there's no janitor who comes in at night to empty the trash cans and clean up the mess by the coffee pot.
Plus, some clients think you're low-level if you don't have an outside office...as though having that janitor or the act of driving somewhere make you legit. Grumble....I personally think 9 years of running a company and surviving the dot-com bust make us legit (and the IRS certainly agrees) but some folks out there just won't hire you if they know you work from home. Oh, and everyone who knows you work from home thinks that means your prices will be 50% to 75% lower than the rate of other folks in town -- it definitely isn't 75% more expensive to have an outside office, so where they get those numbers is really beyond me, since we still have insurance, utilities, and computers to pay for no matter where your office is located.
Even with those problems, I have no desire to go back to an out-of-house office. NONE of those downsides are enough to convince me to give up the slippers, lunchtime walks to the mailbox, ability to do laundry and Photoshop at the same time, and comfort of knowing that my bed is just a few feet away on those days that go on far too long.
| 2:42 am on Nov 5, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|How many people who work from home keep 'standard business hours'? |
To a fair degree I do. I have a separate office and separate business line so that helps to keep things separate. I office hours are 9 to 5pm so clients don't really expect to hear from me after then. Having said that if I'm working late I'll get the phone if it rings. All my clients also have my mobile number so if there's a real emergency they know where to reach me. Not been a problem so far and I've been doing it about 5 years. And I get a lot of compliments for responding and acting on things so fast. It's all a matter of setting boundaries.
| 3:05 am on Nov 5, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Work from home, and have from the first day I started in this field. My toddlers wander in during the day. Best job I ever had.
| 3:40 am on Nov 5, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I've been working from home full-time since earlier this year. I've been wanting to for years, and finally things worked out.
Besides the drawbacks that have already been mentioned, I'm astounded at the number of friends and acquaintances who appear at my house during the day and think that because I answered the door wearing my raggy old gym shorts and t-shirt that I'm not working and have all the time in the world to chat.
But I agree with those who wouldn't trade it for the world. I hope I never have to work in an office again. I don't miss any of it. :)
| 3:46 am on Nov 5, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|I'm astounded at the number of friends and acquaintances who appear at my house during the day and think that because I answered the door wearing my raggy old gym shorts and t-shirt that I'm not working and have all the time in the world to chat. |
Same here. And the ones that seem to think I spend my day watching daytime television. Sigh.
| 3:49 am on Nov 5, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I've been working from home for almost twenty years.
My number one rule is to go out to lunch everyday :)
| 4:26 am on Nov 5, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I just love working from home. Started in '95 while working in Newark (so it was a bonus not to have to go downtown).
My wife says I never had a real job anyhow - in at 10am, 2 hour lunches, leave early. I guess I was not cut out to be worked bee.
Nowadays, the mere thought of having to get dressesd and drive 40 miles to the office makes me ill. I just hope that I NEVER have to get a *real* job again!
There is a real bonus to working from home - you can crank up Garth Brooks on the cd player open an can of beer and get the wife to give you a neck massage while you "work".
Ahhh! the internet - we live in interesting times.
| 8:19 pm on Nov 5, 2003 (gmt 0)|
January 2003 is when I came back home (I used to work from home but was a .com casualty).
Now, we are doing $80,000 ++ per month in sales. The downsides are most of the things that have been mentioned above. Also, since we ship everything that we sell, we have to carry stock. We now use 2 bedrooms, 1/2 of the living room and 3/4 of the basement full-time.
Only the kitchen and the upstairs are clean/normal.
We are looking for an office/warehouse so that we can hire a couple of people.
This morning my 4 year old daughter and 1 year old son came running into my office laughing and smiling at me for some silly reason. I remember thinking how wonderful it is that I don't have to miss these simple moments...
| 8:36 pm on Nov 5, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I'd love to work from home but always thought the din of my kids in the background would be too much distraction. Now I can see it would actually be more of a blessing. That said, it's still nice to get away at the office sometimes :-)
| 12:49 am on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|Ahhh! the internet - we live in interesting times. |
i wouldn't (and probably couldn't) trade working from home for a 9-5 again. it's not all soap operas and snacking though. my days begin often before the alarm goes off, around 6:30am and run until i simply cannot tolerate the screen anymore, usually around 10-11pm. if anything wakes me during the night, some design or developmental challenge will cross my mind urging me to return to the screen at 3am and work until the alarm sound scares me. also, most people remain unconvinced that any 'real' work gets done. little do they know.
i truly get more work done when i control the noise, temperature, dress code and timing. during coding challenges, the tv, music, fans, etc are OFF. during graphic design, the cd is rocking. im able to focus better with this control.
| 1:34 am on Nov 6, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Good for you woop01
I hope it works out...
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