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Work From Home (Experiences, Advice, Etc.)

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It looks like in the next month or few I'm likely to be "moving" to a work from home position. Unlike a lot of "work from home" positions, it isn't some weird scam, I know the company, they are fantastic to their employees, I am paid really decently, have benefits, and can still move up and even go back to various corporate offices, or continue to be "promoted' up through the work from home ranks. (They have work from home assistance lines, escalations lines, supervisors, managers, and on up up up and plenty of other departments and other places I can move into if I want). I'm not trying to make anyone jealous, I just wanted to be clear that no one needs to warn me about scams and fake companies that don't really exist.


So that aside, how many of you actually work from home, and what do you do to keep yourself motivated and focused and improving? I get stir crazy if I stay in the house too long. (Another benefit is a sweet old fashioned M-F business schedule, so I've got plenty of normal time to have a social life when other people often have social lives.)


So for those who do it, would you be willing to share your experiences, good and bad, and things you've learned, things that help, etc. etc.?


Thanks in advance. The sweet thing is when I have down time, I can do whatever I want (just not on my "company computer" but I can have any other devices I want set up to play games, listen to music, do other side work, self-motivate and others. So I hope to get some more DC time in too.) So if you also have freedom in down time, what do you find most useful?


I'm kinda weird in that during business hours, I like to stay "business focused", but a dragon game that doesn't require tons of attention can be a nice distraction here and there. So it's one of the reasons I like DC, although I wouldn't be obsessive in between my tasks. I kinda want to get good at what I do and possibly get promoted, and also look at maybe exercise stuff to keep me in better shape and/or keep me meditating and calm as I rebuild my life.


So what do you do as well in down time to keep you motivated and calm and still a productive professional, even if not for work at home?


Thanks for considering any feedback!

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Congrats on having what sounds like an amazing work from home position. I don't work from home right now, but I have had both good and bad experiences. 


Like you, I am super work-oriented during "work hours." While I have been known to sit for upwards of five hours working on a task, I've found that setting timers or listening to background music does wonders for not being drained by all of the work and lack of interaction with other people. Once the timer goes off, I take a good twenty minute to an hour break and then go back to work. I also have dogs, so breaks to take care of them are super helpful in making sure that I don't just sit glued to a chair. 


If you can, set your workspace up near a window and make sure that you have a comfy chair to work in if you have to sit for long periods of time. I've found that being able to look outside and have the sun shining (or see any weather activity really) is better for productivity than having a wall to stare at. 


I'm sure your company is great, but communication and knowing when to draw the line is key. In one work from home instance, my employer barely communicated at all (and at one point, I was worried that I wasn't going to be paid because he hadn't acknowledged any of the work I had done). In another instance, my employer and direct supervisor would call to endlessly talk on the phone and share tidbits of info, but failed to communicate when it mattered most--like when it came to decisions that impacted me or conveying important instructions. They also expected me to be available virtually 24/7. I would get emails at 3:00am, etc. So, be sure establish clear lines of communication so you know when to reach your company, but also set boundaries so that you don't work overtime without being compensated or "work" even when you're supposed to be doing non-work activities. It was always annoying to answer a call in the middle of dinner or a family gathering. 


In the future, if you do move onto other companies that are work from home, be clear about how they are classifying you as an employee. One of my bosses failed to tell me that I was being classified as self-employed or that I would have to cover my own taxes until after I started working. He claimed it was a contract position, but I never signed anything and he treated me like a standard employee in that I had to produce a set amount of work and work a set amount of hours a week.  There are contract positions that do give W-2's, but it's very important to know going in. Also,really, really read and deeply think before you  sign your contracts and keep a copy of all of your email/text/correspondence just in case you have an issue somewhere. 


A plus about working from home: claiming expenses on your taxes for travel, supplies, etc. Take advantage of this!  And that's all I can think of now. 


PS: I would play DC on my little breaks or just before I started the day. I know when I was a regular 9-5 employee, I would check DC on my phone while I was going through my morning work email or making my tea. 


Edited by Jazeki
Word choice. Oops.

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