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 Post subject: Working at home and staying sane
Post #1 Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:48 pm 
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I was glancing through study journals, and came across Kirby's comments about working at home:

Kirby wrote:
...I'm having trouble prioritizing and achieving balance between work and go...
...In some sense, I really enjoy this. I can spend time with my family during meals, and I have no commute...

The downside is that it's very difficult to establish a boundary between doing work and doing other things like go...


I'm finding myself in the same situation. Even before the virus, I was working at least half-time at home. Now it is 99%. And I'm learning that one must establish boundaries, otherwise either work suffers or something else does.

So I'm starting this thread, looking for suggestions/advice. Do you work at home? How do you keep things separate? How do you juggle conflicting demands on your time?

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 Post subject: Re: Working at home and staying sane
Post #2 Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:10 pm 
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I also have that problem. No commute (saving 2.5-3 hours a day), but it's hard to stop working when you work from home.

But during the last couple of weeks I make a habit of checking several go forums before I start working in the morning. So I get some distraction until I finally start working around 9:00.

I also made a ritual to drink tea around 15:30 or 16:00 with my son (17 years old doing school work at home). We spend maybe 45 minutes just chatting. The we go back to work.

When my wife gets home from work around 17:15 I try to stop working. I do check my e-mail and Microsoft Teams in the evening so see if there are any urgent matters, but most days there is nothing.

So it's getting better now.

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 Post subject: Re: Working at home and staying sane
Post #3 Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:59 pm 
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A lot of people find it essential to establish boundaries in both time and space. For one of my girlfriends, 9:00 a.m. to noon was sacrosanct. She went into her room and was not to be disturbed. Another disconnected her phone at certain times. Many, if not most writers find boundaries necessary. Kierkegaard wrote from midnight to 6:00 a.m. When Faulkner was employed to write screenplays, he was supposedly ensconced it a hotel room in Los Angeles, but he just went back to Mississippi.

Whatever works. :)

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My two main guides in life:
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Everything with love. Stay safe.


Last edited by Bill Spight on Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Working at home and staying sane
Post #4 Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:08 pm 
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A friend of mine had an interesting way of maintaining boundaries. He used clothing.

He would get dressed for work - three piece suit, starched shirt, cuff links, wingtips, etc, then walk down the hall to his office.


This post by Joaz Banbeck was liked by 3 people: Bill Spight, ez4u, sybob
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 Post subject: Re: Working at home and staying sane
Post #5 Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:02 am 
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To me it depends on whether the "keeping things separate" problem is caused by your employer, or by your home circumstances.

If you have a super-rigid employer, that sucks, and I would try to push back. My supervisor doesn't require us to rigidly clock-in and clock-out. If the mood strikes to do some work on a Saturday morning, I take advantage of my mood and do some work. If I have a family obligation on a Tuesday afternoon, I attend to that. If my job didn't allow me to deal with my personal matter on Tuesday, I would never feel inclined to give them my time on a Saturday.

I've talked with my neighbors, and none of us want to go back to work. We like our new lives and could do this forever.

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 Post subject: Re: Working at home and staying sane
Post #6 Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:28 am 
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This is information from a very specific source, but her advice seems to be general enough, when it realtes to work habits:

Kristine K. Rusch, writer, has been blogging for years about self-employment (and publishing and contracts and others). I'm sharing some of her links:

The Freelancer's Survival Guide. Although there's an ebook and, I think, also a PoD one, this will do perfectly. For the topic at hand, I recommend chapter 3, Workspace.

Another series of hers that touches upon this is the Business Rusch. This one hasn't been so neatly indexed, but I do recommend her chapter on Routines.

Just a note, most of that was written while she lived in Oregon. She's since moved to Vegas. Just in case something doesn't add up.

Take care.

She also has some recent posts on disruption and businesses and CoViD, but I'd start from here. Start the coffe maker. Or, in our case, maybe the furo.

Take care.

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 Post subject: Re: Working at home and staying sane
Post #7 Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:41 pm 
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mhlepore wrote:

I've talked with my neighbors, and none of us want to go back to work. We like our new lives and could do this forever.


FWIW, while the OP quotes my complaints, I largely agree with this sentiment. I have experienced some stress, but that’s probably partly due to the company.

I really enjoy being able to spend time with family.

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 Post subject: Re: Working at home and staying sane
Post #8 Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:00 pm 
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Kirby wrote:
mhlepore wrote:

I've talked with my neighbors, and none of us want to go back to work. We like our new lives and could do this forever.


FWIW, while the OP quotes my complaints, I largely agree with this sentiment. I have experienced some stress, but that’s probably partly due to the company.

I really enjoy being able to spend time with family.


Back in the '80s when I was a Helper for the Participate on the Source conferencing software, we were scattered around the country and perforce worked from home. I thought it was the wave of the future and was surprised when it didn't seem to catch on. Maybe its time has come. :)

_________________
The Adkins Principle:
At some point, doesn't thinking have to go on?
— Winona Adkins

My two main guides in life:
My mother and my wife. :)

Everything with love. Stay safe.


This post by Bill Spight was liked by: Joaz Banbeck
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 Post subject: Re: Working at home and staying sane
Post #9 Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:04 pm 
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I think the biggest obstacle for WfH (or working remotely in general) has been employers' attitudes. Some employers have categorically denied any remote work because they have thought they can not control their employees. Now that almost every company that can operate remotely has been forced to do that, most companies will see that their prejudices are not warranted, and the psychological barrier for WfH will be removed. I predict that we will see a massive change in this regard.

It will be interesting to see what will happen with all the surplus office space we are going to have worldwide.

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 Post subject: Re: Working at home and staying sane
Post #10 Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:34 am 
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I've heard some arguments that permanent WFH may lead to lower salaries in high salary areas, since companies now have a larger body of potential employees to choose from. If someone's reluctant to move to Silicon Valley, but a company there is more willing to hire remotely, that's another person able to work for the company who couldn't before. That'd result in an increased supply of workers for any given company.

Not sure if it'll play out that way - it's possible that some high salary workers are paid more for their skill and not due to their location. But it's one possible side effect of working from home.

Either way, I'm still in support of working from home :-D

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 Post subject: Re: Working at home and staying sane
Post #11 Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:32 am 
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I think it was in Peopleware, in a previous edition, likely the first, that I first read about a mixed approach. WFH mostly but periodic (1/week?) meetings for brainstorming and social lube. That was before Skype, obviously, but I think it still kinda applies.

Don't understimate the hability of control personalities to feel threatened by WFH, nor the pressure to do something about Manhattan rents.

Take care.

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