Working From Home? Welcome

If you’re wondering how the other half is doing, I am now required to wipe down the handles of every single shopping cart I bring back to the store.

Every. Single. One.

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If there’s something I can do to help this suck less (and this goes for everyone reading this), hit my DMs and let’s chat.

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I’m working from home this weekend (the internet in my co-work space is busted for the week - otherwise, it’s usually empty because I work antisocial hours) BUT I worked from home for a solid year after my last office unceremoniously booted us out.

If you’re lucky enough to be able to work while self-isolating, I CANNOT stress how important it is to put on real clothes, wake up at a normal time, and find an excuse to go outside and get some air.

As per Rob on the last 'cast, maybe that isn’t going to a coffee shop right now. But try and get around the block or go to the park each morning. Creating a “false commute” helps put up a barrier between work time and home time. I’m super lucky in that I live right next a giant hill plonked in Edinburgh’s city centre.

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I’ve never thought of it as a false commute, but this is definitely something I do. Sometimes it’s as simple as telling myself, I’m going to brush my teeth and then it’s time to get to work. That transition activity is really helpful for me. Going outside would probably be even better. I live in a studio apartment so having a work station isn’t really possible and the false commute helps put me in the right mindset.

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I just got notification today my office is now mandatory work from home until we are told otherwise.
That’s a good feeling.

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I’m going into the office tomorrow to work and then grab my computer to take home and work for the foreseeable future. I have asthma, so it’s not worth the risk to stay at my office for how little they pay me. I’ll still have to pop in twice a week to grab mail and such, but honestly it’ll be ok.

Stay safe out there, comrade.

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I’m currently still working from the office, but the business has a plan should the pandemic get any worse - so I’m anticipating it may happen.

My advice for working at home:

Crank out the tunes or your favourite work specific music. Maybe you can’t work to music, in which case fine. I cannot function without it. At home I can crank through stereo which is better then headphones.

Give yourself some time and creativity to treat yourself to a flashy lunch. Not like a five course dinner but something like a really good sandwich. Something to look forward to. Also treat yourself to posh teas, have a different tea to reward yourself every other hour. Doesn’t have to be tea of course, whatever your work enabling poision is.

Think about getting a stranding desk or an adjustable desk. I can sit for some jobs and sit mostly when I’m at the office. I got a standing desk a while ago for home use. Standing for some tasks does change my mood and energy. Sometimes wish I could have the option in the office.

If you can, try and set up your workspace in a different room to your bedroom. Over a longer sustained time of working from home, you can start feeling a mild case of cabin fever. It can do your mental health no favours to work in the same place you sleep. I know this may be difficult if you live in rented accomodation, if you have the option to work from a laptop in another room - that’s a much better option. I’d also recommend share office spaces although the current state of the pandemic complicates that obviously.

Make plans to get out of the house. Go for a walk or do something out of working hours. Again whenever your house becomes too linked to the stress of work - it’s a bad thing which can have long term consequences.

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Y’all, I am developing the worst quarantine hair. I am going to tip my barber so much when it’s okay to see them again. Thank goodness we don’t require video for remote meetings yet.

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Requiring video on meetings is almost a worse offense than scheduling a Friday afternoon meeting.

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I work pretty hard but also like to do stuff for laughs.

Found out our works laptops with other than built in webcams (as my laptop is put to the side so I can use a big screen). In doing so I realised I could webcam myself on a greenscreen using my gaming pc and its cam and throw some different backgrounds for laughs on that monitor and focus the laptops webcam on that.

Its not like my house is bad or anything, this is just for the lols.

anyone done anything like this?

I’ve been using Control wallpapers for my Zoom meetings for months, actually. I change it up to a different part of the Oldest House every other week or so.

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I only have the one laptop, so I’m making work materials on it and then also entertaining myself on it. Because of that I’m finding it a lot harder to keep the boundary. Any advice would be appreciated. There’s also no specific system for accountability re: being online, my work is expecting me to report/hand in materials when WFH ends next Monday, after which I think I can extend it.

That makes things way harder. I guess the best advice I could offer you is that, if you have a particular project you need to get done, break that down into manageable chunks (preferably small enough that you can do at least one chunk in a day). Depending on how many chunks you have, pick a number that you can get done in a day and do them. Once your daily chunks are gone, stop.

EDIT: Upon further reflection, it seems like you have some pretty flexible hours. If your gig is anything like programming, you might find yourself in a situation where you are in the Productivity Zone. If you’re nearing the end of your work time but you’re in a productive spot and feel like you can keep going, feel free to keep going. But! Reclaim your time later. If you put in 10 hours on something, put in 6 the next day. Balance is key.

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I’m bumping this thread because I’m moving which means I have the opportunity to redo my entire home office setup!

Does anyone have any advice on home office furniture? Right now I have one of those big L desks from IKEA and I’m trying to figure out what else I could possibly need in this room. Any and all advice welcome!

I guess the obvious questions would be what your budget is like.

But I highly recommend getting a nice chair. I like my Steelcase Jack chair a lot. I got the stool version because I originally had one of those desktop sit-stand converters that had trouble adjusting down to a standard seated position. The normal version is cheaper and comes with better options for tilt, etc.

And then after that, maybe an adjustable monitor arm or two? Not sure what your current setup is like, but I’m guessing if you have an L desk you’re running multiple monitors?

I’ve been working at home since the start of lockdown. There was a brief moment where my team was alternating between two sub teams to go back to the office, but now our glorious leader Boris has said those who can work from home should. So I’m back. Which is fine by me, because I find I’m more productive, spend less money and eat less snacks.

As for my workspace, I was already creating my own workspace for creative pursuits anyhow, but my work laptop sits pricariously on my subwoofer. You’ll notice the screen is smashed, a joycon did that after it flew free at some speed from my ringcon during a particularly energetic ringfit adventure session. It still works if I hook it up to a monitor via an HDMI.

The desk is a Fredde from Ikea, it’s perfectly suited for PC gaming. Two lower shelves to contain monitor. Enough space for two screens. There would be more space if I didn’t use it for the keyboard, but I’m currently learning to play and recording stuff with it. Sometimes when I’m in a work meeting I just go mute and start playing it.

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Now’s the time to invest in a nice chair, if you can swing it. I don’t remember what my chair is currently (other than absolute trash), so if I can figure out how to dispose of it I’m going to get either a Steelcase or an Aeron.

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I did the math and I can spend about $1K comfortably on this home office space. So right now I got an Ldesk, a file cabinet, a smaller file cabinet that’s the same height as my Ldesk so I use it as an extension, and a small IKEA coffee table that holds printer and other random things.

So I actually am really lucky in that my company uses Steelcase for most office furniture so has a system setup where we can buy direct from Steelcase at a significant discount. Im really considering a Leap v2 because I can get it for just about $500 with tax which will probably mean it will be my most expensive piece of furniture I own. Given that I will be at my desk all day it’s probably worth the investment? I’ve long been an advocate for buying a good chair but I’ve never been faced with the decision of buying a top end chair. Last chair I bought was about $150 and was at the start of college and I thought I was the king of chairs among friends.

Currently I have 3 monitors all mountable so I should probably go ahead and do that? I’ve never actually tried a mounted monitor before.

Besides chair and bookcase I’m also thinking of maybe a getting a mic arm to get more desk space back. My cat also feels compelled to use the primary desk space instead of the sectioned off part I set aside for her but I’m hoping moving her car tree in to the office will convince her to hang out up there instead.

@Velocirapture I had that desk in college and loved it! Cup holders built into a desk is a thing more manufacturers should consider.

Honestly, the same advice I give about cycling gear applies to office furniture. If it supports, or is support by your body in any way, it’s worth getting the best you can reasonably afford. Get the chair of your dreams, it’ll pay you back in the problems you won’t have down the line.

Take a good look at high end keyboards, if you haven’t already. Something ergonomic and mechanical is what I’d go for. Some kind of adjustable monitor stand or arm is worth it too. I don’t tend to like the arm style since they never seem to stay where I put them, but a stand that rotates, raises, and inclines is a blessing when you’re in that chair all day.

The main thing that bugs me about my setup is that it’s too small, so there isn’t really any room for snacks and reference material at the same time. But I can’t change the size of Seattle apartments that easily, lol.