Working Remotely And Feeling Good About It

Christopher Groskopf works remotely as a developer for NPR, and he wrote a post on OpenNews about what he’s learned about working from home:

Make yourself a very comfortable space to work in. My recommendations: big speakers, high-quality headphones, a comfortable desk (and an Aeron or Leap chair if you don’t stand), some nice pictures, and maybe even windows. Embrace the fact that you get to work at home. Sometimes my stereo competes with the helicopters that land at the hospital down the street. My coworkers don’t know the difference.

Force yourself to work reasonable hours. This is an easy one to screw up. If you’re comfortable and you like your job it’s pretty easy to just keep working until it’s time for bed. Don’t do it—unless you’re on deadline and then only if you can’t cut features instead of working into the night. Take breaks, walk outside, drink coffee, etc. You wouldn’t spend four solid hours at your desk if you worked in the office. You would talk to your coworkers or go for a walk once in a while. Try to maintain that normalcy and it will help the rest to feel normal.

I am working from home today because of the snowstorm and I have some good music going, a plate of gouda out, and just went out for a cup of coffee. Let’s see if I can get some reasonable hours in! (Also, the window thing is kinda important.)

David Martyn Hut

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6 Comments / Post A Comment

lemonadefish (#3,296)

I love working from home! I don’t get to do it very often, but I always get more done. I don’t feel tortured by being made to sit in my office, and so I don’t spend my time pointlessly browsing the internet…

Julie (#5,374)

Working at home is awesome — I get to do it sometimes, like when the weather is bad or I’m sick (too sick to go to the office, but I feel okay enough to sit with my laptop for a few hours). I wish I could do it one or two days a week; I always feel more productive and don’t get as easily distracted or bored/tired. The culture at my workplace doesn’t allow for regular work-from-home days, though.

“You wouldn’t spend four solid hours at your desk if you worked in the office.” Haha, aside from bathroom breaks or going to fill up my water bottle, I actually do, and now I feel weird about it. I’m quiet and don’t socialize often, and if I even leave my desk for a quick errand — which I do very rarely — I feel guilty.

lemonadefish (#3,296)

@Julie I only leave my desk to get water and then pee out said water. Sometimes I have conversations with people in the adjacent cubes, but I really just sit here nine hours a day… ten if I can’t be bothered to go anywhere for lunch!

Julie (#5,374)

@lemonadefish That’s totally me. I’ll talk to my boss if she stops by my cube to talk about something, or I’ll say hi if someone walks past saying hi, but that’s about it. Otherwise I sit here for 8 hours, which includes my lunch break, although a couple times a month I’ll go to Panera or something and bring it back. Most people here are the same way, although they’re much more social than I am and spend time visiting each other’s cubes to chat.

dotcommie (#662)

“If you’re comfortable and you like your job it’s pretty easy to just keep working until it’s time for bed.” This…is not a problem for me.

ceereelyo (#3,552)

With all the snow as of late, I’ve been working from home at least once a week it seems. At an older job I used to get to work form home 2 x’s a week for a good year until I needed to be in the office 5 days a week.

I have a routine, always change out of pjs, take a shower. My workplace is very social/I like my coworkers so sometimes working at home is a nice respite if I’m at home by myself, but with the weather, my husband has been home, but that’s fun because there are ample cuddle breaks. It is almost guaranteed that I will eat way more at home and be extra wired because the coffee is better when you make it and I forget to drink water usually. Productivity wise, I get about the same amount of work done, some days I will just check emails and then address what is urgent and then work on cleaning the house, cooking, etc.

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