Tips for a Work From Home position

The winds of change are in the air, and they’re whispering ‘outsourcing.’

It’s the deal where $OutsourcingVendor basically takes on all the etch staff, laughs at us, then assigns us what is essentially the same job if they need us. However, one wrinkle is we’re hearing they are pushing to get people off ‘customer sites’ so we can be more agile (I.E. so they can have us do stuff for multiple customers more easily.)

So… Tips for working from home? I’m thinking the following so far:

  • Lockable cabinet for my ‘work stuff’ along with some ways to hide my ‘fun stuff’ in my basement lair. basically, since I can’t reasonably expect to have a dedicated home office separate from what I’ve got, making the space convertible.
  • Some other small furniture re-arranging so my fiancee (some might remember her as simply Date) can get to the laptop I habitually use for Netflix/DVDs/etc. while I’m working easier.
  • Need to refactor my tool bags. I’m thinking of arranging so I have a ‘go bag’ I can grab for the times I need to be on-site for cabling/phone move issues.
  • Hoping the constant demands by Noodle (the dog) for walks will provide me with exercise and trips into the sunlight.

I’m a bit hesitant about the whole thing. I won’t be surprised if this whole project ends up like the last few big corporate outsourcing attempts, including one that is still being worked out years later that crashed and burned. On the other hand, my job depresses me, coming in to the office depresses me more, so nothing to lose at this point.

Shower and change clothes for work in the morning. Even if it’s into your Work PJs, or a ratty pair of gym shorts and a t shirt.

But seriously, the most important thing about working from home in my eyes is to join a club or go out regularly with friends. My mother has worked from home for about 10 years now, and she just doesn’t leave the house any more.

I loved working from home. I made sure I had a work schedule. I would ‘go to the office’ in the morning, even though the office was only ten feet from my bedroom, and treat it the same as when I was in the office. It was just much easier to get my favourite teas and do my workout during lunch.

Edit: Woodman is right, though. Make sure to get out regularly with friends, or you’ll find that you just never leave the house.

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+1 on leaving the house regularly. Oft times, $damagement feels that since you’re home, you can just work longer. I’ve gotten better at it, but there was a time I’d be working from dark to dark. I wasn’t taking breaks, I was working through lunches, and it eventually takes a toll. Just keep it in check and you’ll enjoy it.

Huh. I really thought telecommuting was on the way out, since a number of large companies had virtually wiped out the option (and in some cases the people who used that option).

I’d love to see some statistics on that.

Anyway, for gods’ sake, stand up! Yes, sunshine and exercise is good, but even if you don’t get a chance to leave the house, at least stand up and walk around once every two hours or so. This is something I frequently have to remind myself about.

My company has no official “work remote” policy. As a result, some people do it occasionally, others have been told they can’t do it ever.

We’ve been told that if we press for an official statement, that policy will be “there is no remote work allowed.” We’ve got some very noisy people in the company who are stuck in very old ways of thinking.

I do it maybe one to two days per year on average, and those days are tremendously productive. More so than any other day(s) of the year. I lay out a set of goals for the day and just grind right through them without interruption.

On the flip side, our DBAs are all remote, based as far away as Orlando but they’ve done work from the opposite side of the country. And it’s been an excellent arrangement.

95% of our claims payers work from home, a ton of our UR nurses do as well. Our sales guys also work from home. I’d say easily half our office works from home. Except for anyone in my department, as put down from the owner, and I’m not really sure why, but I put in the odd half day from home.

Another tip: if you need a particular piece of equipment to do you job from home, make your employer pay for it. It is getting harder to get tax credits for such things, according to a friend of mine who did tax prep. And heaven help you if you bought a computer for a home office and put any non-work software on it.

Right now it’s a bit iffy what’s happening. Lots of turmoil in the office as the IT jobs are all looking at interviewing to find out what the Outsourcing company will offer. It could be a lot of things: apparently the deal is they’ll offer almost anyone a job, but it might be a short-term position (I.E. training your replacement) or might be long term. And there’s actually at least two outsourcing companies involved, as Outsourcer 1 has already subbed some work out to Outsourcer 2.

However, Outsourcer 1 seems to want to reduce ‘on-site footprints’ which is kind of the corporate-speak equivalent of the dreaded ‘boots on the ground’ but of course without the shooting and the hurting and the flaven. Mu-hay.

Sorry, lapsed into Professor Frink there for a moment.

I listed a tiny bit of ‘home office’ for side work stuff I do on my taxes one year, then got warned off every year since. Not worth the audit risk for a tiny deduction, essentially. Makes sense if you really do have a dedicated and documented office, but you have to really have the details worked out.

If it happens, I’m looking forward to being able to fit ins one lunchtime long walks with the dog. That’ll be good for me (and the dog).