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Staying focused.

Not getting interrupted by family members.

Not drinking 4 coffees per day.

Exercising.

Stop thinking about working.

 

Haha, cheers to that. ☕️

I drink waaaaay too much coffee when working from home!

 
 

Not drinking 4 coffees per day.

That's something I can relate :)

 

But saying not drinking 4 coffees per day, you are saying 1-3 or 5+ cups per day are acceptable.

☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️

Words are ambiguous, unlike programming languages :p

I could be drinking 1~3 cups of coffee (+2 bottle of Monster) 😁

 
 

I would say not drinking 10 coffees per day!

 
 

I feel, mentally thinking your day is over is a bit harder than when you are at home and don't commute or change space.

Too much temptations for pushing your day a little bit because "hey, I don't commute 2 hours a day anymore, I could show my team I am committed to my work".

Plot twist: never do that, just take care of your family in this hard time. The world will not collapse in an hour, it's ok to quit when the day is over (If it wasn't obvious, I am self coaching my self now 😅).

 

Remembering what day it is 😅especially if you mostly asynchronous and have very few calendar meetings. Routine has also been a difficult thing to master when I'm working from home but I feel like I've gotten much better at it!

 

This! Usually, I have some time reference to compare to when my partner goes into work, but he's home and now time has no meaning.

 

In last two weeks I thought it was Thursday, when it was Friday and the other way around. This messes up my weekend plans 🙈😁

 
 
  • Focus
  • Kids
  • Sitting properly
  • Disconnect from work :D
 

Sitting properly

This is especially true as there isn't anyone watching you...

 

Yeah, I don't have a proper chair to work from home, so sitting properly is even more of a challenge.

 

In my previous Job I worked from home for 6 months. This is nothing like it. Working from home is absolutely fine...not much of a challenge.

  • The challenge now is that you have to work with your kids.
  • You need to remember to stop working, because there isn't much else to do.
  • I can't be bothered to even watch tv anymore.
  • I can't be bothered to code off work anymore (feel too exhausted)
 

This!

A lot of people are equating this to remote work under normal circumstances. It's really not! There are too many other things that make this not-normal when it comes to working remotely. Some of the things are similar and some of the remote working adaptations can work, but even veteran remoters will tell you there's a huge difference here.

 

Indeed, Homeoffice and Homeschooling at the same time is a real challange !
I do homeoffice since 2013 at i was always happy with it. For homeschooling with kids, we agreed with my chef to do "best effort", so that i can take time with my kids.

 
  1. Wake up at same time every day
  2. Doing sports
  3. Not reading news about economical and coronavirus situation every hour
  4. Not drinking too much coffee
  5. To be absolutely polite with everyone
 

Comminication. People call me on the phone, video calls break, voice call break, I have to wait for someone to see the message on Slack (or someone waits for me)...

In the office you just shout hey man do this or that or this is broken and thats it couple of seconds.

 

"In the office you just shout hey man " ... <- EXACTLY why I utterly despise working onsite in an office -- total productivity killer.

 

More like a joke. I really did hope no one actually shouts anything. You approach te person if he's free and discuss right there a meter away able to point things on monitor in a second. But man did you have poor experience if people shouted

Literal "shouting" or not, interruptions are the curse of office work. And sorry, there's no way for someone else to know if I'm "free" to have my thought process disrupted.

Well here's a little more on that one. I get calls on cell phone, slack "spams", emails etc from those same people. And in the office they at least ask when I'm free to talk to them which makes it less disturbing. Same goes for me I don't need to know or care when is someone "free", if it's urget it's more important than your thinking. You cant work with other people without communication and that will have some occurrences of interuption in bad moment. It's frustrating and it's called job for that reason. I have lesss usefulness for a great dev who can't handle job than average dev that has amazing communication skills. 95% of the companies are poor developed software which gets the job done NOW. It requires people to maintain it and understand each other as work with each other. And yes it requires poor tech stack as it requires people that will bug you all the time. That 5% silicone valley is reserved for people more lucky than myself and my colleagues whether it be they're borne smarter or something else. And those numbers are random but if we did analysis I bet i wouldn't be far off. People need to do their jobs and others need to build and maintain software for it. I worked for 12 teams/companies so far in 7 year experience. I don't need to point out what bad software I saw and how bad I ended up to be. But people need paychecks and that's about the same in other industry.

I confess I don't understand most of that, but I'm certainly not downplaying the value of good communication. I am saying that I find online communication channels far more manageable and less intrusive.

Also, people can legitimately disagree on what's "urgent" and what's not 😀

Great point, people do have different opinion on "urgent", you're absolutely right. I have to point out for anyone that uses "interupt my thinking" that this happens way more in other industries and some of IT, but most of IT in western world have benefit of being treated differently. It's important for me to point it out to show some understanding to people that suffer it each day yet have no option but keep on working to provide for their family as they have no other job options. I do understand that someone is more important not to interupt as their role makes more impact on the product but still I do like reminding people of others.

If nothing else, I hope the pandemic-driven focus on remote work results in everyone being accorded the respect -- regardless of role -- to manage their personal communication preferences and time allocation.

 

Staying connected to co-workers on a human, non-work level. I struggle with this already if I haven't known someone for a while, and taking away an avenue of connecting with someone (face to face) makes it harder.

 

Roll out of bed. Roll into computer chair. at some point switch to non-work related things. Roll into bed. Repeat.

 

My office is in a room that is between the garage and the rest of the house so my family usually passes by which is distracting.

Also when it's cold in the morning the heat doesn't circulate into my area since I prefer to keep the doors closed to minimize distractions.

 

Duelling conference calls in a small apartment.

 

For me (on a team of people) I think it's the constant creep of small, 5-10 minute meetings that happen after our daily standup. Whatever needs to be discussed is to long to put in writing, but not long enough to make it a 20-30 minute "meeting" by the books (calendar invite, agenda, etc).

Not sure if anyone has a process to solve this, but I feel like a constant trickle of "hey let's catch up quickly about X" happens for an hour or so before I can really settle in to deep work.

 

The solution could be to agree with the team that there is a time for such exchanges. Like 30mn before lunch or 30mn before the end of the day, or both. And strictly enforce that. Ie. be allowed and allow team mates to ignore such calls for attention when they're not done during that time slot.

One way to implement that is for ex, have a repo where everybody adds stuff to discuss cumulatively during the work hours and when the discussion time comes everybody checks the file and the discussion happens in the order of the comitted items.

I guess there are other ways to implement that but the key is to enforce periods of no contact time and limited periods of short discussions.

 

A quick "hey, let's talk about this" on slack takes away focus/attention...

 

Adapting my work schedule to be whenever our toddler's asleep.

Missing my friends I used to cowork with at my coworking space Toolbox LA.

Zoom being used so widely. After uninstalling it due to security/privacy issues, I've effectively cut off myself from the virtual events I used to enjoy (virtual coworking, book clubs, social events).

 

I have a few.

Working out. This is something that’s rather inconsistent but more consistent when comparing to my consistency from last year’s 1.5 months of remote-work.

Sleep. I’m starting to feel the effects of lack of sleep, such as neutral-to-negative thoughts. This has slightly affected my work. How do I get lack of sleep? Purely from lack of discipline knowing that I don’t need to drive tomorrow. 😂😭

 

Sleep.

My hours were shifted by 2~3 hours and some of my friends' days and nights are reversed...

 

Reversed? 😱 I can’t imagine it being easy to adapt one’s routines to such change so quickly.

A week is enough to get over the jet-lag from Korea (13HR difference)
so 2+ weeks is long enough for that to happen :)

 

If you have a kid to take care of, then it becomes somehow difficult. Plus if you are a working couple then it's like another level but with passing time you tend to manage to take care of the kid while WFH 🙂

 

I've been working remote since before isolation and I live on my own (no family members/dependants) so I should have it easier than other folks, BUUUUUUT I have the most horrible willpower/focus/self-control in the entire universe (or so it seems).

I normally structure my day by moving from one place/activity to another (eg. go to gym first thing in the morning, shower & breakfast, go to coworking space, work for x hours, then take a walk/cycle, maybe catch up w/ friends briefly, then continue work at coffee shop, etc). I also periodically schedule low-commitment social activities (ranging from volunteering/community work to random stuff like gigs/parties with friends). With all my routines thrown off, it takes me so much effort just to focus and stay disciplined.

In addition to the mental toll, physically I also lose motivation to work out (I live in a tiny studio apt, I don't own weights, no wall mirror large enough to spot my form). It is possible to do bodyweight exercises, but I'm already unmotivated. On top of all that... my fridge (and the whole pantry) is 3 steps away from my desk.

Lastly to be a little meta, I keep blaming myself for struggling with the things above, "What are you being stressed about? Other people have it harder than you; you're just useless and lazy." 🤦🏽‍♀️

 
 
 

I'm lucky as I have my private office at home, so no distractions and a nice setup with a good chair and an external display.
I'm sure my back would hurt if I was forced to work with the laptop all day long, and I wouldn't be able to concentrate if I had to work on the kitchen table.
I miss my lunch break walk in the park, if we weren't in a lockdown I could have it so it is not strictly related to WFH.
I'd say I'm more productive, I don't miss my commute at all and I only miss human interaction, but I could easily meet people at the gym or at my daughter school, so again that's a problem with lockdown.
I feel more productive at home, and don't waste time commuting. I hope remote work will still be an option after the crisis, at least for 1-2 days per week.

 

Definitely not getting interrupted by people. I try to have a 'don't bother me unless I bother you (or something's on fire)' kind of rule in place, which, to be fair, seems to work most of the time.

But it's definitely difficult as a developer when you're really focussed on something, one of those problems where you need to spin about 5 different mental plates, and then something (cough, the wife) bursts into the office to share a new subreddit that they found....especially when you're known about that subreddit for years...

 

Focus. I struggled with this in general, but it's different.

If I don't have anything pressing, it's easy to get distracted by Slack, Twitter, dev.to, Facebook, etc.

 
 

Worrying to have to pay the office rent when it's not used at all...

The rest, having fun with the kids when I want, finding the time to do what I want when I want, while knowing about my deadlines, is extremely pleasant. Plus, no silly eating out all the time, no coffee as a pretext to take a break but exactly when I know I'll enjoy it, etc...

 

Remembering to get away from the desk (drinking small glasses of water helps)

Snacking and looking for food as a distraction (having some healthy snacks prepped helps, but more structured daily goals does too)

Too much screen time (started writing, drawing and making to get away from screens)

 

The hardest part of working from home is whether your employer fully understands - and supports - working from home. (There's a future blog post in this concept.) So many people talk about working from home like it's a panacea. But I've experienced too many horror stories where my employer was suspicious of work-from-home employees. Or where the remaining in-office employees were either unwilling or unable to accommodate those working from home.

 

Turning off from work
Justifying your doing work since your doing remote work
The human connection
Staying focus on tasks

 

The hardest thing for me is not having a good place to sit and work. In the first few weeks of working from home every day would end with my back and shoulders in knots. I’ve gotten a bit better about it though, but nothing compares to my comfy office chair.

 

In my case, I have solved almost all problems related to remote work over the last years, but I still struggle with the following:

  • Leave work on time
  • Maintain effective communication with colleagues
  • Contact with civilization
 

I think sometimes you turn off that you're not working anymore, and the day it's over... Because the COVID-19 I started working from home and I realize it's very difficult to have a routine/discipline, somedays I work more than 10 hours other days less than 8...
But I prefer to go to the company, talk with my coworkers, living in the company environment...

 

all my time I am working from home ( in coding part ),,because I have another official work ( far from coding )..but nowadays I spend my whole week in home ( working under pressure call Coronavirus pandemic ) ,,really it is very trouble

 

Drawing a line under each day. Normally I have a train to catch so need to leave by around 5:40 at the latest. Now I find myself sticking around to finish stuff off - today I spent about an extra hour trying to fix a bug.

 

Spending all my time in the same spot. It makes it harder to work on my side-projects bc after spending all day at my desk, I just wanna get away.

 

Staying focused on work related tasks rather than focusing on personal projects.

 

The hardest part for me has to be the lack of movement. I find myself sitting in a chair for long stretches of time when I'm at home. I'm still looking for ways to integrate movement back into my routine.

 
 

3-5 catchup meetings a day, sitting properly, and sometimes, forgetting to eat or stretch.
Fortunately my manager decided to make Wednesday a no meeting day. A full work day dedicated to just focusing on getting work done.

 

I just miss the routine of driving to work and listening to podcasts / audio books. I am compensating by taking walks during the day where I can put in my headphones and listen. So overall this is better for my health, but the shock of routine shifting is real.

 

After many years remote, I now struggle to feel like I'm part of the world. I don't commute, I don't mingle, I don't get lunch in the city centre, I'm no longer party to the effects of the weather, no more icy day complaints, I don't see the effects of society changing events such as this very pandemic. I just eat, sleep, work, repeat. I have a lot of extra time and sometimes find myself just stood around like Pablo Escobar.

At this point, everything becomes a little unstructured and blurred. It makes you question life.

 

I've been working from home for at least 7 years now, and the hardest part for me has been everyone asking me for advice.

It's really challenging to know what to say when it's become your new normal. I don't know what difficulties or challenges you'll have to overcome; I'm weirdly self-disciplined!

 

My wife is also working from home. We share a small apartment and her work involves a fair amount of phone calls.

 
 

Focus and motivation are definitely hard to maintain. Not having other people around me who are being productive (I live alone, an office environment really helps me for a lot of reasons).
Proximity to a sunny spot to snooze in and proximity to other (sometimes more enjoyable) activities like baking.
Asynchronous discussions, having to wait a lot longer for colleagues to read messages and agree to things.

But one thing that really helps is routine. And shutting my laptop at the same time each day followed by doing a few laps around my yard to make a break from work to play.

 
 
  • Concentrating and my level of focus
  • Not walking around
  • Lunches at home
  • Timezones
 
  • Staying focused
  • Exercising
  • Getting focused (on pc) on class after work
 

The hardest part is controlling body weight.
(Gained about 7~8 lbs since WFH.)

 
 

Not looking the seductive eyes the pillows on my bed make.

 

taking off from work on time (doing legit 12 hours working) 😩

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Ben Halpern profile image
A Canadian software developer who thinks he’s funny. He/Him.