DEV Community

loading...

What are the hardest parts about working from home?

Ben Halpern
A Canadian software developer who thinks he’s funny. He/Him.
・1 min read

Discussion (93)

Collapse
ilonacodes profile image
Ilona Codes

Avoiding the kitchen area 😅

Collapse
ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

So much this

Collapse
dance2die profile image
Sung M. Kim

You summed it up much better than my reply!~ 😁

Collapse
khalyomede profile image
Khalyomede • Edited

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 😅).

Collapse
ridhwana profile image
Ridhwana Khan

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!

Collapse
jankosutnik profile image
Jan Kosutnik

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

Collapse
ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

I hear you! 🤪

Collapse
scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill

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.

Collapse
michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him)

Haha, cheers to that. ☕️

I drink waaaaay too much coffee when working from home!

Collapse
fokusman profile image
Ferit 🌟🕌
  • Focus
  • Kids
  • Sitting properly
  • Disconnect from work :D
Collapse
dance2die profile image
Sung M. Kim

Sitting properly

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

Collapse
fokusman profile image
Ferit 🌟🕌

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

Collapse
elasticrash profile image
Stefanos Kouroupis

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)
Collapse
shaunagordon profile image
Shauna Gordon

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.

Collapse
eveyonline profile image
evey

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.

Collapse
greenroommate profile image
Haris Secic

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.

Collapse
hassan_schroeder profile image
Hassan Schroeder

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

Collapse
greenroommate profile image
Haris Secic

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

Thread Thread
hassan_schroeder profile image
Hassan Schroeder

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.

Thread Thread
greenroommate profile image
Haris Secic

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.

Thread Thread
hassan_schroeder profile image
Hassan Schroeder

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 😀

Thread Thread
greenroommate profile image
Haris Secic

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.

Thread Thread
hassan_schroeder profile image
Hassan Schroeder

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.

Collapse
olegthelilfix profile image
Oleg Aleksandrov
  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
Collapse
jamenamcinteer profile image
Jamena McInteer

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.

Collapse
chiefnoah profile image
Noah Pederson

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

Collapse
dana94 profile image
Dana Ottaviani

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.

Collapse
audreyfeldroy profile image
Audrey Roy Greenfeld

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).

Collapse
thealiilman profile image
Ali Ilman • Edited

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. 😂😭

Collapse
dance2die profile image
Sung M. Kim

Sleep.

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

Collapse
thealiilman profile image
Ali Ilman

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

Thread Thread
dance2die profile image
Sung M. Kim

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

Collapse
deciduously profile image
Ben Lovy

Duelling conference calls in a small apartment.

Collapse
greghausheer profile image
Greg Hausheer

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.

Collapse
dance2die profile image
Sung M. Kim

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

Collapse
gayanhewa profile image
Gayan Hewa

Homeschooling and WFH don't mix.

Collapse
ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

I can only imagine

Collapse
audreyfeldroy profile image
Audrey Roy Greenfeld

It's seriously difficult 😥

Collapse
nitinreddy3 profile image
Nitin Reddy

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 🙂

Collapse
ekafyi profile image
Eka • Edited

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." 🤦🏽‍♀️

Collapse
gualtierofr profile image
Gualtiero Frigerio

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.

Collapse
094459 profile image
Ricardo Sueiras

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)

Collapse
bytebodger profile image
Adam Nathaniel Davis

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.

Collapse
pp profile image
Paweł Ludwiczak

Family.

Collapse
scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill

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.

Collapse
thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt

Be motivated.

Collapse
kendalmintcode profile image
Rob Kendal {{☕}} • Edited

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...

Collapse
dance2die profile image
Sung M. Kim

Not drinking 4 coffees per day.

That's something I can relate :)

Collapse
scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill

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

☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️

Thread Thread
dance2die profile image
Sung M. Kim

Words are ambiguous, unlike programming languages :p

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

Collapse
soatokdhole profile image
Soatok Dreamseeker

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!

Collapse
matthewbdaly profile image
Matthew Daly

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.

Collapse
steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

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

Collapse
engmms profile image
engmms

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

Collapse
joaocrulhas profile image
João Pedro Rubira Crulhas

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...

Collapse
leirasanchez profile image
Leira Sánchez

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.

Collapse
nathanenglert profile image
Nathan Englert

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.

Collapse
krrish96 profile image
Sai Krishna

Controlling Belly Fat😋

Collapse
dance2die profile image
Sung M. Kim

Nice, short, visual comment :)

Collapse
bowlendev profile image
Ryan Bowlen

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.

Collapse
pabiforbes profile image
Pabi Moloi, but Forbes

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.

Collapse
skryking profile image
Jason Ormes

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

Collapse
hiclab profile image
hiclab

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
Collapse
dmahely profile image
Doaa Mahely

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.

Collapse
adamkdean profile image
Adam K Dean • Edited

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.

Collapse
corentinbettiol profile image
Corentin Bettiol

The roomates that don't work.

Collapse
heatherw profile image
HeatherW

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.

Collapse
tvanantwerp profile image
Tom VanAntwerp

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

Collapse
dance2die profile image
Sung M. Kim

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

Collapse
tulkdan profile image
Pedro Correa
  • Staying focused
  • Exercising
  • Getting focused (on pc) on class after work
Collapse
bernardbaker profile image
Bernard Baker
  • Concentrating and my level of focus
  • Not walking around
  • Lunches at home
  • Timezones
Collapse
rffaguiar profile image
Renan Aguiar

I would say not drinking 10 coffees per day!

Collapse
kauresss profile image
Kauress

Over working. For real!

Collapse
mehmood168 profile image
Mehmood

Maintaining correct posture,
Staying focused

Collapse
iamschulz profile image
I am Schulz

Kids.