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  • Working from home
  • grunty

    From today I will be working from home for good. Long story that I won’t go into here but my situation is this.

    I work as a software developer for a company based in Yorkshire and have been working remotely from the team for the last 18mths in another office. This office is now no longer available for me to use.

    I work using agile methodologies so we have a daily scrum meeting by phone.

    What I would like to know is some ideas on how to concentrate whilst at home and not to get distracted by other things, how to get into the ‘mood’ to work, how to handle the lack of interaction with people and not to feel like I HAVE to go out every night as I am sure that would drive the missus up the wall.



    Hope this helps

    Speaking from experience, don’t put your laptop next to your home PC/laptop (reduce the chance of eBay/STW etc whilst you’re meant to be working), same applies for the xBox.

    I don’t think I could work from home permanently. A colleague of mine has had to all year so far due to back problems and its driving him up the wall.


    Make sure you have a work ‘place’ to go and work. If it is the dining room table, you won’t be ‘at work’ and the mindset is harder to get in to. If you can make that office / workspace and keep the divide, that should help. Wear clothes – sitting in your dressing gown for the working day may not be condusive to your best work.

    You claim to be a software developer yet crave human interaction – are you sure about either, as they are not usually found in the same person!


    I am into my 9th yr working from home, it rocks.
    I operate a reward system, if I work a full solid day, the next day I start with a ride and then accept a later start.

    Also I have just enjoyed a toasted ham and cheese sandwich, followed by wine gums, choc digestives, choc eclairs and fruitellers – where can you get such a fun lunchtime menu other than at home!

    Other positives that spring to mind:

    Any new CRC deliveries can also be fitted immediately!

    You can surf the web near enough all day somedays and call it work.

    You can have stress relieving hand shandy breaks when required (try not to get caught by the missus as that tends to be hard to justify as “proper work”)

    Best of luck!

    I can only think of positives, I worry about the day I may have to go back to “proper” work in an office.


    Google for the Pomodoro technique – basically 25 mins of concentration followed by 5 minute break where you can STW, etc.

    Divide a task/day up into x number of pomodoros, etc.


    Just make sure you get your work done and don’t worry about it.

    It took me a while to work that out 🙂

    Premier Icon simon_g

    It’s all basic stuff, but:

    – having a dedicated area / computer for work
    – getting up in good time
    – dressing properly (doesn’t have to be smart, just not sitting in your pants all day)
    – giving yourself a proper lunch break
    – avoiding doing any household stuff during the working day
    – finishing on time

    … all help to avoid blurring the lines between work and home too much. I like getting out of the house first thing, even if it’s just to wander down the shops for milk to get out of “home” and into “work” mindset.

    How far is the office? I don’t normally have a whole week without going to a customer somewhere but when I do, I tend to drive the couple of hours into the office on one day just to keep in touch with people and break up the week.

    May be worth seeing if there’s any shared office space near you, they can be pretty cheap and it gives some people the work/home separation they need even if it’s 5 mins down the road.


    – dressing properly (doesn’t have to be smart, just not sitting in your pants all day)

    So that’s where I’ve been going wrong 🙁

    Stay away from this and you’ll be reet 😉


    Try to keep your current routine as much as possible, and as above if you’re lucky enough to have space for an office use it as just that.

    – Have a shower and get dressed before you start work – sitting in your undercrackers all day, whilst liberating, isn’t that conducive to a good days work in my experience. Too many scratching opportunities, plus you get some funny looks when the postman turns up with your latest bike related purchase.

    – Don’t fall into the trap of communicating only over email, pick up the phone as much as you can. Assuming you have sufficient bandwidth at home if your company has VoIP for home workers get onto that, otherwise sign up to Skype or similar and get your colleagues to do the same. If you haven’t got sufficient bandwidth use the regular phone (and expense it) because talking to someone over a bad VoIP connection is extremely frustrating.

    – Get a decent desk phone with a wired headset. Mobile phones and bluetooth headsets are a PITA if you ask me.

    – Take regular breaks as you would at work

    – Leave the TV off, even if it’s in another room. Jeremy Kyle and/or Homes under the Hammer is enough to drive anyone to distraction.

    – Take a proper lunch break, go for a ride, run, walk, just get out of the house and get some air and a change of scenery.

    – Don’t start work too early or finish too late. It’s easy to get carried away.

    – When you finish for the day shut everything down to avoid the temptation of checking email or writing that one last piece of code.

    Not sure I could do it permanently but I used to love working from home 2-3 days a week, unfortunately due to a small house and young kids combo I’m not able to anymore.

    Premier Icon binners

    A mate of mine worked from home, and used to nip to the pub for lunch every day. His wife had no idea about this until he decided to take her to the local on a Friday evening for a meal. On walking in, the regulars at the bar greeted him as one of their own, and the bar staff addressed him by his first name.

    OOPS! 😀


    I’ve got a friend who gets up, showers, dresses etc then leaves the house, walks around the block and returns home to start work. It seems to works for her.

    Premier Icon GrahamS

    Very similar situation: software engineer, working remotely on my own, Agile methodology, daily scrum calls.

    I did the working from home thing, but it is very hard to concentrate, especially when there is housework to be done versus a very boring document to write. When our daughter came along there was just no way it was going to work. So I currently work in a serviced office type thing.

    This has the advantage that I have my own little room, away from the house, in a building that has IT support, cleaners, maintenance, a secretary and a cafe.

    Works much better – and means I have to wear more than my pants.

    I work from home, and its tough to keep disaplined but agree to all the about, loving the youtube clip from Captain.

    Quite a few of my customers always say to me when i ring them up ” Are you w4nking from home again today?” which is not far of the truth…..


    Rent a desk in a local office. In this current climate there’s plenty available.

    I started working at home and couldn’t stand it. Too many, err, distractions. Doing much more work now I have an office.

    I’m a software developer too (ok, I’m an analyst/programmer, whatever the difference is).

    5 years ago I broke my left leg which obviously meant I couldn’t drive the 27 miles each way to work & back, not without swapping a manual for an auto car; upshot was, I could have had 2-3 months sick leave and gone stir crazy, or I could have worked from home. I chose the latter, the company agreed. laptop + broadband = work from home. The accident was in May, I had holiday in the south of France booked for July. The cast came off just in time

    anyway, what others have said:
    1) get into the “office” at the time you normally would
    2) take the same lunch break as you normally would
    3) finish at the same time as you normally would.
    4) don’t do anything home-related in between 1 & 3



    start work early in dressing gown – then go for a lunchtime ride and then shower and dress – then work afternoon.

    only really works if your riding is close but I had a nice 12 mile route on the north downs which took an hour.

    keeps your fitness high so you can cope with the intensity of working at home easier.

    I couldn’t even contemplate it… good luck!


    Thanks for all the advice. I will give some of them a go and see what works for me.

    Premier Icon bigsurfer

    I love it as a design engineer. I get so much more work done at home than when I used to work in the office. Been doing it for 2 years now, get to live in Devon when the company I work for are in Manchester.

    I get to see far more of my Family, I don’t really find it hard to motivate myself to work and nobody cares if all the work is done on time.

    I am of course a fairly unsociable person so it suits me down to the ground I go some where with business for normally one night away every fourtnight and that suits me fine.


    I’ve been working from home for nigh on 15 years now.
    Remember that it’s work and keep the lines between work and home rigid. Like John Drummer says, keep the same hours as your office bound colleagues; this also avoids the pitfall of working too much. Try and have the daily scrum stand-up first thing in the morning and clearly plan what you’re going to do for the day. Sort these tasks into chunks with micro goals to reach through the day.

    You need a professional environment to work in – the dining room table won’t work for more than a few days, you need a dedicated office space that is yours. Make sure other people (partner, kids etc.) realize that you’re at work and not available for household duties or social chit-chat during work time. You can have your own kettle in your office for tea breaks to avoid the family kitchen, and even take a packed lunch to work to emphasise the fact that you’re not at home. Working from home can be very hard on your partner if they’re at home during the day; they can often feel that you’re being distant and ignoring them. You have to reassure them about this and ask for their support.

    You might find that the thing you miss most is the social aspect; the face-to-face interaction with colleagues and the camaraderie it builds is important for maintaining morale and enthusiasm. Try and plan regular visits the main office to meet people and keep this going. Don’t be shy about phoning colleagues to get some input from them to remind you and them that you’re all still working together.

    The lack of transition between home and work can also be difficult – one minute your dealing with work, the next with home, with no space in between. The idea of walking to work and back again isn’t as silly as it sounds, this gives you a bit of space to yourself and marks the difference between work and home.

    Working from home can be very rewarding but also very lonely. At least you’re aware of the dangers of distraction and procrastination (like posting to STW when you should be working 😆 )

    stock up on Kleenex, delete internet history daily if wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse/family pet/livestock have access to PC, raise credit limit on CC to accommodate ‘boredom’ CRC purchases and every day at 5pm ask yourself ‘have a really done everything I wanted to do today’, simples.

    Make a note of how much money you’re saving by not having to travel to work every day.

    Scan the traffic report websites / radio and bask in the knowledge that your life isn’t being drained away stuck in a tailback on the M25.

    Get up at 0850 to start work at 0900.

    Working from home is the best!


    Get a decent pair of In Ear Monitors and a decent soundcard on your laptop and listen to music if anyone else is home – that way you can’t hear any distracting noises.

    If no-one is home just fire up the hifi.


    Premier Icon PePPeR

    Funnily enough, I’ve been working from home today, a rarity indeed as I’m usually having to drive around what seems to be most of the british isles!

    I always thought that the majority of the people who posted on here in the daytime either worked in IT or were homeworking! 🙂

    I met someone on a ride once and he actually stated oh I see you on STW but you’re normally only posting on evenings or weekends, I did point out to him that, that was because I was normally working in the day time!


    I worked from home for a few years and while aspects of it were great I always found it hard to concentrate with a dirty oven. Once i’d cleaned the oven I found something else to do etc etc. Of course, it helped when renovating my house as I mainly did that and crammed work in each side. But fundamentally i hated it. Saying that, i’m not very keen on the office now either.


    If you’re in the world of 1 computer for work and home, Set up 2 logins. I found that until I did this, It was too easy to be checking work emails all the time or ‘just finishing this piece of work’.

    Reality for me was that it was less a problem of my home life getting in the way of doing work, and more the other way round. Its all about boundary’s between work and home

    Premier Icon mattjg

    I love working from home, I’m not as disciplined as I could be, but am self employed so it’s my call really.

    My daughter was born in April and it’s been fantastic to be arund why she ils tiny, I don’t mind the interruptions. It would be a pain if I was on the phone a lot but mostly I do email so that’s not a problem.

    Ideally put your desk in the smallest craooiest room in the house, ideally not by a window so you can’t look out. Internet distraction is a problem, I have an iPad and my rule is ( during working hours) work on the Mac, fun things on the pad, then when reach for the pad I am at least aware of it. Faux targets and time allocations don’t work for me, I make my rules then break them anyway.

    I don’t need a strong separation between work and non-work time, I don’t mind them blending together. I have plenty of mates and a full life, the ‘loss’ of a social scene at work is nothing.

    Take a quiet moment and think about the commuting time and expense you are saving, you’ll never go back.

    Premier Icon mattjg

    ps as for motivation I find fear of poverty and the prospect of having to work for someone else does that fine.


    Just don’t realise what I did and relocate to Morzine as your home office can be anywhere 🙂

    Premier Icon tonyg2003

    I work from home 50-60% of my time. I have been for the last 10yrs.

    I try to get to the office at least once every two weeks – it’s always a really good catch up.

    I find (I suppose I’m lucky in some ways) that having a proper office makes a big difference too. Into the office and I’m in work mode.

    However I go to the company and see how much people talk (we’re open plan for everyone) and they go for “company lunches” etc… I don’t stress myself about working 12hrs a day every day. A little distraction – sneaky MTB rides – is fine. Just hit a balance.

    I love working from home. When I’m there I always take my son to school and sometime pick him up too, even though we have a child minder. I feel lucky to do this vs the majority of son’s classmate dads who work up in That London and leave before 7am and return after 7pm.

    Premier Icon Kryton57

    Interesting this.

    I’ve recently started to WFH once per week, but this may move to full time as they will close our office next Jan. I’m currently an “agile worker” – ie I visit custiomers / other offices on average twice per week.

    Currently I pick a day when Wifey’s at work and the Little one is at Nursery. I start work immediately after I’ve dropped him off (there’s my “travel to work mentality”) and finish when its time to read him a story at 6.30pm.

    The extra hours are offset by a 1h.30 “lunch hour” ride. I do find though that extra time (taking it to 2 hours) is need to shower before starting working again.

    I work for a large coporate and see plenty of Cigarette breaks, lunch hours, coffee “meetings”, Late trains etc so don’t feel guilty at all, especially as some of my traveling involved leaving home early/starting late/staying away, and some of the crtical work I do means working late / the odd day of a weekend.

    My biggest problem? The constantly available supply of food in the kitchen downstairs…. 😳


    I work from home, the car, hotels, lay bys, service stations, Inns, Farms, fields, bridges, carparks, just about anywhere. I find that as long as I dress as if I was at an office and focus on completing set tasks methodically and to the best of my ability I end up satisfied and happy. Sorry, did I say work, I meant ****.


    I’d love to work from home. I have done in the past and found the distractions no worse than in an office. I hate working in an office they are always such dreary places, give me a quite desk somewhere in the house and the opportunity to breath some fresh air through the window get some natural light and I work so much better. I can choose the people I have to interact with on social level minimising bullshit, and just meet real friends. Plus I can start a little early or late. Never found I work less at home usually more!

    I’m amazed anyone doesn’t like working from home!

    convert the shed garage into an office space and then lock up at 5.30pm…

    I’ve been doing a mix of working from home and travel for 3 months now.
    In general it’s good and I like the flexibilty and the fact I can make a club evening ride for the first time in years.
    Sometimes I do find it hard to get motivated and I get distracted by STW easily (although it’s not any different from all non work chats you may have in the office), generally I know that it has been too long since I spoke to someone or travelled.
    I have tried to get up in the morning at the same time I used to when commuting (by car) and go for a 1 hour ride,I call it my fake commute, the trouble is when the weathers not so nice or I’m not feeling up to it there is just not the motivation compared a real commute.
    I have put on a bit of weight though with the lack of exercise from walking up and down the office and the high availability of food at home.


    Work from home, like now when my kids are at school. IF there at home its impossible and I have to go out on the bike.

    MrNutt – Member

    I work from home, the car, hotels, lay bys, service stations, Inns, Farms, fields, bridges, carparks, just about anywhere. I find that as long as I dress as if I was at an office and focus on completing set tasks methodically and to the best of my ability I end up satisfied and happy. Sorry, did I say work, I meant ****.

    Posted 22 hours ago #Report-Post

    Amazing post !!!! 😛

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