Yet Another Cycling Forum

Off Topic => The Pub => Topic started by: telstarbox on March 17, 2020, 09:57:11 am

Title: Working from home advice
Post by: telstarbox on March 17, 2020, 09:57:11 am
I've been directed to work from home as of tomorrow which I've never done before. Mrs T is doing the same.

On the tech side I think I'm sorted using a remote desktop setup, but does anyone have any tips for managing it generally?
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ian on March 17, 2020, 10:08:56 am
I've worked at home since 2003 when I became UK employee #1 of a US company (ironically, over the last year, after a role change I've started to go back into the office, but only two days a week). It's an adjustment.

Have an 'office', if you're lucky as me, an actual office, if not sequester a defined area of your house for work. Make it abundantly clear to other family members that just because you are home, it doesn't mean you can do the laundry. Have a schedule, it's perilously easy to start a bit early and find yourself 'just finishing up something' at 9pm. Every day. Have a start and finish time. Break up your day, go do some exercise, get lunch etc. Make sure your employer have you set up with all the newfangled IT tools.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: Ham on March 17, 2020, 10:09:22 am
tip #1, have a two screen setup, then you can have yacf on one for use during ESSENTIAL conference calls and thereby discover why many of us seem to spend our lives here
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: nikki on March 17, 2020, 10:57:00 am
This Twitter thread has some good stuff:
https://twitter.com/helenczerski/status/1239669550645497858
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: phantasmagoriana on March 17, 2020, 11:00:06 am
tip #1, have a two screen setup, then you can have yacf on one for use during ESSENTIAL conference calls and thereby discover why many of us seem to spend our lives here

Even just for work stuff, I'm really missing my second monitor right now!
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ElyDave on March 17, 2020, 11:00:27 am
Agree with Ian, I've been a homeworker since 2007.
Separate area, with door if possible
Discipline - start and finish time
Discipline  - other family members,
Remember to take breaks

Get the ergonomics right, chair, desk, external keyboard and preferably monitor, headset for the umpteen skype calls you'll now be doing every day
Don't be afraid to use the do not disturb function on skype/teams
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ian on March 17, 2020, 11:35:59 am
tip #1, have a two screen setup, then you can have yacf on one for use during ESSENTIAL conference calls and thereby discover why many of us seem to spend our lives here

Three (well, one iMac, Macbook and second monitor). That way I can both do sophisticated analytical things while simultaneously pleasuring the internet. The computers basically think while I don't.

Actually that's important, the social venting, having something other to do then stare at a screen full of work. In an office environment, some minion will come along to periodically ask me random questions as I'm seemingly some kind of Google alternative, at home you have to manufacture your own useful distractions.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: bludger on March 17, 2020, 11:52:09 am
Planet X have posted some great WFH tips.

(https://i.imgur.com/KWdkzWx.png)
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on March 17, 2020, 12:06:36 pm
Super important to remember to take breaks.

If I were in the office, I'd be walking around to see people, get to meeting rooms. WFH, I'm just sat in front of a desk.

Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: tatanab on March 17, 2020, 12:36:57 pm
About 15 years ago I worked from home for about 3 years.  I agree that a separate "office" room is ideal, and I still use it too much.  I don't necessarily agree about keeping regular hours if you don't need to.  For example, because of a health problem I would wake up at 4 am, so I'd be working shortly afterwards.  When I had work problems that vexed me I would stop work, go for a ride for an hour or so, or maybe do some heavy gardening.  That would sort out my mind and probably show me a solution.  That is a real advantage over working in a workplace where you are stuck with the problem.  The company also benefitted because in the peace and quiet of home I could do as much in a day as would sometimes take a week in a noisy open plan office.  Helpfully I live alone.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: bhoot on March 17, 2020, 12:43:31 pm
Get dressed and try not to imagine fellow conference call participants in their pyjamas
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ian on March 17, 2020, 12:48:57 pm
They don't have to be regular hours, just not excessive. It's more the discipline of having done a day's reasonable toil, to turn off and do something else. It can be harder than it seems if you don't have the physical separation and the act of walking out of the office door of an evening.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: andrewc on March 17, 2020, 12:57:14 pm
Get dressed and try not to imagine fellow conference call participants in their pyjamas


Or pretend you are Arthur Dent & just live in pyjamas & dressing gown.   As long as you don't do video conferences.... 
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: telstarbox on March 17, 2020, 01:27:24 pm
Thanks everyone. Luckily I've never had to do a video conference in my 10 years working here...
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ElyDave on March 17, 2020, 02:16:09 pm
I had to do a VC with some very senior bods a few years back whilst on leave, but at home. They hadn't told me it was VC. Luckily I'd put a t-shirt on that day
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ian on March 17, 2020, 02:33:59 pm
My office has a big patio door and balcony, so clothing can be provident. There used to be a big tree that prevented houses further up the street from seeing into our garden but it was damaged in a storm earlier this year and was removed. But hey, if they're looking, the problem is theirs. I do, for the record, wear clothes. Every day.

I usually kill the camera. They went through a phase of every one ought to have their camera on, for some reason seeing one another looking bored improved matters. I deactivated mine and blamed bandwidth.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ElyDave on March 17, 2020, 04:12:35 pm
My laptop now sits under the desk, closed (not providing a close up of my nethers) with two big screens on the desk. 
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: Tim Hall on March 17, 2020, 04:20:55 pm
My job before this was working from hom/visiting customers, so I have a nerve centre already set up. As from today I'm working from home again. As said up thread, a separate room makes a lot of difference, even if you're the only person living there.

I'm just battling with MS Teams so I can deliver DETH by Powerpoint from the comfort of my own flat.  I've got it working with my colleagues, as a proof of concept thing. Now I'm working on getting people outside of my organisation able to see and hear me.

Whilst I operate in a fully dressed mode, the Nerve Centre also serves as a repository for tqt, drying laundry and light bicycle maintenance. I've had to put stuff away.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: caerau on March 17, 2020, 04:23:28 pm
My office has a big patio door and balcony, so clothing can be provident. There used to be a big tree that prevented houses further up the street from seeing into our garden but it was damaged in a storm earlier this year and was removed. But hey, if they're looking, the problem is theirs. I do, for the record, wear clothes. Every day.

I usually kill the camera. They went through a phase of every one ought to have their camera on, for some reason seeing one another looking bored improved matters. I deactivated mine and blamed bandwidth.


Bandwidth is a real issue is it not, or do we just have shite bandwidth at Universities?  Every time I've done video conferencing - most often interviewing people in India or Timbuktu for a job - the jumpiness makes it almost not worth doing if video is on.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: Jaded on March 17, 2020, 04:26:44 pm
Mitchell and Webb had advice (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co_DNpTMKXk)
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: spesh on March 17, 2020, 04:33:39 pm
Get dressed and try not to imagine fellow conference call participants in their pyjamas


Or pretend you are Arthur Dent & just live in pyjamas & dressing gown.   As long as you don't do video conferences....

There is a solution to that: https://dilbert.com/strip/1994-06-07  ;)

ETA - alternatively: https://dilbert.com/strip/1999-12-01
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ian on March 17, 2020, 04:38:37 pm
My office has a big patio door and balcony, so clothing can be provident. There used to be a big tree that prevented houses further up the street from seeing into our garden but it was damaged in a storm earlier this year and was removed. But hey, if they're looking, the problem is theirs. I do, for the record, wear clothes. Every day.

I usually kill the camera. They went through a phase of every one ought to have their camera on, for some reason seeing one another looking bored improved matters. I deactivated mine and blamed bandwidth.


Bandwidth is a real issue is it not, or do we just have shite bandwidth at Universities?  Every time I've done video conferencing - most often interviewing people in India or Timbuktu for a job - the jumpiness makes it almost not worth doing if video is on.

Always seems variable here (Teams is terrible), and I have a 70-or-so Mb/s BT connection that doesn't seem to struggle with Netflix, Apple Music etc. Possibly we don't pay the bill. It's not stellar aboard the mothership.

The VPN is worse, last time I checked it bought everything down to 12 Mb/s and the latency indicated they were probably routing the packets via Neptune.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on March 17, 2020, 05:40:44 pm
12!  I'd love to get 12.
On a very good day I get 3.

Delivering presentations via Skype is foul.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ian on March 17, 2020, 05:45:36 pm
Actually, it might have been less. It wasn't fast anyway. They've moved most of the stuff off the VPN anyway, it now goes through some other magic mechanism that I don't understand. It's just Jira and Confluence, which, of course, are the two I need to use.

Slack was a lot better than Teams for everything.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: perpetual dan on March 17, 2020, 06:07:41 pm
If you're all coming off being in the office together then creating alternatives for some of the social contact feels like a good idea right now. Things we're doing:
A morning hello. Check in on the more junior and/or live alone people.
Video gives a sense of how someone is that phone doesnt.
For video a view of everyone rather than just the speaker is good. Not all meetings have to contain everyone and go on for hours. If meetings are your work then it might be different!
I'm doing 10 minute post lunch coffee with someone.
A parents channel for sharing the chaos when schools close.
Last week we had after work drinks and chat on video. With beer.

We use slack and zoom.


Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ian on March 17, 2020, 07:51:54 pm
One of our offices has a thing called an owl. It's not an actual owl (contain your disappointment), it's a magic conference webcam thing that points at whoever is speaking in a conference room.

I want to know what it does if the entire meeting erupts spontaneously into Bohemian Rhapsody.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: vorsprung on March 17, 2020, 07:57:53 pm
I have Slack running all the time.  I just say hi good morning to a few people when I start up in the morning.

During the rest of the day I use Slack for a mix of chat and tech discussions

At 3pm our team (about 10 people) have a short video conference

Most work is tracked with Jira
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: Mrs Pingu on March 17, 2020, 09:27:27 pm
I love all the answers of having a seperate area etc. Pingu & I have both been despatched home today. We have a teeny 1 bed flat, no kitchen table anymore, well, no table at all.

I've commandeered the cheapo scabby tiny desk in the unheated loft (Pingu seems happy slouching on the sofa, my back won't cope with that all day).
There's room for 1 screen and the laptop (but not open as a 2nd screen) but now no desk space to write or lean on so I suppose I'm going to have to buy a folding table somewhere. I think I'm going to freeze up there when it gets cold again this week.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: Greenbank on March 17, 2020, 09:31:33 pm
I love all the answers have having a seperate area etc. Pingu & I have both been despatched home today. We have a teeny 1 bed flat, no kitchen table anymore, well, no table at all.

Many of the grads are in houseshares, some even sharing a bedroom with a partner so they don't even have exclusive use of the bedroom (let alone the shared kitchen or lounge).

Of course, the policy of "find a nice dedicated area" often comes from the senior management who happen to have a choice of study, spare bedroom, summer garden house or kitchen-the-size-of-a-two-bed-flat.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ian on March 17, 2020, 09:40:46 pm
Soz, I'm rubbing it in by living in The Asbestos Palace (I won't mention my office sofa bed). I guess you just need to demarcate space and if you are close, make sure there are no weapons in easy reach. Of course, here we are both work at home a couple of days a week, so we're kitted out with homeworking survival in mind. I get that it's not an option that everyone has, but it's the sort of 'if you can' advice.

I have an oil-filled radiator for keeping my feet warm without heating the rest of the house. My wife's office is upstairs and stays modestly warm. She has the company of the cuddly mustelid collection.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: perpetual dan on March 17, 2020, 09:48:25 pm
I love all the answers of having a seperate area etc. Pingu & I have both been despatched home today. We have a teeny 1 bed flat, no kitchen table anymore, well, no table at all.

I've commandeered the cheapo scabby tiny desk in the unheated loft (Pingu seems happy slouching on the sofa, my back won't cope with that all day).
There's room for 1 screen and the laptop (but not open as a 2nd screen) but now no desk space to write or lean on so I suppose I'm going to have to buy a folding table somewhere. I think I'm going to freeze up there when it gets cold again this week.

I've done two days on a wooden chair at the kitchen table. I usually use a standing desk, so my first job tomorrow is to find an appropriate pile of books to try on the kitchen work surface. Or the sofa.

My colleagues get to monitor the changes in the bottles lined up behind me.  ;)

Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: Mrs Pingu on March 17, 2020, 09:50:52 pm
If it weren't for the good of the masses I'd be saying FRO to WFH. Some of my colleagues have done just that.

My wife's office is upstairs and stays modestly warm. She has the company of the cuddly mustelid collection.

I took a photie of my new office mate today, Batty Bat (I know, nil points for imagination) hanging from the apex.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49670795716_b4a521b756.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iFeP4A)2020-03-17_09-46-56 (https://flic.kr/p/2iFeP4A) by The Pingus (https://www.flickr.com/photos/the_pingus/), on Flickr

Tomorrow I may find the box of plush pinnipeds & penguins and get them out for shits & giggles.

Do we need to resurrect this thread? It's not been posted on since 2008...
https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=6504.0
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: spesh on March 17, 2020, 10:56:56 pm
The Telecommuter's Progress:

https://dilbert.com/strip/1995-02-06
https://dilbert.com/strip/1995-02-07
https://dilbert.com/strip/1995-02-08
https://dilbert.com/strip/1995-02-09
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: bhoot on March 17, 2020, 11:28:53 pm
How to do video conference calls
https://youtu.be/lTTTuBSYgHA
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: barakta on March 18, 2020, 01:24:17 am
I work from home 2/3s of the time anyway and happen to have a pretty good ergo setup. As Kim is often home we have to compromise on what spaces we use. My ergo setup is in the computer room, but so is the sunlight which affects my ability to read (thanks migraine!) so I sometimes use the dining room which is the 'cave' but has poorer ergo.

I am now self-isolating and am going to try a video call with boss tomorrow, which is a bit stressful as I'm deaf and I've been refusing voice conference and video calls for years cos "too audio". I reckon I can manage a short video call with boss IF the system is quick enough for viable lipreading and it's got to be better than her stressed dyslexic emails of actual incomprehensibility...

I am sending small kind emails to colleagues to check in cos boss isn't good at the social skills side of things. I'm also taking no shit from management and when they act like twats in public, I have taken to telling them it (it's very cathartic, I'll probably never meet the twat in person now).
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ElyDave on March 18, 2020, 06:12:09 am
All great points, and bats, some that just don't really spring to mind if you've been doing it for ten plus years already.

Keeping contact is really important, I have half a dozen or so people I talk to several times a week if not daily. I do like the idea of a Friday afternoon glass of wine by vc. Seems I'm very lacking in cuddly toys though, my teenage daughter has commandeered all of mines and I'm left with funky maps of pipelines, and maturing homebrew. I do get the wine stocks though as my office is unheated.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: phantasmagoriana on March 18, 2020, 10:18:24 am
We're using MS Teams and having daily catch-ups using video chat.

Boyfriend is now also working from home as of today - though he has a study/office in the flat anyway, so we can work without annoying each other too much.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ian on March 18, 2020, 10:57:16 am
I think divorce rates may go up after this.

(We're fortunate enough to have offices at diametrically opposite sides of The Asbestos Palace. We met working together in the same office, but the suggestion of working together now is met by a mutual no fucking way!)
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on March 18, 2020, 11:22:06 am
One of our offices has a thing called an owl. It's not an actual owl (contain your disappointment), it's a magic conference webcam thing that points at whoever is speaking in a conference room.

I want to know what it does if the entire meeting erupts spontaneously into Bohemian Rhapsody.
Do you really expect us to believe you don't know?
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on March 18, 2020, 11:27:24 am
I think divorce rates may go up after this.

(We're fortunate enough to have offices at diametrically opposite sides of The Asbestos Palace. We met working together in the same office, but the suggestion of working together now is met by a mutual no fucking way!)
And if divorce rates go up, with everyone wfh and self-isolating or social distancing, there might be a dearth of new coupling. Presumably it will be boomtime for dating apps, but at some time (I presume) the idea of those is that you actually meet in person. Or maybe we'll have fully fledged online romances with everything from swipe right to marriage done online. There won't be any babies though.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ian on March 18, 2020, 11:45:52 am
One of our offices has a thing called an owl. It's not an actual owl (contain your disappointment), it's a magic conference webcam thing that points at whoever is speaking in a conference room.

I want to know what it does if the entire meeting erupts spontaneously into Bohemian Rhapsody.
Do you really expect us to believe you don't know?

Sadly, there only seems to be one in our Virginia office and I've not been there since they got it. Plus they're probably keen not to let me near it. I think there should be more video conference singing though. That said, I've long thought of living my life as a musical.

The best teleconference ever featured the Man Who Wouldn't Stop Snoring. That was brilliant, the host got more and more frantic, too panicked to figure out how to mute an individual as the SNORES kept coming, unstoppable like big waves against the shore in a storm. Bigger and bigger. By the end, the twenty or so people on the call were sobbing with laughter and the poor organizer was a wreck on the shore of those snores. The guy still hadn't woken up and in a moment of perfect timing as she called an end to the proceedings he unleashed the most titanic snore, the sort of self-aware monster of a snore that realises what it is half way through, stops for a moment of glottal self-reflection, then finishes with the volume set firmly to eleven.

As for singing, there was a chap once delivering some boring powerpoint about Q2 revenue or somesuch at our sales conference. The entire audience was lost their in phones, laptops, or whatever. His soul wilting in the inattention, he simply burst out with pitch-perfect and sonorous rendition of I Will Survive. The entire thing, took a bow and exited stage left. We never did find out how we did in Q2.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: Wowbagger on March 18, 2020, 12:11:06 pm
Our choir director is planning to do an on-line live-streamed choir practice this evening. If and when I can find it, I will join in.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ian on March 18, 2020, 12:17:00 pm
Today's episode of Working From Home has been rendered a bit more challenging by having no power (important maintenance work on the local substation scheduled before the coronapocalyse), though they've just texted me to say they're making good progress and the power might be back by 2pm. I'm actually impressed (for once) by the level of communication. If it were BT, well I don't need to tell you.

Down to 52% battery though.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: Mr Larrington on March 18, 2020, 12:48:51 pm
If it weren't for the good of the masses I'd be saying FRO to WFH. Some of my colleagues have done just that.

My wife's office is upstairs and stays modestly warm. She has the company of the cuddly mustelid collection.

I took a photie of my new office mate today, Batty Bat (I know, nil points for imagination) hanging from the apex.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49670795716_b4a521b756.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iFeP4A)2020-03-17_09-46-56 (https://flic.kr/p/2iFeP4A) by The Pingus (https://www.flickr.com/photos/the_pingus/), on Flickr

Tomorrow I may find the box of plush pinnipeds & penguins and get them out for shits & giggles.

Do we need to resurrect this thread? It's not been posted on since 2008...
https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=6504.0

A bat :o  They were the bastards who started it all!
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ian on March 18, 2020, 12:52:42 pm
I don't have a bat. But I want one now.

I do have a sea otter I liberated from Monterey called Rick.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ElyDave on March 18, 2020, 01:06:03 pm
Our choir director is planning to do an on-line live-streamed choir practice this evening. If and when I can find it, I will join in.

I'm wondering how we can do livestreamed yoga
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: JonBuoy on March 18, 2020, 01:07:28 pm
I don't have a bat. But I want one now.

I do have a sea otter I liberated from Monterey called Rick.

That's pretty cheesy.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: Ham on March 18, 2020, 01:09:15 pm
I gotta heffalump

(https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kHD0JuAeGIY/XnIdC5TTapI/AAAAAAADNe0/GpWAy9iKP0kHSHvSEiINtiaP_RRRm2b5QCKgBGAsYHg/s800/IMG_20200318_130609.jpg)
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: Greenbank on March 18, 2020, 01:17:56 pm
My daughter usually places her fluffy dog from the RNLI shop (https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/2615/2196/products/monte-the-dog-plush-toy-rs470078-4539332329561_x700.jpg?v=1583894114) on my desk before she goes to school.

"Patch" has been used for Rubber Ducking (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubber_duck_debugging) more than once. Any more sitting on my desk and Patch may also end up being a fully qualified Agile Practitioner too (saves me from doing a lot of the training).
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: Mrs Pingu on March 19, 2020, 04:19:40 pm
Team meeting. Clearly these animals are not following the social distancing advice.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49676776182_dbec1af683.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iFLsR5)2020-03-19_03-52-29 (https://flic.kr/p/2iFLsR5) by The Pingus (https://www.flickr.com/photos/the_pingus/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: rafletcher on March 20, 2020, 09:25:17 am
Looks like I'll be mostly wfh after next week (year end). My workspace will be our back "bedroom". Reasonable desk space (if I clear it up) is a plus. My wife's computer is a minus (it's not keen on the wifi for some reason, so is hardwired to the router in the room), but she can generally use the iPad and leave me alone. More worringly the room also contains the airing cupboard, and she's always washing!

Also, the cat won't like not being able to sleep all day on the office chair.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ian on March 20, 2020, 10:37:40 am
I'm noting from the drop-off in my inbox content that a lot of people seem to have transitioned to not-working from home.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ElyDave on March 20, 2020, 02:55:33 pm
I've been seeing a few client's living rooms and listening to their dogs in the background
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: telstarbox on March 20, 2020, 03:03:51 pm
It's going OK so far. Our other office will be sent home today so we'll all be in the same boat at least.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: ElyDave on March 20, 2020, 03:53:04 pm
It's going OK so far. Our other office will be sent home today so we'll all be in the same boat at least.

Does that comply with social distancing requirements? How big is the boat?
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: Regulator on March 20, 2020, 04:13:51 pm
We had our wider team monthly Zoom meeting today. Usually most of the team are in our head office conference room and it's the usual homeworkers Zooming in.  Today everyone was working from home. 32 people on a Zoom call.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: phantasmagoriana on March 20, 2020, 04:18:34 pm
We had our wider team monthly Zoom meeting today. Usually most of the team are in our head office conference room and it's the usual homeworkers Zooming in.  Today everyone was working from home. 32 people on a Zoom call.

My university did a sort of test/showing people how it works meeting on Zoom earlier in the week. Turns out only 500 people can join one meeting at a time...(we all got asked to turn our cameras off, too, as the bandwidth couldn't cope).
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on March 20, 2020, 05:29:44 pm
One of our offices has a thing called an owl. It's not an actual owl (contain your disappointment), it's a magic conference webcam thing that points at whoever is speaking in a conference room.

I want to know what it does if the entire meeting erupts spontaneously into Bohemian Rhapsody.
Do you really expect us to believe you don't know?

All of our meeting rooms have these. Some have two (they are also manually steerable). Plus the laptop webcams do the same thing.

If you want to point the laptop webcam at a whiteboard (so the schmuck at home can see the fancy doodling) then it is a pain when the cam pans whenever someone moves.

In one meeting, this resulted in me crouching below the whiteboard doing jazz hands to keep the attention of the laptop.

Laptops with ADHD.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: Pingu on March 20, 2020, 05:40:51 pm
We had our wider team monthly Zoom meeting today. Usually most of the team are in our head office conference room and it's the usual homeworkers Zooming in.  Today everyone was working from home. 32 people on a Zoom call.

My university did a sort of test/showing people how it works meeting on Zoom earlier in the week. Turns out only 500 people can join one meeting at a time...(we all got asked to turn our cameras off, too, as the bandwidth couldn't cope).

Story seen on that Facebook:

Quote from: FBer exOTP
The entire office is working from home. We decided to have a virtual meeting with the entire office - mostly to test the limits of our systems.

59 people in a videocall, and Someone shouted "Alexa! Play heavy metal!"

There was an utter cacophony, only partly drowned out by the multiple pleas for Alexa to stop.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: rafletcher on March 24, 2020, 09:50:29 am
Well, that didn't go so well.  The VPN - which I installed and tested a couple of weeks ago - resolutely refused to let  me in this morning. Bah. So, I'm now back in the office awaiting the scorn of our IT "help" person.

ETA: “Delete it, reboot, reinstall, then after 20 seconds, while it’s still installing, reboot”.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: matthew on March 24, 2020, 10:21:01 am
Similar here, the client has two vpn systems; one for staff with client laptops and one for the contractors and staff without laptops. I fall into the latter category, so far today I have been trying to log in for 2 hours as a system intended for ~50 staff using in short occasional bursts has >250 staff trying to work remotely via it.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: Ham on March 26, 2020, 08:06:14 am
Don't forget if you are working for a global company, and having difficulty connecting to the VPN in the morning, you may be able to choose a different region such as North America (where they haven't woken up)  to connect.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: Jaded on March 26, 2020, 08:29:28 am
Zoom have removed to 40 minute limit on calls for free accounts.

I know of a zoom call made on Sunday where there were 3,000 participants. Once it reached that many, no one else could log in.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: aidan.f on March 26, 2020, 08:41:53 pm
Had a conference call on homeworking this afternoon. After several minutes of the host telling us not to overload extension leads cos he connected a wallpaper steamer and heater to the same wound up reel and picked up a plug attached to molten plastic I didn't think I would learn anything useful and left.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: Jaded on March 27, 2020, 12:00:46 am
Had a conference call on homeworking this afternoon. After several minutes of the host telling us not to overload extension leads cos he connected a wallpaper steamer and heater to the same wound up reel and picked up a plug attached to molten plastic I didn't think I would learn anything useful and left.

I'm not sure I'd steam wallpaper in a cold room and teleconference at the same time!!
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: citoyen on March 27, 2020, 04:57:34 pm
Had a conference call on homeworking this afternoon. After several minutes of the host telling us not to overload extension leads cos he connected a wallpaper steamer and heater to the same wound up reel and picked up a plug attached to molten plastic I didn't think I would learn anything useful and left.

I'm not sure I'd steam wallpaper in a cold room and teleconference at the same time!!
I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: madcow on March 27, 2020, 08:48:47 pm
We are using MS Teams and Zoom . Teams was part of the grand plan but became THE thing as we were alll sent home. I usually work from home but spend time on the road. Travelling around gives you an opportunity to be off the radar but confined to home and with Teams , you are almost tethered to the laptop. If someone sends you a chat message or email, you feel compelled to answer asap.
I get the impression that many of our partners in research work are just doing essential stuff and everyone else has packed in.
Using the phone actually is the best method of communication as everyone is stuck at home desperate to talk to someone.
Our CEO has a team cuddle/decompression session everyday at 4.30 , so no sneaking out on the bike early.
Attendance is optional so no pressure , but I am aware that missing too many makes you look like a miserable git and nota team player.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: TheLurker on March 27, 2020, 10:23:10 pm
As a seasoned layabout home worker the only suggestion I can make is that you do something to mark the end of the working day and switch the work bit of your mind off.  MrsLurker and I go for a stroll for half an hour or so, which thankfully is still permitted, and this usually does the trick.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: quixoticgeek on March 27, 2020, 11:06:33 pm

Be careful. If you can, do not use your own personal laptop/computer for working from home. Some enterprise remote working tools can grant all sorts of access to your own device. This also applies to using your own android phone with some enterprise tools. I know of at least one contractor who had her personal phone remote wiped against her will through this.

Other things to bear in mind.

- If you are doing video calls, and you've chosen to only get dressed from the waist up, don't forget this and stand up to grab a book...

- Don't expect to get 100% efficacy when working from home. Try your best, but don't beat yourself up if you aren't perfect on day 1.

- If you're doing a video call, consider your background, hang up a sheet if necessary.

- Don't leave a vibrator on the shelf behind you during a video call.

- If using a wireless headset with microphone, remember to mute the mic if you nip to the loo mid call...

- If you can, get up, get dressed, go for a walk or ride round the block, then do your work. Effectively simulate the commute.

- Chocolate. Really it helps.

I've worked from home for most of the last 15 years... does it show?

J
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: andrewc on March 27, 2020, 11:23:13 pm
Standards are slipping.  I've not bothered getting properly dressed all week. My nice clothes, unworn,  lounging pyjamas instead.  Shaving & showering have been postponed..... if I want to test my sense of smell I can just sniff my armpit...  :sick:


I need to get out & go for a walk or something,  but I'm still feeling run down from the bug I had in January & have been having a few hours in bed after finishing work.   Not even motivated to read or watch a video. Playing music of an evening, but not during the day.
Title: Re: Working from home advice
Post by: rafletcher on March 28, 2020, 11:52:33 am
I must confess, I’ve gone through the normal morning routine of make tea-shave-take tea to wife in bed-eat breakfast-clean teeth-say “goodbye”, and have dressed for work the same as I normally would - which is to say casual trousers and a company polo shirt. Plus I have my pass clipped to my belt, but that’s only because I live 10 minutes from the office so am a prime candidate if someone has to pop in for something, and I’m terrible at remembering it! It helps me to differentiate home from work.  The only real change (well, other than the office now containing the airing cupboard) is the we have a cup of tea around 3-30 as opposed to 5-15, so the end of my work day is not punctuated. Like TheLurker we’d go for a walk in normal times, but our village - which is pretty much the definition of linear, with a road running out through fields to a canal half a mile away - has become much much more popular with walkers and runners now the gyms are closed, and family groups now the schools are closed, that we tend to avoid them. Fridays are an exception as I work a short day so we’re walking around 2pm.

There’s not a lot I can do to mix up the routine, as we’re working normal office hours, just remotely, and there are still a number of people at the factory each day working normally.