Author Topic: Working from home advice  (Read 2018 times)

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Working from home advice
« 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?
2019 🏅 R1000 and B1000

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #1 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.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #2 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

Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2020, 10:57:00 am »
This Twitter thread has some good stuff:
https://twitter.com/helenczerski/status/1239669550645497858

Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #4 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!

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #5 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
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #6 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.
!nataS pihsroW

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2020, 11:52:09 am »
Planet X have posted some great WFH tips.

YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD


Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #8 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.

<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #9 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.

bhoot

  • MemSec (ex-Mrs RRtY)
Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2020, 12:43:31 pm »
Get dressed and try not to imagine fellow conference call participants in their pyjamas

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #11 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.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #12 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.... 
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #13 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...
2019 🏅 R1000 and B1000

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #14 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
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #15 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.
!nataS pihsroW

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #16 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. 
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #17 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.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

caerau

  • SR x 3 - PBP fail but 1090 km - hey - not too bad
Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #18 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.
It's a reverse Elvis thing.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2020, 04:26:44 pm »
Mitchell and Webb had advice
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #20 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
"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.
And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #21 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.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #22 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.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #23 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.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Working from home advice
« Reply #24 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.


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