Working at Home

For those who worked in offices and now have been working at home, what do you miss from being in an office and what do you like about working at home? Tks

Meow,

Tabby


I miss the comradery, the buzz of people, the opportunity to stop and chat briefly (or at length) with someone I encounter in the hall or between desks. I miss the free and easy coffee. The opportunity to talk with people in my field, in my company. The opportunity to talk. And to listen. I miss my car commute, sometimes. 

I'm very happy to be able to listen to music all day long. I'm happy to have a crossword puzzle on my desk when on a long conference call that doesn't require 100% of my attention. I'm glad not to have that car commute, sometimes. 


I miss interacting with my co-workers, going out for drinks with them and former co-workers, the view of Bryant Park and the Chrysler Building from our office and being able to get away from the computer screen for a few minutes every hour. I also miss my boss not expecting me to be on call all of the time.

What I'm happy about is no commute and getting to see my kids awake during the week and being entertained by 1st grade virtual learning.


I miss knowing what day it is.

Not really.


The_Soulful_Mr_T said:

I miss the comradery, the buzz of people, the opportunity to stop and chat briefly (or at length) with someone I encounter in the hall or between desks. I miss the free and easy coffee. The opportunity to talk with people in my field, in my company. The opportunity to talk. And to listen. I miss my car commute, sometimes. 

I'm very happy to be able to listen to music all day long. I'm happy to have a crossword puzzle on my desk when on a long conference call that doesn't require 100% of my attention. I'm glad not to have that car commute, sometimes. 

^^  This. ^^

I've now been working from home for something like seven months.

I also miss the company of people, and even the car commute, because at least I got some exercise and a bit of fresh air while walking between the car park and the office.

Working from home is fine.  As Mr T says, I can have music playing all day long.  I can go for a walk around the house or outside if things get quiet.  But what I do find is that I don't fully switch off, and it's not unusual for me to hop into the work-related emails at midnight plus just to see what's happening...


I worked from home (or travelled on business) for 15 years.  

Pro:   

  • I got so much more done without interruptions.
  • It helped on the budget (no eating lunch out, limited dry cleaning, etc.)

Con:  

  • Relevant information that never got to me, since I did not see my colleagues face to face on a daily basis.
  • Working too long hours (often 10-14 hrs/day), untill I promised to knock it off when Tabby got home from work.


I've been working largely from home for many years.  On balance, it's better for me.  I wake up early and can put in 2 or 3 hour of work before I'd even get started working in an office.  The lack of a fixed schedule allows me to do non-work things during the day that I wouldn't do if I had office hours.  I'm restless and kind of ADD.  I hate being locked up in an office.  I also view commuting in the NYC area to be a second job in and of itself and can't believe I did it at one time.  


I love working from home and never want to go back to working at the office, but I suppose I'll have to eventually. Mostly I like the lack of the commute. It gives extra time in my day that I can either use to catch up in my work or more often, just more time for myself / my family. I also like having lunch with my husband every day. I can do a little dinner pre-prep during my lunch hour, or just take a 10 minute break in the afternoon. Having to scramble to get a meal on the table dead-tired after being stuck in traffic is a thing of the past. 

If I need to take a breather I can straighten up something in the house or fold a load of clothes. If I were at work, I'd probably just walk down the hall, which is fine but I like the ability to get some mindless things done in the house instead. All these little chores add up to a lot of time and knocking them out in the "in between times" at work means more relaxing time at the weekend. 

On the negative side, I truly miss my co-workers. I see them often on Zoom but it is not the same at all. I miss just being able to pop my head into their offices to chat. Every conversation has to be planned now. There are none of the side-channel discussions where you learn so much. 


(I just miss working. 
I’m including myself in this thread because many former clients have maintained contact, which is heartwarming, and still ask my advice, which humbling. 

However I don’t feel in any way up-to-date in my industry knowledge because I’m not included in any non-agency-addressed newslists about departmental contacts, changed protocols etc.
Attending our monthly Network in-person meetings is awkward, and no-one has figured out how to video-call them. 
And I’m feeling increasingly ineffective for rejoining the workforce next year, although my experience as a person with disAbility and a current care recipient should be useful in coordination roles. [Impostor syndrome] )


marksierra said:

But what I do find is that I don't fully switch off, and it's not unusual for me to hop into the work-related emails at midnight plus just to see what's happening...

Same here. From door to door and back, my commute took three hours out of the day, but most of it was on a train where I could read and decompress, and it created both a spacial and a mental buffer between work and home.

I had better keep getting used to this way, though. My employer now says the earliest it will require workers to return to offices is ... July. (There will be case-by-case approvals in the meantime, but it doesn’t make sense for me unless there’s a critical mass. I’m very fortunate to have that kind of job.)


DaveSchmidt said:

marksierra said:

But what I do find is that I don't fully switch off, and it's not unusual for me to hop into the work-related emails at midnight plus just to see what's happening...

Same here. From door to door and back, my commute took three hours out of the day, but most of it was on a train where I could read and decompress, and it created both a spacial and a mental buffer between work and home.

I had better keep getting used to this way, though. My employer now says the earliest it will require workers to return to offices is ... July. (There will be case-by-case approvals in the meantime, but it doesn’t make sense for me unless there’s a critical mass. I’m very fortunate to have that kind of job.)

 My car commute was pretty much exactly 60 minutes each way, never any traffic. Jersey City to Plainsboro, NJ, (near Princeton). I used that hour to listen to books and I really enjoyed that time. Instead of feeling like I was commuting, I felt like before work I read for an hour and after work I read for an hour. I'm using less gas now and not paying the $9/day in tolls but I miss all that reading time. 


I am really happy not to be commuting. And mostly I don't mind seeing my colleagues just virtually. We have scheduled meetings, and I see my team regularly. And for the 'happened to see you in the hallway' conversations, that's now on Teams chat.

What I do miss is the quiet in working from home. I used to WFH about 2 days a week. Now I have 3 officemates at all times. And while they are actually pretty good officemates -- I'm an introvert and miss having just quiet days where no one else is in the house. 

In the 'before-times' I could do my work (and laundry) when I WFH without interruption and without working around anyone else... and I could eat too much chocolate without immediate detection.


bub said:

I've been working largely from home for many years.  On balance, it's better for me.  I wake up early and can put in 2 or 3 hour of work before I'd even get started working in an office.  The lack of a fixed schedule allows me to do non-work things during the day that I wouldn't do if I had office hours.  I'm restless and kind of ADD.  I hate being locked up in an office.  I also view commuting in the NYC area to be a second job in and of itself and can't believe I did it at one time.  

 This.


I had a tiny bedroom converted to a home office years ago. It's a hot mess, with paperwork, my book collection and guitars I never play strewn all over the place, but I'm super comfortable in it. Thank goodness for that, because the lease for my office building is up in December and my team may remain virtual forever.


I'm about 3/4 liking WFH, 1/4 not so much.

Likes are mostly commute related. No more NJ Transit BS -- no more freezing my arse off on a train platform, no more jerky people watching videos on their phone with no earbuds or yakking away on a non-urgent call at normal volume, no more delays/cancellations, no more Penn Station misery, etc. And no more paying $210 per month for the privilege of it all. 

I find that just overall I'm generally in a better mood in the evening when I know I don't have to get up and physically GO in to work the next day. It just feels like I have more control over my life. 

I do find WFH can get a bit isolating which is the downside. I do miss seeing colleagues and I miss the social and professional networking opportunities that working in NYC enables.   


For the first time in 25 years I've been working for home and it's not for me. I miss the random human interaction that occurred through the course of my day. My position involved a lot of field work so wfh I actually feel cooped up. I've also incurred a significant loss of exercise as well. 


All I can say is that WFH is great for us introverts!




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