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I've been working from home for the past month or so. I'm curious how other people are handling working from home.

Do you feel free to have the TV on in the background?  Do you do laundry, wash dishes or do other chores during the day? If you feel tired do you lie down for a quick nap? If you have down time do you surf the net or do online shopping?

I feel weird/guilty about having the TV on, like I wouldn't have it on in the office so I feel like shouldn't have it on at home. But maybe it's ok?

Thoughts?

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It is ok to have the TV on if there are no meetings and you're not on the phone. It depends on your workplace culture or what others are doing. 

I wouldn't stress about doing chores inbetween. 

I usually do my actual work in the evenings but am available/online in the day.

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My husband has been working from home A LOT. The TV is regularly on. He eats at will. Puts on laundry and does whatever. 
 

My work is in my home so having him here is a NIGHTMARE. He regularly wakes the kiddos during nap walking in and out in and out of the main level. 

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Hi bolt!

I wfh and I have prior to Covid. 

If I'm not on a call or meeting, I do have the TV on. in between work I do laundry and other chores.  At lunch,  I'll run errands or make an appt.

I don't feel guilty.  There are many times I'm working after hours or whatever is needed to get work done.  My work ebbs and flows. If I'm too busy, then no personal work is being done. On the other hand, if I am caught up, no harm in emptying the dishwasher. 

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I have a lot of down time. Some days I'm crazy busy and other days I have literally nothing to do. I can't work after hours because I'm hourly, I have a set schedule  plus I support other people so I work when they work which is your typical work hours.  Mine are 7:30-4:15.

I feel weird and guilty for getting paid to watch TV or fold and put away laundry. If I were in the office I would just be sitting there during down time. It's just taking some getting used to.

Thanks for the replies!

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36 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

I have a lot of down time. Some days I'm crazy busy and other days I have literally nothing to do. I can't work after hours because I'm hourly, I have a set schedule  plus I support other people so I work when they work which is your typical work hours.  Mine are 7:30-4:15.

I feel weird and guilty for getting paid to watch TV or fold and put away laundry. If I were in the office I would just be sitting there during down time. It's just taking some getting used to.

Thanks for the replies!

yeah... it does take time.  I think if you're sitting there, waiting for work to come in, that's fine. It's not like your blowing off work and getting paid. 

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I am self employed and I've worked at home for over 25 yrs and I always took time for me, watched a fave show in the afternoon, did laundry and ran the dishwasher.  I got done what needed to be done and fitting in things was never a problem.  I went grocery shopping and was always available by phone no. matter where I was.  I did not ever have "meetings" but did have phone calls from time to time.  I'd never have it any other way, I could not and would not ever work for someone else.

Edited by melancholy123
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My general advice is dedicate a work space in your home and keep work out of all other areas of your house. That way you can "leave" the work area. It may sound silly, but it actually matters psychologically to be able to leave work and relax in another part of the home. If you have to do Zoom calls, position your desk so your back is to a wall or a bookcase, so that if you have to jump on that video call at short notice, you never have to stress what is behind you - no mess, no personal items, etc. You can immediately focus and look professional without wondering what's in your background.

As for tv or music or doing a load of laundry, it's really simple - does it interfere with your work and your concentration or not? If it doesn't or if it even helps, then go ahead and do it. If you do find yourself getting distracted, then don't do it.

Your employer is actually paying you to get the job done and to be available to get the job done from x to y time. They don't care so much about your surroundings and how you go about it so long as you are meeting their needs and requirements.

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1 hour ago, boltnrun said:

, I have a set schedule  plus I support other people so I work when they work which is your typical work hours.  Mine are 7:30-4:15.

See, that's fine, so don't feel bad 🙂 .. You do work..lol

I agree, as long as something like tv in background is not affecting your work, it's okay.

 

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Unfortunately I am currently living in one room in my brother's home so my work, entertainment and sleep space are all in the same room. I can't use another room since it's his home. But good news is, I am going to be looking for my own place in the next few weeks.  It will be a studio so I'll still be in one room but I can spread out a bit more than I can now.

I like what you said @DancingFool about being paid to be available and to get my work done. I never put my work aside to watch TV or do chores or post on here lol. And I respond pretty much immediately when someone needs something from me and I complete all my tasks on time (and usually early).

My work ethic is great but sometimes it's a little excessive lol.

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I've been working from home for 13 months now and I look at it this way -  If I were in the office the entire 8 hours, 480 minutes were not spent grinding out work.  There were periods of time I was chatting with coworkers, getting a cup of coffee and doing personal things.   Realistically it probably translated into a solid 4 to 5 hours of focused work in an 8 hour day.  Your employer is fully aware of this dynamic. 

Early pandemic, it was pretty comical that the CEO's secretary sent out an email to our classified email address (social) with a picture of a glass of wine at 3pm challenging others to post what they were drinking.  The responses were hilarious. 

I supervise staff and I am fully aware, and ok with the fact they might be chilling by their pool...as long as it doesn't compromise their work.

So, yes.  I do laundry. I bake cookies, I might pull weeds in between calls.  I take my shower and get dressed around 10 am.   

As long as your responsibilities are completed within the time expected (or sooner) I wouldn't worry about it.  Honestly, without the distraction of being in the office, I feel more efficient at home, even if I'm baking cookies.

But, I get it.  This is still pretty new for you. I remember in the beginning feeling the same way.

Edited by reinventmyself
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I have worked from home for quite some time, and have always had the TV on in the background.  I do necessary household stuff when I need a break from the computer. 

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The hesitancy is not from having the TV or music on in the background but rather when I have no work to do and I watch TV or go online. And I know it may seem silly but I feel like I'm stealing time when it's during work hours and I'm not actually working. But what am I supposed to do, stare aimlessly at my computer monitor waiting for someone to send me an email or a message or assign me a task? That's ridiculous.

I also know that pretty much everyone else is crazy busy so they probably don't have the down time I have. But my job is to do things the others can't do because the company has a system of checks and balances. So I could be doing nothing and then get a request to take care of something immediately because the other person doesn't have the access I have. But again, it just feels weird to know they are buried and I'm watching YouTube.

When I was going into the office (when I first started this job) there was a period of about three weeks when I didn't have access to the programs I needed, so I literally sat there all day reading stuff on my phone. Being home is infinitely preferable to that.

It will be interesting when we all have to go back into the office.

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I've never WFH as a full time employee other than when I was sick or on weekends when I wasn't required to go into the office. I think it's employer-dependent like others wrote. So yes - it has to be an office like setting during meetings (or quiet enough etc) -so if my boss wants to talk to me I take my laptop and phone into another room so that I can talk without interruption and take notes as needed.  But since I am part time and hourly I have background stuff going on depending on what kind of work I'm doing at the moment and unless I'm on deadline I take breaks as needed, get errands/household stuff done.  If I were full time on salary I'd go with what the general workplace culture was and then focus on - am I being productive enough/getting my work done.  When I was full time for 15 years very often no one cared if you got your work done at 2PM or 2AM.

One thing I do is notice what is particularly distracting to me.  So for example if I want to focus I put my phone away so I'm not tempted to look at it or social media (which I don't do on my work laptop).

Hope this is helpful!

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When I'm actively working I am not on my phone or watching TV.  My concern is more along the lines of feeling weird when it's during my work hours and I'm looking at things online or a YouTube video because I have no actual work to do at that time. And I know to have a professional looking background, but we don't do video calls (thankfully).  Although I do get up at 6:00 AM every work morning even though my clock in time is 7:30.  Some people have told me their alarm is set for 7:20 for a 7:30 clock in!  I find that to be a little strange since I get up, shower and dress and groom as though I'm going out somewhere.  I don't dress corporate but I do put on actual pants and shirt!

But no one has questioned me or asked why my status sometimes goes to "Away" on Teams.  My work laptop automatically goes to lock screen after 10 minutes so I'm jumping up to click the mouse or sign back into "Active" in case someone's looking.  But so far no one has said anything.

In the words of Wendy in Purple Rain..."you're just being PARANOID." LOL

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I've been working from home one day a week and from the responses here I think I need to cut myself some slack. I work solidly, I don't have anything on in the background, I don't do any chores and, other than the time it takes to make a sandwich, I don't take any breaks all day. I feel guilty working from home because colleagues tend to believe those who do so are taking the p*ss and not doing much. 

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Both my husband and I've been working from home for over a year and we couldn't be happier.  🙂

We save a ton of money on gas, stress, wear 'n tear on our cars, sleep and there's more TIME. 

We get up at 6AM instead of our previous 5AM.

There's NO TV nor distracting background noise whatsoever.  The house is QUIET because we need to concentrate on our jobs.  No, there are no chores, lying down nor naps.  However, once it's late afternoon, our day is done.  Then laundry, wash dishes or load the dishwasher, other chores, tasks and local errands. 

My thoughts are:  Do whatever you prefer and what works for you. 

We need to remain focused and concentrate on our work otherwise TV, music, talking, etc. slows us down, we make mistakes and distraction doesn't work for us. 

On the contrary, we felt more tired during our previous daily, grinding, stressful commutes.  Nowadays, we feel well rested. 

The only break we take is a short lunch break or we take a walk around our residential, suburban neighborhood. 

Edited by Cherylyn
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12 hours ago, boltnrun said:

When I'm actively working I am not on my phone or watching TV.  My concern is more along the lines of feeling weird when it's during my work hours and I'm looking at things online or a YouTube video because I have no actual work to do at that time. And I know to have a professional looking background, but we don't do video calls (thankfully).  Although I do get up at 6:00 AM every work morning even though my clock in time is 7:30.  Some people have told me their alarm is set for 7:20 for a 7:30 clock in!  I find that to be a little strange since I get up, shower and dress and groom as though I'm going out somewhere.  I don't dress corporate but I do put on actual pants and shirt!

But no one has questioned me or asked why my status sometimes goes to "Away" on Teams.  My work laptop automatically goes to lock screen after 10 minutes so I'm jumping up to click the mouse or sign back into "Active" in case someone's looking.  But so far no one has said anything.

In the words of Wendy in Purple Rain..."you're just being PARANOID." LOL

This makes me think it's even more particular to your work environment. It would never occur to me that someone was looking to see if I was away or not -other than we all look I am sure on weekends if we have to send something -so if I see the person is at his/her computer, that will factor in to the timing of when I send what I'm sending including whether it is urgent or routine, etc.  It's far different when "work" means that you're supposed to be online during x times of day and -apparently- supposed to keep busy/ask for more work during that time span.  

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I doubt anyone is checking on me. That's just me being paranoid lol. And I can't really ask for more work. My job is pretty clearly defined. The work comes to me so to speak. And if there's nothing for me to do no one is interrogating me about what I'm doing. Again, this is just me being me.

I think it's a carryover from my previous employer who kept tabs on employees and reported what everyone was doing literally every 15 minutes. And I was constantly being asked "so what are you working on right now?" I worked there for 6 years so that got ingrained in me pretty good!

This job fluctuates between busy and nothing to do. When I'm actively working on something I don't have the TV on and I'm not on my phone, so no worries about being distracted. 

Thanks for all the responses.

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