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Out of Our Minds
Saturday, July 10, 2004 9:18 AM
Home Work
Kevin Salwen on At Home

Lately, I've found myself admiring that growing group of people who work from their homes. Downsized, outsourced, child-rearing, fed-up, freedom-craving, boss-despising or simply just happier at home. They add on rooms and pull together technology and away they go (or should I say away they don't go).

But I wonder how they get the things at home that most people are so accustomed to at the office. Quiet that snickering please: I mean things like the 100 different interactions about last night's TV shows or what to eat for lunch or what Mary is wearing or discussions about traffic. Or the praise from a boss or colleague. So, help me here, home-officers: What do you miss and how do you try to make up for it?


Mendy - 4/19/2006 7:12:57 AM
To tell you the truth, none really. I had good friends at work and I have lunch with them once in a while. Instant messenger every few days is nice too. I missed some interaction but my wife and I make it up with parties at our house with different friends. Oh, and don't forget about golf. I make it up that way ;)
Peg Elve - 3/4/2005 1:23:10 AM
I have recently just started a home based business that has me at home as well as interacting with people. I am a mother of 4 with 3 of those children being in school and the youngest being 4 years old. Once he starts school in the fall, I can devote more time to my business and still be working from my home office. I still visit my past places of work and interact with them for lunch, coffee or evenings out.
Laurie - 10/8/2004 9:29:39 AM
I am looking for a stay at home job...I am having no luck at all. I would love to do some kind of assembly/peice work and I was wondering if anyone with ANY iformation on how to get started, could e-mail me personally at: laurieandpepper@sympatico.ca
Please help me, it would be GREATLY appreciated.
Laurie Mihelcic
Raag - 8/8/2004 3:31:28 AM
Actually I am looking for a Work From Home job. I am a webdesigner. I can handle loads of things
Tony Tuccillo - 7/16/2004 11:40:05 AM
I've been a full-time work at home (WAH) employee for 2 yrs now and absolutely love it! My productivity has increased and I've been given more responsibility and higher profile projects than any time in my career. Interaction comes via phone (individual calls & conference calls), IM, email and visits to company offices (approx. 15-20 visits per year).

It took more than a year before I got 'cabin fever' and started scheduling meals outside the house with non-work related people (church members, Chamber of Commerce, etc). Whenever I 'miss out' on some type of event in the office I remember that my commute to work is 30 seconds, I have to fill up my truck with gas every 3-4 weeks, I'm eating better and can work from my pool patio (wireless phone / pc connection you know) whenever I feel like it.
anita - 7/14/2004 2:39:53 PM
I don't work from home, but I just did something I almost never do and it reminded me of how nice office relationships can be. If I eat lunch, it's almost always business related or I grab something on the run. But today I met a group of people for lunch who I worked with more than a decade ago. Those relationships -- although I rarely see these people anymore -- still endure, and they were all built over many months of going out to lunch.
Randy Berlin - 7/14/2004 2:15:40 PM
I'm not a full time work at home person. I work from home in the AM while everyone is in traffic and come home at 4pm or 7pm depending on where my appts are. I don't do the rush hour traffic thing even though having a cell combats it. I miss the knowledge exchange. Each time i have a meal with someone I learn something that will help me sell more. I always wonder if I could be learning more by being around others in an office. we are in the process of setting up both. I like my schedule and want others with us to copy it.
Ray Daly - 7/14/2004 4:58:44 AM
I worked at home. Then in an office where I had the chat and interaction with fellow employees. Then I worked at home again. The vast majority of those 'friendships' ended up getting dropped. So are office 'friendships' that worthwhile?
Bill Zoelle - 7/13/2004 6:25:40 PM
My wife and I own a Usana business. There is no lack of human interaction with this business! From leadership development training, conventions and a yearly cruise, we have found a business that has fufilled our dreams.
Elizabeth Albrycht - 7/13/2004 1:57:52 PM
I work from home. Have for nearly five years now. I maintain connections by:

Blogs. I maintain mine, comment on others. Nice conversations.

Email of course.

Phone calls.

Sometimes, its too quiet, but there is always a conversation somewhere on the web I can join in.
David Weinberger - 7/11/2004 9:12:04 AM
Email helps a lot, as do occasional breakfasts and lunches. But, the truth is that I miss the water cooler. Nothing has replaced that for me.

And, yes, in the rw office you have to talk with people you don't like, but, well, I'm not sure it's really helped me as a person to be able to avoid that. Besides, having to talk with jerks gives you something to talk about with the people who aren't jerks : )

(Don't get me wrong: I LOVE working at home.)
Will Pate - 7/10/2004 4:57:40 PM
People were meant to share meals together. When I start to get cabin fever I instant message someone until I find one or more people that are hungry.

Another great thing is to tell people that although you are working, they are free to stop by anytime. While at the time it can feel like they ruining your productivity, these are the kind of disruptions that we all need to maintain longterm happiness.

Third places with wifi are the best. They allow you to seamlessly transfer from production to leisure at will. You can simultaneously be working and available to the public around you.
Gilbert Lee - 7/10/2004 1:24:14 PM
I'm a work-from-home web designer and have been for almost two months now. It took some talking with The Wife and The Kids and about three weeks to get down to business.

What do I miss? To tell you the truth, none really. I had good friends at work and I have lunch with them once in a while. Instant messenger every few days is nice too. I missed some interaction but my wife and I make it up with parties at our house with different friends. Oh, and don't forget about golf. I make it up that way ;)
Mrs. R. - 7/10/2004 10:41:24 AM
I have a solo law practice with two offices, one 'public' for meeting clients and one at home which I usually use for quiet drafting, research and reading while my puppies snuggle with me in the chair. (As I write this, one of my puppies is snoring gently in my lap).

I don't have staff in my 'public' office, so I don't get interaction when I am there other than with clients. However, I use phone and email to chat with friends about last night's tv shows. In addition, I attend a business luncheon every Wednesday which is part networking and part social, fun interaction. My volunteer duties include board directorships, where I get more interaction.

Prior to this solo practice, I worked in a huge firm for a decade, and also in a 5 person firm for a few years. Do I miss the office life? NO!

Let me put it this way. I used to talk with people b/c I had to. They were office colleagues and difficult to ignore. Now I only talk with people that I want to talk with and who want to talk with me.

I used to take on everyone else's problems and bad moods. Now I only have to keep myself positive, which is much less stressful and takes less energy.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

Chris Yeh - 7/10/2004 9:49:26 AM
I'm not a home officer, but I think that a lot of this interaction need can be filled with email, IM, and the humble telephone. I also think that regular lunches and meetings are helpful.

I work in a real job at a real office, but I also have a lot of non-work interaction at work with friends and people I'm trying to get to know.
I think that even if I weren't at work, these emails, calls, and visits would prevent me from being too lonely.


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