houzz

POLL: What is your biggest challenge in unexpectedly working from home

Houzz
6 months ago

Many people are working from home due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. What is your biggest challenge in creating a productive environment when you have to unexpectedly work from home?


Farinelli Construction Inc · More Info


Computer with a strong WiFi connection
Proper lighting
Landline or reliable phone reception
A comfortable work space
Private or quiet location away from high-traffic living areas
Other — tell us below!

Comments (92)

  • Cheryl Hannebauer
    6 months ago

    following

  • bikertoni
    6 months ago

    I worked from hour for 5 years and loved it. I started by working a couple of days. Key for me was setting up one location - not working in kitchen or living room but from a set location that I could close the door at the end of the day. When working in different locations of the house I never felt I left work. Secondly keeping regular hours. Working from home lends its self to working longer hours. Maintaining a separate phone line and only answering the work line when working at home.
    Down side at the end of the day I had to go out if only for a walk otherwise I would feel like I never left home.

  • Related Discussions

    What is your biggest design challenge right now?

    Q

    Comments (19)
    Thank you felizlady and ccristam: I have already checked into film for my shower window. It does cut some of the light and the City in their (lack of) wisdom would only allow me to put windows on the west side of my house, even though the addition extends far beyond my neighbours house (which sits forward on their property). There is very little light to the corridor or the laundry room so I keep the doors open except when I am having guests. The film works in the daytime but not necessarily at night with light behind it (false security🤔). I have big trees outside that window and vines outside of that window, which is I like the view (and don't need sweet peas). Unfortunately, that doesn't work in winter when vines die back and there are no leaves on the trees. Still a nice view with the beautiful blue skies we get in Saskatchewan. As I said, I am short, so am not "exposed". Anyone taller might be, though. Love my large shower. Just wish I had a simple, non-intrusive covering for shower time.
    ...See More

    POLL: What is the most distracting noise at your home?

    Q

    Comments (41)
    This is new. We only moved to the South in October. I like to sleep with my window open. The last several nights after about midnight this crazy loud whistling/chirping noise would start. It was only directly under my window though. As I can't get out there my Mother finally went to investigate. Apparently the big gray toad that lives in our front yard has been serenading me. Weirdest noise ever. I can describe it. She relocated him to a nice spot in the back with lots of places to hide. I hope he finds a girl. I'm just not interest in a relationship right now.
    ...See More

    POLL: Do you work out at home, outside, or in a gym?

    Q

    Comments (57)
    You do good, Susan - 30 min. mile walk is good range - as for your weight - I wouldn't sweat it. It's the way your body metabolizes food. As long as you have a balanced diet, you are fine. You can't change your body. A lot of folks even younger than you have heart problems, lung problems, diabetic, high cholesterol and high blood pressure and are slowly killing themselves with not so good habits. You, on the other hand are probably very healthy and that is the goal you should focus on. If that is the case, then don't sweat those 15# no matter what the doc says. I'm 5.6 and weigh between 125-130#. I went to the doc last year for my annuals which includes complete work up. So, this PA who is obviously a bit overweight, hands me a piece of paper that has a diet on it and tells me I should use it. Then even before blood is drawn, she hands me orders for a colonoscopy, a mammogram, DEXA scan and that I should be taking a low dosage daily aspirin and Vit D - 10000 units a week. I told her if she read my records, that the colonoscopy was done 3 years prior and the mammogram year before and there was no reason to get a DEXA scan unless I show signs of rapid shrinkage within a year or my Vit D is well below average. OK - what does she know that I don't. She tells me it's common for folks of certain ages. I'm 71. I'm a rancher/horsewoman. Needless to say my blood tests came back all normal. I ignored what she said. I wrote the doctor a letter about my visit. This year at my annual, there was a new PA. So, trust yourself. You have educated yourself and work hard to find the path that works for you. I hate exercise, but I enjoy physical work which is what I do every day. What our DNA says - we have no control over - well, science is trying to change that too.
    ...See More

    POLL: What happens when you find a spider in your house?

    Q

    Comments (77)
    We tend to have the poisonous type, and though I love spiders, I do kill them if in the house just as a precaution. Had a heavy black widow infestation in the garage some years ago and worked very hard to rid them. Now I've one black widow who's made a home in my paver seating wall, and I leave her alone as she never bothers me. I really don't want to kill her as she kills other pests but visiting friends are hesitant to go near the seating wall, so she may have to go. ETA: I painted trompe l'oeil bricks on my office walls, with branches, and some blue tailed skinks as well as a couple spiders. No one sees the spiders them but me : )
    ...See More
  • Aphaea
    6 months ago

    The cats.


    Simply put, they demand food every couple of hours by climbing all over me (and the laptop), screeching, using ("I'm starving and you don't care") eyes, and sitting and staring silently with immense intensity. It's driving me mad.

  • Bev
    6 months ago

    I have been working from home since 2013, after I opened a shop on Etsy! I prefer to work all night, when it is quiet, the phone is not ringing, and it's just me and my work! My biggest pet peeve--being interrupted!

  • sealavender
    6 months ago

    I find that I am using more precious toilet paper working from home.

  • Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse
    6 months ago

    Lol, I hope you have a stash of paper goods that can be substituted if your supply of TP runs out...That package of napkins left over from a special occasion or picnic, old junk mail - in emergencies you could turn to using the sock without a match because the sock stealing monster took it!



  • cawaps
    6 months ago

    Oakland (CA) is now in "shelter in place mode." My office had already directed everyone to work from home, so yesterday I swung by the office and picked up my docking station, keyboard, mouse, and office chair. I borrowed a monitor. So now I have a nice little office set-up in my breakfast nook, such as it is. It lacks a convenient power outlet, so I have an extension cord running from the adjacent laundry room (I had to unplug the dryer to do it; it was that or run the extension cord across a doorway. Stupid old houses with inadequate outlets).

  • PRO
    dreamdoctor
    6 months ago

    Aphaea - I was writing a response to your comment but my cat rolled over and deleted the post before I could submit it.

  • Aphaea
    6 months ago

    Hahahahaha. Good to know I'm not alone.

  • ILoveMod
    6 months ago

    one good thing: this is causing me to appreciate my house way more. we live in a place where walking to amenities and good public transit turned out to be way more difficult than we thought (minimal driving is a major core value for us). it was the biggest, dumbest mistake we made when we bought this place. we were recently in the process of deciding if we should move or not.

    but what we do have is a house we love being in, and a gorgeous neighborhood with a lake and 300 acre park just down the street. suddenly social distancing is making me appreciate all this so much more than I ever did before.

    oh and... the busy arterial in front of our house? ghost town.

    these good feelings might go away as soon as we can return to the work/social world, but still, it's nice for now.

    anyone else having unexpectedly positive experiences with all this?

  • Bev
    6 months ago

    B F - Since our local bowling center is closed (I bowl on two nights), I will have more time to sew and quilt, which I love! I do have a custom handbag order to complete along with an anniversary king sized quilt and I will have more time than normal to complete these items.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    I believe the positive that will come from this is the state of your home , in general. whether you work from this space, or simply come and GO from it!

    For many, despite all the agony in design decisions we see here? Mostly ....we GO. Some are learning to clean for the first time. Folks who've had cleaning help for decades, can be clueless. Really , really clean, didn't matter much until now, for oh so many others. I remember a fantastic book from a couple decades ago: The Art Of Keeping Home. A literal tome, and a fascinating look back at a decade when McMansions were going up all over suburbia, and a reflection of the "homes" they were not. I URGE you to grab a copy on Amazon, and you will understand what I'm talking about. I used to hand this out to young and totally clueless clients, raised to not even understand the making of a bed in the morning.


    https://www.amazon.com/Home-Comforts-Science-Keeping-House-ebook/dp/B001D1SRXW



    Also positive ? We will find a reduction in other common virus infections, (hopefully.) as we realize that a virus has only five entry points into your body. Two eyes, two nostrils and your mouth. That's it. So surface cleanliness, hand WASHING, hands below your shoulders please as much as possible, and who really needed all that air kissing BS with near strangers?!.

    More positives? You're stuck in there. People around you are too and many are in worse or same financial shape! Purge! Kids will soon need summer clothes! They will need backyard toys! Someone will need something, somewhere. You may finally get the garage cleaned out. The basement... or end with a beautifully organized closet! with all clothes fitting and useful.

    Some bad habits will hopefully go to the wayside. Buying junk we don't need from the source of this virus. Even things as dumb as sink side drying of dishes allowed to sit for hours as your germ infested kids pass by . DRY THEM. PUT THEM IN THE CUPBOARDS. Away from the flying and airborne crud: )

    I'm sure something that was a bad habit, anything and it differs for all of us, can be replaced with a newer and better habit.

    It is said it takes 18 to 254 days to form a new habit. You're "gifted" now, with a fifteen day head start.

  • melismak
    6 months ago

    There needs to be an option for “kids also out of school and now have homeschooling tasks to complete that require your assistance.” It’s crazy-making.

  • PRO
    dreamdoctor
    6 months ago

    B F - walked outside last night - no jets flying overhead, few cars on the road - it was quiet and dark (no super bright headlights shining in the windows); we live outside of town and that is how it should be and used to be. A welcome change. What if we slowed down - why are we in such a hurry? There seems to be less and less time to do the important things.

  • melismak
    6 months ago

    I totally agree, dreamdoctor. I think we can all learn something from this time inside with our closest loved ones.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    6 months ago

    Among other things



  • Webado Webada
    6 months ago

    My daughter's gig have all been cancelled for the next 2 months, so there's one of her main sources of income. Her piano teaching has also seen most students not coming to her house, but for most of them she's managed to set up her classes online. But that's at half price.


    Getting a little stir crazy here since I've grown accustomed to go out to brunch with her and do some grocery shopping at Costco. But now restaurants are all closed and grocery shopping is a scary thing, with either long lines or empty shelves or both.


    With the arrival of spring we were also hoping to do some shopping at the mall, but most stores are closed and soon the malls will be closed as well.

  • Robin T
    6 months ago

    two issues: Can't get home computer to talk to my work computer. Two days now with IT trying to suss it out. So back to office I go until they figure it out. However, I'd still have to go in to actually get my work to come home and work with it (data for GL and AP...mail, invoices, BOLs, etc.) We are an essential business (dairy processing), so majority of workers are going in (plant operators and delivery drivers.) We do have our customer service reps now set up for remote work (data entry of orders and phone order taking.) I am finance. I could do a lot of my work, spreadsheets and ERP entry, but the data comes from hard copies mentioned above and not able to connect. Blah.

  • Dina Meek
    6 months ago


    We started removing popcorn ceilings a couple months ago. So all the furniture from my usual office was moved into the dining room. As the project is now on hold and my adult kids are both living with us for a while, the only space I have is in a corner of the cramped dining room. I’m making the best of it - at least I have a window as opposed to my windowless office at work.

  • PRO
    dreamdoctor
    6 months ago

    I hope you don't mean the popcorn with the sparkles in it - that is due to make a come back you know. LOL

  • Kari H'Orvath
    6 months ago

    My morning routine doesn’t exist. I roll out of bed, make coffee and log on to the first online meeting. I’m also finding that I’m working longer hours. What was cool about working from home has become the issue with working from home. I just need to establish a new routine now that it appears this may be longer than we initially thought.

  • Barb B.
    6 months ago

    Eating. The kitchen is just too close and inviting!

  • Jayne M
    6 months ago

    We've been working at home for 20+ years and I love it. No stupid meetings- no time wasting fellow workers. Husband and I are closer to retiring and its just us. We love each other's company. I remember fussing through all those adjustments like balancing work/off time and working/vs doing laundry. Once we settled in it wasn't so bad. I feel for all of you being thrown into this with little to no warning. Hang on, it will get better. I'm an early riser and do housework for maybe an hour after coffee and before work. I keep a fairly constant morning routine on computer- sometimes long lunch and maybe starting dinner prep like loading crockpot. I quit at 4 on a slow day and after 6 on a busy one. I do not answer work phone or do mails after hours. I raised 2 kids like this but when they were toddlers I got done what little I could during the day - never felt guilty for stopping work for kids - but put kids to be promptly at 8pm and worked until 1 or 2 in the morning some days. I was sleep deprived for years but we did it. Wishing you luck!

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    Agree that at first, it's an adjustment. But after a while you learn to set a routine. I think the most important is a specific ONE spot. Not a cobbled together from the sofa, from the chair, at the kitchen island, everywhere and all over. Just like you don't SLEEP well without your designated bed, ( you know how awful that crick in the neck is when you doze off in a chair ) the same applies to work. It tells your brain what to do, or what you should be doing. Best for your body? Not in the kitchen : )

    After thirty years, I can't imagine an out of home office. I've forgotten it lol.

  • PRO
    dreamdoctor
    6 months ago

    Perfect snack food - Pyrex mixing bowl, unpopped popcorn, a little olive oil (if any, it is not needed) and some powdered salt (we make it in the Vita Mix), a Pyrex plate turned upside down in the bowl. Turn on microwave to six minutes (+/-) when popping slows down take bowl out with hot pads take plate off, pour into cool bowl - add smoked paprika or other flavoring. Make in big mixing bowl to have some to snack on all day - few calories but satisfying. This doesn't have all the extra calories and the weird chemicals in bagged, microwave popcorn.


    And apples, bananas, raw pecans and walnuts of course. The nuts may be high in fat but at least it is good fat and has fiber too - better than processed flour/chips and low grade oils/saturated fats. You can actually get healthy snacking if it is a conscious act.


    Keep yum yums/snacks out of sight and in a high cabinet.

  • edithmoates
    6 months ago

    Husband sleeping (and snoring) in the next room while I'm trying to work.

  • PRO
    Warwick Deck Contractors
    6 months ago

    My biggest problem has been maintaining clients. Lots of clients want to postpone their projects due to the virus. Even if I make it clear that we do not need to have direct contact, the unknown has struck fear in everyone's minds.


    As far as actually doing work related stuff at home, the biggest struggle I have is my kids are home too! Interruptions are going to happen, and I expect it, but every task takes much longer than it needs to. Hopefully we are back to normal soon.


    BC

    Warwick Deck Contractors

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    6 months ago

    I do best in what I call "crunch time!!!" . That feeling of omg..... just too much to do!!

    With all the closures, showrooms, etc? I feel like a loose cannon . Everything started needs a "support" that is shuttered. An on site decision, or visual. God bless my treadmill because I am beginning to lose it. I have become a pacer in my own home office. : (

  • hsmeghan
    6 months ago

    Jan Moyer, I feel for you -- many of us can't work at home at all or effectively because of the closures and quarantines. My job is only 6 hours a week but I work with 2 developmentally disabled individuals, taking them out into the community for support and activities, and they are quarantined now so I can't work with them. No way to do that from home and no end in sight with this crisis right now. The good news is my husband can work from home and has done so many times, and now we've improved our home office so it's much nicer. I'm just wondering where I'm going to find a good office chair! Don't want to order over the internet, I want to sit down in one before I buy. The ones we have are okay but too big for the space and we keep bumping into each other.


    Also, I agree with what you are saying about crunch time, I also work best under a little stress. But stress levels are off the scale right now for us all. My blood pressure is kind of high and that concerns me. Supposed to see doctors for routine visits and I feel like I shouldn't go out for them or bother any of our healthcare providers with routine stuff -- silly, I know, but I'm sure they are overwhelmed. But there are things we need to see doctors for on a regular basis.


    You bring up a great point about self-care during this time. This health scare is a wake-up call for me in many ways. Not that this will protect me from a virus, but I have been on my exerbike the last two days in a row (after not using it all month!) so I feel good about that and I intend to do this every day for a half hour minimum. Exercise raises your blood pressure while you're doing it but then overall helps keep it lower afterwards. This morning I put cream on my dry feet and I'm trying to be mindful to drink more water. I'm also thinking more vegetables and fruits -- just signed up for our summer farm share again yesterday and can't wait until summer!


    Thinking self-care is super important right now and we all need to make it a priority. So keep using your treadmill and also go outside for walks in the fresh air, it's okay to do that if you keep your distance from others. Try fostering or adopting a shelter dog -- makes for good exercise and emotional comfort. I'll be walking mine later if it's not too rainy here.

  • Ruth
    6 months ago

    hsmeghan I heard a luxury designer (Donna Hoffman) I respect speaking yesterday on office chairs. She highly recommends the Temperpedic 5 point office chair line and uses one herself. They are available at office supply stores like Office Max (formerly Office Depot). Returns would be easy enough through them. Hope this helps.

  • PRO
    dreamdoctor
    6 months ago

    Variation in exercise is good - even if it means just raising up on your toes during part of the treadmill time. Consider adding some weights, stretching, etc. I do moves from my days of self defense classes at the end of weights and elliptical - really raises the heart rate while needing balance and flexibility. Every day - religiously. Don't feel like doing it, that is the day it is needed the most - with great music on the ear buds of course. You know it is good music when you look down and see you've gone over the time by quite a bit. That is the time I envision projects too.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    6 months ago

    LMAO... Just got off Face Time with a client who said the togetherness of it all was becoming a ticket to a total lack of sobriety. Seems everyone has either too much or too little company.! Depending what you are accustomed to, its messing up our heads.

  • PRO
    Jeffrey R. Grenz, General Contractor
    6 months ago

    Working from the refrigerator.

  • Vks248
    6 months ago



  • Kate E
    6 months ago

    Ha! Yes, working from home full time, homeschooling my kid, and still cooking, cleaning, etc is simply EXHAUSTING.

    I’m a triathlete and before this quarantine I spent at least 1-hr a day doing rather intense workouts. I need it for my sanity! Now, I’m just trying to MOVE most days. I’m trying to alternate at home strength training with walks, bike rides, runs. But some days I just do not have the energy- oh well. But I try, right?!

  • PRO
    dreamdoctor
    6 months ago

    Kate E - but triathletes don't try - they do! I'm not perfect but I do not give myself the option of exercise or not - I know once I start - with some good music on, I will do my whole routine. It is the starting that is the hard part and if I start I will finish. Every now and again I will forgo my regular routine - after splitting wood by hand for a couple hours that day for example - as long as the activity was major cardio with some strength thrown in.


    I feel the most tired (and less sane) when I don't exercise. The same goes for eating crappy food.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    I shall DITTO that! There's almost nothing in my book, that can not wait one hour. That's all I need. Thirty min of cardio and thirty of strength. Okay, sue me if I cheat it to 45 min, and skip ONE day. I vary it, I vary the body parts, the routine. I'm living with an ugly treadmill in the bedroom, as I will admit to loathing outside walks in cold rain......wind. So far? Really good. : ) Still sort of sane too. Put some music on lol......stretch.....BREATHE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEAaZsVrXko

  • PRO
    dreamdoctor
    6 months ago

    Jan - my elliptical and my wife's treadmill are in the LIVING room (they are a big part of our LIVES so the living room makes sense). They are used everyday and there is no "out of sight out of mind." Not for everyone but it works for us.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    Nope. Can't do that lol. I need to enter to pretty. By the time it's dark? I can deal with it. But ........I have my limit for all day ugly : ) It's in front of a tv. That's all I need. Off topic?

    Anyone noticing VERY diminished activity on this site? My deduction? A whole lot of folks were playing at WORK, and now they are WORKING at home, and by that I mean cleaning, kids are home and it's more work than the old "work"!

  • hsmeghan
    5 months ago

    Gee, now I feel better because my recumbent exerbike is in a corner of my living room out of necessity -- noplace else to put it. Actually now I could move it to one of the empty bedrooms since two of my kids have moved out. But it works where it is. Doesn't bother me to have it there and it does help to have it by the TV. If it were out of sight in a bedroom I would probably never get on it, actually.


    I feel good this week because I've been on it 4 days in a row, after not using it for awhile. This health scare is like a wake-up call for me to take better care of myself. Plus I've been out walking my dog. Weather has been very nice in upstate NY and I know we will be getting out more now with the dog. (I am super sad that they felt they had to close our dog park though.)


    As a former homeschooling mom I do want to add that when we were doing that I almost never took care of myself, I was too busy taking care of everyone and everything else. Not a smart move -- you have to put that oxygen mask on yourself first before tending to the children (analogy from airplane emergency prep talk). Ain't momma happy, ain't nobody happy -- this is SO true. It is hard to get everything in and getting started homeschooling can be overwhelming but hang in there, give yourself time and grace, and a routine will settle in. So don't feel guilty if you have to say to your kids "Mom is taking her break now, come back in half an hour." Or something like that. Just take care of yourself!


    Better yet -- exercise with the kids and call it gym class! 8^)

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    5 months ago

    Work break, fun for kids, and fun for your grocery trips! A protective meme! Seriously...just how MANY of these bags are hanging around your home?

    Pretty self explanatory:

    Fold, cut, decorate.

    Note: do not cut handle in front if you desire a tote to use from the safety of your own garage........: )





  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    I DO think I may venture into the grocery today with this. The neuroses in there is becoming a bit.......you know . .....: ) Far cuter than what I'm seeing, if I DO say so myself.

  • hsmeghan
    5 months ago

    Jan, went to Sam's Club yesterday and they had toilet paper -- I feel hopeful! LOL

  • Webado Webada
    5 months ago

    Order groceries online, they said. They'll get delivered to your home, they said.

    Except many items we've all been trying to get for weeks are marked as out of stock: TP, Lysol wipes, sanitizers, etc. And deliveries are not going to happen for 2 weeks or longer. You can't actually order perishables either, availability is not guaranteed for the delivery date.

  • PRO
    Decorative Materials
    3 months ago

    Such a great topic these days! It's was such an unecpected transition so setting up a makeshift home office has had its challenges.

  • hala2012
    2 months ago

    It might be a bit late to comment, but for me - it is (still) consuming too much coffee, working long hours meeting deadlines (Finance!) and messed up sleeping schedule 🥺😒

  • aliceingardenland
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    There is no separation. The dogs need something. The husband is on the phone and it is interrupting my Zoom meeting. Other family members have to walk past my work space to get to the bathroom. The doorbell rings, then the phone rings during online meetings. I get emails at 10:00 p.m. that I have to reply to because that person doesn't have time during the day because they are teaching their kids and doing their work. It is all exhausting.

  • ILoveMod
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    this does not really seem like a temporary problem anymore. my husband's company is discouraging people from the office until october. lots of companies are talking about letting people work from home forever if they choose-- or telling them they can only come into the office just a couple days a week. for those of you who are able, now might be the time to invest some money and re-arrange things to set up a better working space.

  • PRO
    dreamdoctor
    2 months ago

    It is an interesting coincidence that the "fall out" from the virus is healthier for the planet. If we acted less like a virus we would be less affected by viruses. When we stress the planet less it's immune system will not be so active. I see the virus as a warning, or test run, for climate change - we'll see if we learn anything. Climate change, when it really kicks in, will make this virus seem tame. There will be no flattening of the curve, it will have a self-strengthening feed back loop and just keep getting worse. But the economy is more important it would seem - it is more important than good science and personal health. Amazing that something so small can change everything and that common sense can be easily trumped by convenient belief.


    Because of the way I set up my life and business I am not affected much by this.

  • Chessie
    23 days ago

    I have zero challenges with working from home. I would prefer to never have to go back in the office.