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Working at home

Davey

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Well same as many in the world I have to work home from tomorrow for at least until after golden week. I got some things I have to work on but I'm not really used to work at home so I got my worries on how to work and balance. I know there are heaps of post on the internet but would like to hear your thoughts on how to schedule, balance between work and family etc.
 

Lothor

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Well same as many in the world I have to work home from tomorrow for at least until after golden week. I got some things I have to work on but I'm not really used to work at home so I got my worries on how to work and balance. I know there are heaps of post on the internet but would like to hear your thoughts on how to schedule, balance between work and family etc.
I've been doing it for two weeks and it's going well. If you can, start early - I often start at 7.30 - then incorporate more breaks in your day to stretch your legs, do a bit of housework, have a coffee, etc.
 

thomas

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My wife and I have been working from home (WFH) for the past two weeks, and I actually like it a lot.

We keep to a (more or less) strict daily routine, weekdays and at the weekend, too. As we no longer have to commute, there's a lot of time for other things. I cook every day and improve my baking skills (bread, home-made pizza, pies, etc), work out while watching YT flicks, take the dogs on long walks and still have time to meet my bicycle mates for an occasional spin (while keeping a safe distance, of course).

If you ever planned on reading Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky, picking up a new language or watching all episodes of Startrek Deep Space 9 or Voyager, now's the time. And, of course, we are still waiting for your JREF article on Kobe. :)
 

Majestic

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Get into a routine, just as if you were in the office. I'm going into my 4th week. The first few days were rubbish as I let myself get distracted, screwed around, took a nap, and didn't have any routine. Once I figured out that the routine is the thing that helps put some structure into the day, it became a lot easier. I guess the tendency is to go feral since you don't have the constraints of the office holding you down. But that just made it difficult to do any work at all. So now I get up, have breakfast, then prepare for work as normal (shave, change my clothes), and then get stuck into it at 8:30 so. I find it's easier to start early than it is to start late and quit late. I take a small break in the morning, then lunch as normal, then another break at 3:00, and wind down at 5:00.
 

Mark of Zorro

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I am certainly not an expert on this but my understanding of psychology suggests having a clearly defined work space can be a major help in avoiding mixing work and pleasure and procrastinating. Like anything you can do to define your work space...even just setting up your own little cubicle at home...and when you are in there you work PERIOD.

This is an extrapolation of the idea that your sleeping space should be a sleep ONLY space, because if its used for other things you can become sleepless for wanting to do those other things there.

I suppose having work dedicated tools and devices can also help, such as having a work only computer and a leisure only computer.....even work only pens and pencils.

As Majestic suggested clearly defined work times can be vital too....all part of the same concept really....again as Majestic suggested....structure.
 

Majestic

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I should say another big thing for me was avoiding the temptation to have a wine or a beer at lunch. For the first couple of days I thought, "how great, I can have a guilt-free couple of wines at lunch!" Wooohoooo.

Short version; nah, doesn't work. Maybe in the late afternoon, but lunchtime drinking just made me want to nap harder.
 

Mark of Zorro

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I should say another big thing for me was avoiding the temptation to have a wine or a beer at lunch. For the first couple of days I thought, "how great, I can have a guilt-free couple of wines at lunch!" Wooohoooo.

Short version; nah, doesn't work. Maybe in the late afternoon, but lunchtime drinking just made me want to nap harder.

Interesting. I think for me it would have the opposite effect. I have heard drinking alcohol at lunch is or was common among Germans and other Europeans.
 
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Davey

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Gave up at 4 and started to drink beer. Still could do some work but guess I'm too tired for today.

Not a bad day but not the day i can do for 3-4 weeks long.... That's my worry
 

Petaris

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I agree with @Majestic and @Mark of Zorro. A routine and a clearly defined working space are both very important. Make sure you get ready and dressed the same as if you were heading into the office. Have a space to work in that is clear of other household distractions and only has your work around you. It helps you to mentally shift into "work mode".
 

bentenmusume

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This is a pretty stimulating topic.

As someone who made the jump from 11 years as a 正社員 to a freelancer last year, i feel like I have something to express here, but I'll wait until tomorrow when my thoughts are fully formed to elaborate.

I'll just say for the time beimg that I sympathize with and relate to all of you.
 

Majestic

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How's everyone holding up?
I've got a good situation. I can work without too much distraction, I've got a good routine. I think I can do this a couple more weeks. With the GW holidays, I can last until the end of May. As the situation looks less and less bleak, it becomes slightly easier to manage. I guess when you can sense the end of the tunnel, you don't feel as desperate. I just saw the numbers for Tokyo today, and they are back up over a hundred, but I feel that we're not going to go the way of New York or Italy. That makes working at home a bit easier.
 

Majestic

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Actually it just occurred to me that the working from home isn't as bad as I thought, but the weekends at home make it seem like its hard to get refreshed. Tomorrow is a holiday, but it will feel much like today. So that is one thing that takes some getting used to.
 

Lothor

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Actually it just occurred to me that the working from home isn't as bad as I thought, but the weekends at home make it seem like its hard to get refreshed. Tomorrow is a holiday, but it will feel much like today. So that is one thing that takes some getting used to.
I feel the same about days off but I think that the main reason is there's not really anywhere to go at the moment.
 

johnnyG

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I haven't worked for several years now. All that time has been do-something-from-home time.

So in the last month or two, not much has changed. The only real change is that I've tried to minimize grocery trips. (and I wear a mask when out)

Sometimes I think back on and wonder about work, but then I look at what my wife is doing (still working), and it's "naw, I don't really want to do that again..."
 

Majestic

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How's everyone doing?
Looking at the situation from my bubble here in central Tokyo, I think it will be impossible to continue working from home this month, because the gravity pull of normalcy seems to be getting too strong to resist. Everything around me is reverting to normal. I can probably ask my staff to do one more week at home just to be safe, but after next week I think it will we almost pointless to continue working from home. Abe will be reviewing the government's advice on the 14th, so we'll see what he says then. But unless the hospitals are overflowing, I think he will declare an end to the worst of it, and put an end to the State of Emergency.
This is a good thing, I think. But, as ever, I am mindful of the two-week incubation period of this freaking covid19, and it will take a couple of weeks for us to notice if this reversion to normal is causing any secondary (tertiary?) spreading of the disease. I'm also a bit shocked at why Hokkaido seems to be persistently high. For now, however, it looks like people have had their fill of "stay at home". This, plus the low numbers we see daily from Tokyo and most of the rest of Japan, makes me think we are ready to get back to the office.
 

bentenmusume

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Hmm, you seem to be seeing a more immediate return to normalcy than I am.

I've been freelancing and working primarily from home since last year, with regular visits to my clients for meetings and the like. The three major companies I work for are all still prohibiting all non-essential employees from going to the office until further notice (likely until the state of emergency is officially lifted).

I think everyone is mindful of the two-week incubation period, and I think it's a major reason why the government extended the SoE until the end of the month (almost as long as the initial period) despite the apparent downward trends at the moment. That said, it's been more than two weeks now since the SoE and stricter social distancing measures were implemented. Shinkansen ridership was at under 10% for Golden Week when it's usual at like 150%. All that considered, I don't expect to see some huge explosion of cases two weeks from now.

Still, just from what I see on the news and observe from the companies/clients I work for and the local businesses around me, I don't get the sense we're headed for an immediate return to everyday life even after the SoE is lifted, let alone before a decision has even been made. I mean, they're even talking about recommending an 新しい生活様式 for a near-indefinite period of time to prevent/reduce the potential risks of future waves of Covid, yes?

I don't know, maybe we're just arguing over semantics, but I don't get the sense at all that Abe, Koike, and the general populace are just going to be like "Welp, guess that Corona thing's all over. Time to get back to business as usual!" any time soon.
 

Lothor

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How's everyone doing?
Looking at the situation from my bubble here in central Tokyo, I think it will be impossible to continue working from home this month, because the gravity pull of normalcy seems to be getting too strong to resist. Everything around me is reverting to normal. I can probably ask my staff to do one more week at home just to be safe, but after next week I think it will we almost pointless to continue working from home. Abe will be reviewing the government's advice on the 14th, so we'll see what he says then. But unless the hospitals are overflowing, I think he will declare an end to the worst of it, and put an end to the State of Emergency.
This is a good thing, I think. But, as ever, I am mindful of the two-week incubation period of this freaking covid19, and it will take a couple of weeks for us to notice if this reversion to normal is causing any secondary (tertiary?) spreading of the disease. I'm also a bit shocked at why Hokkaido seems to be persistently high. For now, however, it looks like people have had their fill of "stay at home". This, plus the low numbers we see daily from Tokyo and most of the rest of Japan, makes me think we are ready to get back to the office.
Doing fine thanks and am hoping that I can work from home indefinitely. As a proofreader, I'm ideally suited to working from home, and it's good to see more of my children. I thought the situation regarding the SOE depends on where you are - that it's until the end of the month in the 13 (?) prefectures with a relatively large number of cases and it will be reviewed on the 14th for the less affected prefectures.
 

thomas

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So how have things turned out for everyone?
  • Are you back at the office?
  • Are you still teleworking?
  • Have your employers taken the opportunity and changed their policies, allowing for more flexibility?

I have started to commute to my major client's office three, four times a week. It's a research facility, and most of the employees are still on 一時帰休 (ichijikikyū, "temporary lay-off" or furlough). I am commuting by bike, so I do not worry too much about crowded trains. I am also teleworking still. My wife will probably continue working from home for the rest of the year and beyond. She is in HR and coincidentally responsible for implementing the very policies that will allow all employees to telework in the future.
 

Majestic

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Back to the office for me since the 1st of June. Much more fulfilling and productive, but I am super-privileged as my office is basically a couple of train stops from my house. The rest of the office is a mixed bag. I would say 1/3 of the staff is back in the office, with 2/3rds still working from home. The company allows teleworking, which will probably continue for a while. I don't think we'll switch to full time teleworking, but its sure to be something that the company will offer with some regularity. Its fine once in a while, but I get a lot out of the daily face-to-face communication that goes on in the office. Plus, I'm just not productive at home. I would have days where I would be super-productive, but these were followed by days where I wasn't providing any value whatsoever, and I don't think the balance was in the company's favor. It takes a lot of discipline to work and be productive at home, and I found that its hard to maintain that discipline.
 

Lothor

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I'm still working from home and am happy to be there. I also think that the company don't want me to come back, which suits me absolutely fine.
 

Petaris

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People are starting to slowly trickle back in but the office is still mostly empty here. I have been coming the whole time as there are things that need to be physically done and since we are all "essential" workers in my company it wasn't mandatory that we not come into the office. Still, there have only been about 3-4 people on the floor until recently, now there is 5 or 6. I think normally there are around 180 on this floor. There really has not been a push from the company for people to start returning yet but I would think we will see that push in another month or so if things keep improving.
 

MarLion

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Trying to work at home faster as I think we’ll be staying at home for a very long time.
 
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