Sometimes working from home means take the laptop and taking care of administrative or project management tasks. Other times it entails taking a video project home or even the whole editing system.
What are others' policies or habits for telecommuting (assuming you do not work from home offices every day).
Sometimes telecommuting means traveling by car, train or air to get to a meeting or shoot, but doing work while in transit. Obviously doing much of anything besides talking on the phone while driving is not going to happen, although I have rendered video and burned DVDs on my laptop while driving - you think texting is dangerous, try dealing with Import Process Server errors ;)
One piece of discipline I adhere to is getting dressed and eating breakfast and lunch at normal hours. No working in my pajamas. No going to the mall when you have committed to working. One should also have some privacy. If you are on the phone with a client there should not be barking or a tv in the background.
Telecommuting is not for those people who lack personal discipline.
As you say, you have to put your head in the "i'm at the office" mental space, even if you are at home. The temptations for distraction are very strong, and at times the family around you may not understand the boundary issues since you are right there in the home with them. So I would go so far as to make a separate room in the house, likea spare bedroom, the official "daddy's working now" room, not to be disturbed. Like Bruce Wayne's study.
OTOH, if you have good time amnagement skills, the added flexibility of being able to take a break to pick up the kids from school or nip out for whatever can be a blessing to family harmony.
There are a WHOLE bunch of us telecommuting in the Mid-Atlantic area today. Some areas in Maryland have just exceeded the previous record of 62.5 inches of snow. This morning the local government enacted "Phase 3 Snow Emergency Plan" which makes it illegal to drive for anything other than Police, Fire & Emergency vehicles. And there's more snow to come. At least we still have electricity and internet service.
[Nick Griffin]"At least we still have electricity and internet service"
Most of us anyway. We've got thousands without power here on Thee Eastern Shore Nick. How's everyone holding up "over there"...we are also in a state of emergency with no driving. Glad I've got showshoes. Never thought I'd need them here!!
I finished 3 client projects while snowed in ahead of schedule. :)
We lost power for 2 hours and I kept going on my UPS batteries.
But back to the original question:
-My offices are in Bethesda MD and I also have a system at home. When I telecommute and there is no client around, its a very relaxed environment (no dress code), but I find myself stuck in front of the computer for hours without a break. My wife has to remind me to eat food. I enjoy what I do so much I actually have to discipline myself not to push too hard. The only times I take a break is to clear my mind for 5-10 minutes so I can go back and watch what I did objectively.
Just like Mike:
-No going to the mall
-No unnecessary breaks
-30 minute lunch and back to work.
I do a lot of work with studios in LA and when we do a live video chat, I dont dress up but make sure its a very sterile environment.
I also close all other windows on my desktop as they can see my screens. So no cow forums.... :(
Actually, the equipment issue is one of the things that's kept me with a home office. I want all of my stuff available all the time -- nights, weekends, 6am, etc and the thought of having to schlep drives between home and office or rely on a VPN for video and graphics is less than appealing. But that's me. Being snowed in for what's coming up on a week has also meant that having everything available has kept work going on as usual.
The real issue becomes one of... (No, I don't know where your mother is.)... working from home with all of the... (Can I put up the shelf later, please? Can't you see I'm working?)... distractions. That's what door locks are for. All the more reason that a dedicated and physically removed work area is essential.
I work in my jammies and adhere to my own schedule. That revolves arounf the deadline and what I feel like doing on a particular day. I shower when my wife makes me, whether I need to or not. ;)
I crank up the jams, light the best insense and ensure I'm in creative mode before getting creative.
I could apply rules but, man, I could make a lot more money applying them at a place I hated to work at. No thank ya.