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The Pitfalls of Working from Home and How to Avoid Them

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The Pitfalls of Working from Home and How to Avoid Them

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Working from home is more common than ever, especially for those of us helping to build a better web with WordPress. But working from home comes with unique challenges that aren’t found in a typical in-office setting.

In this session, Adam will share his personal experiences working remotely for the past 5 years and how, through trial and error, he’s learned how to avoid the most common pitfalls and create a work/life balance. Spoiler alert: there are also two toddlers in this mix!

Whether you’ve been yearning to break out of cubicle life or currently working from a home office, you’re sure to find some tips and tricks that will help you be productive and most of all happy with the “work from home” lifestyle.

Working from home is more common than ever, especially for those of us helping to build a better web with WordPress. But working from home comes with unique challenges that aren’t found in a typical in-office setting.

In this session, Adam will share his personal experiences working remotely for the past 5 years and how, through trial and error, he’s learned how to avoid the most common pitfalls and create a work/life balance. Spoiler alert: there are also two toddlers in this mix!

Whether you’ve been yearning to break out of cubicle life or currently working from a home office, you’re sure to find some tips and tricks that will help you be productive and most of all happy with the “work from home” lifestyle.

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The Pitfalls of Working from Home and How to Avoid Them

  1. 1. @ S I T E L O C K@ S I T E L O C K The Pitfalls of Working from Home And How to Avoid Them W o r d C a m p B i r m i n g h a m 2 0 1 6
  2. 2. @ S I T E L O C K
  3. 3. @ S I T E L O C K
  4. 4. @ S I T E L O C K Adam W. Warner • Product Evangelist at SiteLock • Co-Founder at FooPlugins • Discovered WordPress in 2005 • WordPress Community Addict • Fan of Fractals • Lover of Meatballs • Proud Dad!
  5. 5. @ S I T E L O C K What We’ll Cover • What • Who • Why • How
  6. 6. @ S I T E L O C K Do You?... • Currently work from home? • Wish you could work at home?
  7. 7. @ S I T E L O C K • Approximately 25% of the U.S. workforce works remotely at some frequency.
  8. 8. @ S I T E L O C K Myths • Remote work is easy • Make your own schedule • More free time
  9. 9. @ S I T E L O C K Truths • Remote work has different challenges • No pants! • Your dog will bark during meetings • Available for life’s most important moments
  10. 10. @ S I T E L O C K It’s Your Choice • Stop wishing. Start manifesting. • What you put out is what returns to you.
  11. 11. @ S I T E L O C K It Started with a Paper Route
  12. 12. @ S I T E L O C K WordPress Led My Way
  13. 13. @ S I T E L O C K
  14. 14. @ S I T E L O C K Then Things Changed
  15. 15. @ S I T E L O C K Benefits of Working from Home
  16. 16. @ S I T E L O C K Pitfalls
  17. 17. @ S I T E L O C K Interruptions
  18. 18. @ S I T E L O C K
  19. 19. @ S I T E L O C K
  20. 20. @ S I T E L O C K
  21. 21. @ S I T E L O C K
  22. 22. @ S I T E L O C K Workspace
  23. 23. @ S I T E L O C K
  24. 24. @ S I T E L O C K
  25. 25. @ S I T E L O C K Motivation
  26. 26. @ S I T E L O C K
  27. 27. @ S I T E L O C K Lack of Discipline
  28. 28. @ S I T E L O C K
  29. 29. @ S I T E L O C K
  30. 30. @ S I T E L O C K
  31. 31. @ S I T E L O C K Longer Hours
  32. 32. @ S I T E L O C K
  33. 33. @ S I T E L O C K Work/Home Life Separation
  34. 34. @ S I T E L O C K
  35. 35. @ S I T E L O C K Being Unorganized
  36. 36. @ S I T E L O C K
  37. 37. @ S I T E L O C K Personal Hygiene
  38. 38. @ S I T E L O C K
  39. 39. @ S I T E L O C K Isolation
  40. 40. @ S I T E L O C K
  41. 41. @ S I T E L O C K Avoiding the Pitfalls
  42. 42. @ S I T E L O C K Interruptions • Issue a rude alert • Close the door • Don’t send mixed signals • Wear headphones
  43. 43. @ S I T E L O C K Workspace
  44. 44. @ S I T E L O C K
  45. 45. @ S I T E L O C K Motivation
  46. 46. @ S I T E L O C K Discipline
  47. 47. @ S I T E L O C K Longer Hours
  48. 48. @ S I T E L O C K Work/Home Balance
  49. 49. @ S I T E L O C K Organization
  50. 50. @ S I T E L O C K Hygiene
  51. 51. @ S I T E L O C K Isolation
  52. 52. @ S I T E L O C K Remote Resources
  53. 53. @ S I T E L O C K Jobs Boards • http://jobs.wordpress.net/ • http://www.indeed.com/q-remote-jobs.html • https://weworkremotely.com/ • http://jobs.supportdriven.com/
  54. 54. @ S I T E L O C K Apps • https://www.rescuetime.com/
  55. 55. @ S I T E L O C K Thank You • Follow at: • @SiteLock • @wpmodder • SlideShare • http://www.slideshare.net/wpprobusiness • My Blog Posts: • http://wpdistrict.sitelock.com • http://adamwwarner.com

Editor's Notes

  • May 10th, 2012 – Best and most exciting days of my life.

    I had started working from home 30 days before he was born.

    Fast forward a year and a half. I was struggling with the work at home life.

    I had fallen into many (if not all) of the Pitfalls we’ll be discussing today.

    I was considering going back to the “day “job”. The 9-5.

    And Then…
  • 15 months later – our son had a major seizure.

    The scariest day of my life.

    BUT I was home with him when it happened.

    I was the only who noticed it.

    What if he would have been with someone else?

    That moment convinced me to continue at home, and find solutions to the pitfalls I had found myself dealing with.
  • WP Evangelist means that I attend WordCamps and other events and listen to the community.
  • What:
    Work from Home v.s. Remote Worker. Even working outside the home for yourself. No difference.

    Who:
    Anyone! Entrepreneur (starting a business), freelancer, customer service, developer, sales.

    Why:
    Because it’s awesome.

    How:
    That’s what we’ll get into today

  • Show of hands please.

    Currently work from home?

    Wish you could start working from home?
  • And that number is increasing every year.

    In other words, these Pitfalls we’ll be discussing today, affect 25% of the entire US workforce.
  • Easier than working in an office

    Schedule - do whatever you want, whenever you want

    Makes work/life balance easier (child care, clean house, etc.)
  • Distinct and different challenges than working in office

    Pants are optional! (not really)
  • It's all in the mind.

    Stop wishing. Start manifesting. Believe it to be true. Guide the universe, guide yourself to the goal.

    Enough Tony Robbins
  • Newspapers. Remember those?

    First remote job – paper route

    Short stint working for ”the man” as bus boy, dishwasher, line cook

    Second “remote” job - Wee Willy’s Weeny Wagon

    Fast Forward to college. Advertising Design degree, straight to the factory floor making office furniture.

    First REAL work from home jobs, although part-time:

    pen and ink portrait business – working from home part-time.
    Memorial DVD business - working from home part-time.

    Back into “regular jobs”
  • Found during dvd memorial business

    Worked in customer service for audiobook publisher managing website orders and processing

    More I learned about WP, more I applied that to web dev and marketing

    Bugged IT guy enough that he gave me a job 

    That turned into full time WP work in Florida…next slide
  • In 2008, I started working in Florida (originally from Michigan) as a Web Development and Internet Marketing Manager for a large North American ventilation systems company.

    In 2011, I started selling a premium WordPress plugin on the side with a business partner of mine.

  • In early 2012, the parent company made the decision to close the Florida office.

    Had to decide to try moving to Sweden or Kansas

    Decided to “take the leap” and turn that premium plugin into a full time business, and get back into client work.
  • I opened this talk with my personal biggest benefit. Taking care of your loved ones when they need you. Kids, Parents, Grandparents, etc.

    Talked with Uber driver on the way here, and although not exactly “working from home”, he related how Uber allowed him to take care of his Mother who was terminally ill.

    Short commute.

    No dress code.

    Live anywhere.

    Home workers are happier (according to this study - http://www.lse.ac.uk/newsandmedia/news/archives/2013/10/homeworkers.aspx )
  • Anyone remember this game? Am I aging myself too much?

    If you don’t know, it’s aptly named “Pitfall” and I think this visual is a good metaphor for the challenges of working from home.

    Here’s you. And here are all those “things” that can make it difficult if you don’t know how to avoid them.
  • Not productive if workspace isn’t a dedicated place for work
  • Can actually be dangerous to your job.

    Play video

    Caught son doing this. Unintended consequences like losing unsaved work, file deletion or sending an unfinished email.
  • Easily distracted by chores and other things that NEED to be done

    Netflix. Hello?

    Comfortable bed (or floor)
  • Selfies all day long
  • Games games and more games!
  • Creating Memes all day
  • Tend to work 24 hours…WHY? Because work at home is ALWAYS THERE
  • Working while kids are eating.

    Working while sitting with your significant other.

    Not fair to kids

    Not fair to you

    Not fair to your employer or clients
  • Nothing causes me more stress than being unorganized. Mentally and Physically.
  • I’ll admit, I’ve worn the same clothes for 5 days in a row.

    I’ve gone a week without showering!
  • Start to feel “disconnected” from others.

    Can lead to Depression, which as we know is a very real and serious issue for many.
  • In the zone, when out of zone, takes time to get back in.
  • Don’t work from the couch!

    Setup a dedicated workspace

    Separate room.

    Lauren example.

    Have a set workspace. Be able to close the door and walk away. Sense of separation. Folding screen, room divider. White noise machine. Keep it sacred and off limits.
  • Threaten yourself. Reminder how lucky you are. Naps and breaks.

    Wake up early
    Put on clothes
    Don’t work where you sleep
    Schedule
    Exercise – Yoga, Meditation
    Give yourself a reward. Want to watch TV? Do it on your lunch break.
    Turn off notifications!

  • Routine

    Goals

    Turn off notifications

    Do Not Disturb Mode (Mac)
    Quiet Hours (Windows)

    Limit email checking

    Breaks
  • Establish “office hours” for yourself, listed on your website or support area.

    Set Boundaries

    Setup timed email auto-replies

    Managing Expectations
  • Scheduling family time!

    Establish days off!
  • Calendar ALL THE THINGS. Events or Reminders.

    Keep a clean workspace

    Schedule a certain amount of time each day for administrative tasks.

    Pay your bills, invoice your clients, order your office supplies, and process your mail during this time. Do it every day at the same time so it becomes part of your routine.
  • Again, routine.

    Act as if you’re getting ready to commute to that cubicle job.

    Shower, brush your teeth, put on clean socks!

    right mindset for work and feel like it's time to get some work done is to dress as though you're headed to the office
  • Meetups
    WordCamps
    Facebook Groups
    Slack Groups
    support system.
    Coworking space.
  • Indeed search with email notification

    http://jobs.wordpress.net/

    Weworkremotely.com

    https://supportdriven.com/ (also a community portal for those working in remote support)
  • RescueTime (time management app. Desktop and mobile. Tracks time spent in apps and websites. Detailed reports based on activity.

    Buddhify – tell story of different meditations.
    Used one on plane.
    I find it helps calm my mind from all the tasks and other todos prioritizing and reprioritizing

    Calm
    Headspace
  • SiteLock – security news/tips, WordPress community interviews

    Wpmodder – Mostly WordPress, direct replies

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