It's In the Details

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 717790

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item It's In the Details

  • Mike C


    Points: 23224

    I don't know about whether outside performance is an indicator of performance at work, but I definitely have the opposite problem that you have with productivity. I occasionally work from home, and I find that I'm more productive here than I am at the office. I think the biggest part of it is that when I work from home I'm not getting pulled into a one hour meeting for every 30 minutes of actual work I get accomplished. I also thank it helps that I don't get bombarded with questions at home like I do at work. Of course you can't discount the effects of riding a crowded bus and two crowded subway lines in on a one hour commute every morning and every night either 🙂

    The more I write about it, the more I'm feeling like I should ask for another day of telecommuting 🙂

  • D.Oc


    Points: 2855

    I've my own business and I'm working at home.

    I like it, although sometimes I have a feeling that I would be more productive outside the home.

    One thing is sure, I would be really scared if I had to now work in a company with 20 other people in a open space enviroment like so many big companies do nowdays IBM, etc.. (like one giant room), where you don't hear you own thoughts from the noise the rest of them produce.

    I like my home 😀 :hehe:

    "It takes 15 minutes to learn the game and a lifetime to master"
    "Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality."

  • cleverann-611287


    Points: 5

    I've done both for extended periods of time - there's no black and white answer here! Production and quality depend a lot on what project phase you're in and what your environment is at that point in time. Detail work that requires total concentration needs larger chunks of uninterrupted peace and heads down focus regardless of home vs. office. It's up to you to set the environment conducive of work requirements. If you're unable to do that at home, go to the office. If you're unable to do that at the office, well, you're doomed unless you make a change or work at home! Personally, I like being able to call the shots but you need a good boss to trust you enough to do that. If you're lucky enough to make the calls, just be honest with yourself about what works and what doesn't!

  • Andy Warren

    SSC Guru

    Points: 119676

    I think you judge people by the work they do at work. Trying to infer from outside behavior isn't fair and I suspect not very effective. Keeping that wall up allows to ignore politics, religion, race, sports, and all the other things that might rule them out otherwise. As long as what they do elsewhere doesn't have a negative impact on work its good with me.

    I think you might also be describing a separate problem though, the one that involves blurring the work/not work line to the point its barely visible. My favorites weeks are ones where Im in the office each day, making progress against my current list, and on Friday at 3 pm or so I can call it a week, feeling a sense of achievement. That stopping point each day at 5 pm and at the end of week are necessary goals to draw some lines so we can really relax.

  • Anders Pedersen


    Points: 11410

    Some years ago, I finally convinced my first wife to go flying with me. She had always been worried about it since I am a pretty easy going, joking, not taking life very serious person in my private life. Her comment after the flight was along the lines of: "You change completely as soon as you start preparing for the flight, no more joking, no more fun, all business." Not sure I am quite as focused at work as I am for flying. Something about your life being in your own hands make you more focused.

  • Bryant McClellan

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4275

    On occasions where I've been snowed in (very different definition, based on the amount of snow, than Steve would have) and worked all day from home I have generally accomplished a lot more that I would have at work. The obvious difference is the lack of interruption, although email and IM are seriously buzzing in a situation like that.

    But I think there are are 2 disadvantages to doing this full time. Depending on the company, there is the out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality that can adversely affect one's career. In some companies that thrive and/or are based on a telecommuting model, that is not a problem. Old-line companies do not always have a modern outlook and so employees can pay the price.

    The other is separation. When the office is somewhere you drive to, it is easier to leave work at work (and home at home, for that matter). When it is only a different room, it is easy to have work frustrations spill over into home (and vice-versa), which does no one any favors.

    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -- Hunter S. Thompson

  • Miles Neale


    Points: 13147

    Private life and office life often do interrelate but one is far different for the other at least as far as this boy is concerned.

    At work I have sold my time and effort to the 'company', I have agreed to play by their rules and meet their demands. At home I am me, I live by other rules and am closer to the real person I am.

    When I leave the office, I leave the office. My job must not dictate my life, only that part of life I have agreed to yield and that only for a time. It is mine to agree to or to leave. We all have that choice.

    At home I am 'at home' at work I am 'at work'. They are vastly different.

    Have a great day!

    Not all gray hairs are Dinosaurs!

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 717790

    Snowed in here definitely varies. On a bad day it takes 5-6 hours of solid plowing to get to the main road and I have to hope they've cleared that one!

    I have trouble separating work from home and work intrudes into our lives 7 days a week. It's rare that I don't stop by the office and check email in the morning or before bed. Course I am out-of-sight, out of mind a lot of the time and it is hard working with others in the UK, both distance and time-wise.

  • Gavin-343827

    SSC Rookie

    Points: 48

    Growing up I remember my father religiously balancing his cheque book and checking every credit card transaction. I always thought of how many hours he wasted, and I've never bothered. I just glance at my online statement and make sure there's no "big" numbers that I can't remember. There's always a possibility that I lose some money due to the bank's mistake, but I gain something more valuable, my time.

    A good DBA just like any other "good" person is skilled at sorting out the important tasks from the less important. Your time at work is fairly limited compared to the amount of things you could be doing. Being able to prioritize things at work is one of the most valuable skills one can have.

  • Loner


    Points: 21279

    I just start working from home. So my home is my office and my office is my home. Now I cannot separate work from home. :crying: I don't know how people doing telecommute.

    BTW I never balance my check book, so it does not mean I am not a good DBA. The people balance their check book but that does not mean they are good DBA either.

    People are comparing apple and orange.

  • julian_weaver


    Points: 15

    I was just thinking that I wouldn't post a reply on this topic as it had already all been said by others. But I don't like to hear others despairing of their situation! I have been working from home on and off for nearly 5 years and really struggled with it at first. I actually felt guilty that I was stealing time from my company if I wasn't in front of the screen every minute from 9 to 5 and this led to a lot of stress with other things going on in the house around me. (After nearly 19 years with the same corporate, I no longer worry about a lack of commitment though!) But Steve Jones and some of the other respondents have hit this on the head - the time you DO spend working can be so much more productive than if done in a busy open plan office, plus the enormous time saving of not commuting to the office. What you do have to accept is that you will no longer work 9 to 5. For those tasks that other workers are not required for, do them when it suits you - even if it's 11pm or 3 am. And chill out: if you go to the kitchen and prepare the veg for tea, you're still by the phone, you could even be on the phone. The technology is there to make it easier to communicate and work co-operatively without being in the office. If you are washing veg at 3pm and writing that email at 7pm, most likely your home AND your work still get the benefit of YOU. Have a little faith and stick with it - it might just turn out to be the most liberating thing to happen at work.

  • Mike C


    Points: 23224

    Just to play devil's advocate for a minute, I think there are some indicators of past performance outside of work that could indicate future performance on the job. For instance, if a person has been convicted of hacking corporate networks and identity theft (even if the crimes were committed on their own personal time), you might not want to trust them with the DBA keys to the kingdom at your organization 🙂

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