Working From Home: Part 4 – Questions and Answers
I have received quite a number of questions concerning things with working from home. And so compiling them over the past few weeks, I have decided to write a blog with all the questions and answers for when it comes to working from home. Some of these are paraphrased and shortened to the point from what was asked.
“How do you deal with Time Dissociation?”
So what I have dubbed “Time Dissociation”, I am sure there is a better name for it. Is when you lose track of time and not realize the day or date. This is probably the hardest thing to break due to the fact we are always cooped up. I myself have found myself losing track of time, but I have discovered a few remedies.
I have started taking my devices out of dark mode and setting them to automatic. Automatic will do dark mode / light mode with sunrise and sunset. I also find myself keeping my iWatch on as a way to keep track of just time. I have switched over from using a digital to an analog clock because this focuses me to think about what is the current time. I don’t just take it for granted. Another thing I would highly suggest is work with the windows open, not closed. Yes a developer working with the windows open and not in a dark closet. You aren’t batman, we are allowed to work with the windows open.
“My company wants to give out my phone to clients but won’t give me a business phone.”
Giving out your phone number to a client is a big no no. And I know moving from an office pulls away that business line. Now if you are working for a company, you might want to set up a Google voice number, if your company uses Google Suite. I have heard from some of my friends that their offices have set up their business numbers to forward to their Google voice. You might want to look into that as a way to meet in the middle because I have worked with clients in the past who decided to call me at 9pm…on a Friday. As I said in my other blog you should try to have a separator between work and personal and if your company is pushing you to give out your private phone number then try to meet in the middle.
If your company pushes for you to have your private number given out, then you can still say no because giving out your private information is a big no no. I believe in most states there are digital protection laws and not even HR can give out your number unless you give actual consent.
“My company isn’t wanting to invest in a better laptop for me.”
Now I know everyone wants the super duper fully decked out laptop. But sometimes we gotta understand that we all can’t have that. If we are just writing documents, answering emails, you don’t need a super computer. But if you are a developer and the company won’t shell out money for 16 gigs of ram then that can be a massive problem that will hamper on productivity. I do also know that some companies have had to buy a dozen laptops for their companies and that can be costly. So if you don’t need the super computer just stick it out with the average computer for now.
“The company I work for has put everyone on an indefinite leave, should I start looking for a new job.”
This is a double edged sword. If you have been out of work without pay for a few months now, I would suggest to reach out to your boss to see about an update. If they can’t give you an update or say “in the future”, then maybe just go job hunting to see what else is out there. If you are out of work, you should look at expanding your resume and building skills and preparing a new resume. I always believe its better to be prepared for anything. So if you are furloughed especially without pay, I would suggest just trying to find a new job in the meantime. I have seen people get told “we will get back to work in a month…” then at the end of that month they say it again and again. They are stringing you along when you could have been working somewhere else.
“My pay has been docked as a way to cut costs can the company do this?”
Now this is where top down leadership can definitely come into play. I know several companies my friends work for where they dock all the higher level officials pay and even the CEO stops getting paid as a way to help cut costs. Now if everyone gets their pay docked then I see that as an ok thing, but if the CEO and top leadership skip on passing up pay then maybe don’t work for that company if you find it shady.
“My company has told me to use my time off can they do this?”
Yes, this is totally ok. I know so many companies that tell their workers to use their time off. I don’t know the accounting term, but it’s fine with a company telling you to use your days off and work.
“How do you stay motivated to work considering everything going on?”
People’s motivation can be hindered during these tough times with getting breaking news alerts and the constant numbers alert about the virus. How does one stay focused during these tough times? The way I stay motivated is I know the thing I am working on could make a difference. It isn’t just about keeping a client happy, but knowing that their company will succeed and expand during these tough times brings me hope. The hope that the thing I work on for them will help their company expand. That’s what keeps me going. Also I always try to check in on my co-workers and if they are struggling I do my best to help them to the finish line.
“My company wants to make sure I am working by putting tracking software on my computer.”
This is a very good question, and I have heard that several people are being monitored on their computers constantly. If it is a business laptop, it is within the company right. Now if it is your personal computer that actually crosses a ethical boundary with tracking of your personal life.
Hopefully these answers help clear up any cause for concern cause with so many people still transitioning to working from home, there has been some confusion about what a company can or can’t do. I have been working from home for around 5 years now and it is a transition that takes about a full year to become accustomed to but once you get into that flow it all becomes second nature.
see you space cowboy…