Surviving a dual remote worker marriage

First-person accounts from couples that both work from home illustrate that the experience can be fraught, with one partner sometimes imposing on the other. But the arrangement works well for some. What are the secrets of these happy home working couples?

Podcast explores the challenges and rewards of working from home

Telecommuting offers well-publicized benefits, but Census Bureau figures show only four percent of workers actually work from home. What makes telecommuting so challenging? The Workforce Institute asked two veteran work-from-homers to discuss their on-the-ground experience with remote work in this interesting podcast.

How to Work From Home During Chaotic Repairs

1224085_measuring_tapeThe successive typhoons that recently came over the Philippines gave my roof and ceiling a complete beating. I thought I could ignore the rainwater dripping into every room in the house but, when I woke up one morning and found my head completely wet thanks to a new hole, I knew I couldn’t postpone the repairs any longer.
But working from home and having your home repaired can be a chaotic mix. It tends to destroy your routine, concentration and even the quality of your work. So what can we home office workers do to prevent that from happening? Read More about How to Work From Home During Chaotic Repairs

Why I Don’t Hide That I Work At Home

Home-OfficeWeb workers, especially those of us who are self-employed, will sometimes encounter people who, it seems, take us less seriously because we don’t have a corporate cube to work in. There are two ways to deal with this.

Some web workers go to great lengths to mask that our office and home are one and the same. We can use P.O. box or mailbox suite addresses, and install separate phone lines that we can always answer with a business salutation. We might keep rigidly to business hours and avoid any reference in conversation that would reveal our office/home marriage.

Of course, there is another option. We can let it all hang out, so to speak, and freely acknowledge our home office location and its attendant benefits (and disadvantages) to the people we do business with.

Read More about Why I Don’t Hide That I Work At Home

How to Become a More Frugal Web Worker

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Ever heard the phrase “Spend less than you earn?” Personally, I like to take it a notch higher and spend much, much less than I earn. I can’t help it. I think I’m frugal by nature and that contributes a lot to my feeling of security with online work.

Frugality and web working go hand in hand, especially in a tough economy. Even if you find your business thriving, the cost of commodities tends to go up and some clients might unexpectedly close up shop. I also find that frugality comes with freedom — any extra money I can set aside goes to fund new opportunities or allows me to take some time off.

So whether the economy is struggling or thriving, it’s still a good idea to keep your expenses as low as possible, without sacrificing the quality of your work or your life. Here are some things you can do to keep the cost of web working as low as possible: Read More about How to Become a More Frugal Web Worker

My Home Office

We’ve previously covered planning your home office and setting up your home office here on WebWorkerDaily. Here I share a real-life home office: mine. I’m not a decorator — far from it, just an organized person who wants things to have a place and feel comfortable where I spend most of my time during the work week. Seriously, if I can set up a home office like mine, anyone can.

I don’t let my family mess with my home office. Sure, they can borrow my stapler and tape as long as they promise to bring it back: one sneak held on to my stapler for a week! At least it’s not a red Swingline stapler (I wish). But no leaving toys and backpacks behind. It’s also the tidiest place in the house, something important to the neat freak I am.

Meryl's office

The home office also sets aside a working space that sends a message to the family that I’m working. Moms and Dads can keep dreaming that their office space will keep out children. However, kids will disrupt your work less often in a dedicated office than if you work in a bedroom or living room.

Though a small space, the setup works well. Let’s just say the master bathroom has more room than the office. Every web worker’s office space requirements differ based on their jobs and space available.

Before I became a full-time web worker, I had my “office” in the family room. This let me keep an eye on the baby — now five-years-old — and the other kids. I moved into my current home office when the youngest was two and I switched to full-time freelancing.

This post lists things I have that make me feel “at home” in my home office. Maybe they’ll inspire yours. For more inspiration, see 5 Inspirational Workspaces. Read More about My Home Office

Noisy Neighbors: How to Deal With Them When You Work From Home

One of the downsides of web working is that you’re prone to distractions at home, whether it’s the snacks calling to you from the fridge or a toddler throwing tantrums. I experience these distractions everyday and have found ways around most of them. My most important “weapon against mass distractions”, so to speak, was to wake up at 2:00am and work while the rest of the neighborhood sleeps.

Except for my new neighbors, of course. They moved in last week and, since then, it’s been one loud evening after another.