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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 07-07-15, 12:29 PM
  #26  
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Every year my boss sends me a notice officially saying that my job is not eligible for telecommuting. That makes sense. I work in an industry where we still actually make stuff to sell. In my case I inspect processed fruit or vegetables for quality. I have to actually see, smell, feel, and taste my samples to determine the quality. I cheat sometimes; when I'm not scheduled to grade anything and have a back log of online training stuff to plow through, I'll do that from home. Maybe one or two days a year.

My work email is only accessible from the desk top computer in my office, using an ID card and a PIN to log on. There are a few other documents that I need sometimes that I can only get to from that computer.

4 years, 3 months to go.
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Old 07-07-15, 12:29 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Would that make me an inferior person or object of scorn in your estimation if I did?
People who choose to use their bicycle as a tool to accomplish their exercise chores (or satisfy an obsession to track "training" mileage) is just fine by me. I wouldn't expect most people to respond positively to an advocacy or sales pitch that promotes bicycle commuting as a self-induced forced regimen to accomplish exercise chores.
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Old 07-07-15, 12:49 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
People who choose to use their bicycle as a tool to accomplish their exercise chores (or satisfy an obsession to track "training" mileage) is just fine by me. I wouldn't expect most people to respond positively to an advocacy or sales pitch that promotes bicycle commuting as a self-induced forced regimen to accomplish exercise chores.
Obviously most people (in these parts) don't bike to work. However, whenever there's a thread or poll on bike forums as to why people bike commute, quite a few of the respondents list the exercise benefits as one of their reasons.
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Old 07-07-15, 12:56 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
People who choose to use their bicycle as a tool to accomplish their exercise chores (or satisfy an obsession to track "training" mileage) is just fine by me.
I'm glad to hear it, because in your earlier post it sounded like you were being sarcastic or judgemental towards them, or something like that.
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Old 07-07-15, 01:21 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Why, is it wrong?
Completely.
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Old 07-07-15, 01:23 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Obviously most people (in these parts) don't bike to work. However, whenever there's a thread or poll on bike forums as to why people bike commute, quite a few of the respondents list the exercise benefits as one of their reasons.
It also seems to be a thought that is in the minds of people who do not commute by bike. At least, when I have told people that I bike commute, a very common response is to the effect of, "Oh that's such good exercise. I really should do it too!"
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Old 07-07-15, 01:25 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
Completely.
Absolutely.
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Old 07-07-15, 01:37 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by enigmaT120 View Post
Every year my boss sends me a notice officially saying that my job is not eligible for telecommuting. That makes sense. I work in an industry where we still actually make stuff to sell........
Yes it's true. A lot of jobs do require people... or groups of people... to report to a worksite of some sort. But even working at home to accomplish things like "online training stuff" or using your work computer (or smart phone) to conduct an on-line doctors visit, on-line banking, etc. can ease a lot of travel and effort.

Working from home isn't the ultimate goal for everyone.... but for many it is a very creditable choice.
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Old 07-07-15, 01:43 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
Completely.
Please enlighten us all.
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Old 07-07-15, 01:56 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Please enlighten us all.
Only if we beg him.
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Old 07-07-15, 01:57 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Please enlighten us all.
With my poor typing/spelling/grammar skills you want me to educate you on the whole (or parts) of world history that predates... what... yesterday? I don't think so. I doubt you'd read it anyway. There are endless numbers of books that educate and inform us as to how we got here. Everyday... you chose NOT to read one.

There is no google search... 3-7 second read... that will inform you on our cultural evolution.
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Old 07-07-15, 02:03 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
I don't think so.
I didn't think so either, so we have that in common.
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Old 07-07-15, 02:07 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
The thing is ... everyone is not already in the house. The more common situation is that the family scatters. Parents go off to individual jobs in different locations, kids go to different classrooms and sometimes different schools. This can accomplish a couple things: 1) there's an old adage that says, "absence makes the heart grow fonder" ... when a family spends time apart they may appreciate each other more when they get get back together again; 2) interacting with people other than immediate family broadens horizons and introduces new perspectives.

If the situation changes so that the whole family can remain at home, the social dynamic changes. If the family is to spend time apart, they need their own spaces to work within the home.

In addition, one of the difficulties people express about working from home is that it is too much like home and not enough like work, and they have trouble concentrating. One solution to that is to have a designated workplace, like a home office, which is separate from the living room, the room where the TV is, and the sleeping room. A suggestion I've read or heard on a few occasions is to have the home office in an out-building (perhaps converting the garage, or building something in the backyard) so that there is a clear distinction between the place where work takes place and the place where relaxation and family time takes place.

That's all very well and good if one person works from home, or if you're single ... but what happens when you've got a whole family working or going to school from home?


And of course the other side of the social dynamic is the aspect of loneliness ... even if you have family relationships. There is a different kind of bond created between people who work together, between peers. You can talk to colleagues/peers about the projects you are working on in a way you cannot talk to your family.





Yes.

And there is also the issue of privacy. I deal with information with huge privacy issues ... so much so, that my office is currently building a set of walls and doors which we'll all have to use swipe cards to get through to go from one end of the building to the other.

While I could do the work I do from home, privacy is probably the biggest reason why my office will not likely ever set me up to do so.
Thousands of companies like mine use a VPN and other tools to protect our intellectual property on the Internet in support of home workers. And software like Trillian IM and other make interaction with other co-workers pretty seamless.

We initially started letting people work at home in some special cases. We develop specialized GIS software and in a competitive market would sometimes find critical skills that we can hire out, but to an individual that does not live here, won't live here, fills a temporary need, etc. Then we expanded the scope based on positive experiences and desire.

The company saves on office space, which is very significant when you look at all the costs involved. People are absent for illness less often, both because they exchange germs less, and because something that will keep you home does not necessarily mean you accomplish nothing.

We share offices that rotate depending on who needs to come to the office. Sometimes meetings are better face to face. A project-kickoff meeting is like that. Or in some cases my presence is not critical but I get phoned in for a few minutes.

It's not a panacea. But it is workable and valuable too. We've been at it more and more since about '94.
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Old 07-07-15, 03:32 PM
  #39  
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About three decades ago... there was a book called Future Shock by Alvin Toffler. You might want to read it (it is still available) and think about how your viewing the world.[/QUOTE]

I received that book back in 1980 R.I.F. giveaway and it was so accurate on so many subjects. I recommended it to my kids but they figured since it was written before them it had no valuable for them.
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Old 07-07-15, 04:02 PM
  #40  
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I don't get as many miles on the bike working at home. OTOH I can get up at 4 am and I'm off before 1 pm and able to go on long rides anywhere I want. Today I rode to Stone Mountain and walked up. Nice afternoon.

Still, I had a 40 mile RT commute. It's hard to ride that much otherwise.
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Old 07-07-15, 05:40 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
I don't get as many miles on the bike working at home. OTOH I can get up at 4 am and I'm off before 1 pm and able to go on long rides anywhere I want. Today I rode to Stone Mountain and walked up. Nice afternoon.

Still, I had a 40 mile RT commute. It's hard to ride that much otherwise.
I don't think I would have done a 20 mile commute. Seven miles takes me 45 minutes in city traffic. That's about all the enjoyment I can handle twice a day.
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Old 07-07-15, 08:43 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
I think Machka has brought up a lot of the key issues. A few other things to consider are hardware and insurance. If your job is keyboard or graphics heavy you may need a proper ergonomic setup and/or graphical input equipment and if you are an employee it would be reasonable to expect your employer to furnish those. If you are working at home using your employer-provided workstation and you get injured, is it your employer or home insurance that covers it? If you have a company-approved home office in a shed on your property, can you bill part of your heating or air-conditioning costs to the employer? Some companies or jurisdictions may already have this worked out, but there are probably a lot of these legal and bureaucratic issues that need to be clarified.
Good points.
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Old 07-07-15, 08:45 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by bruised View Post
Around 15 years ago I became self-employed and began working from home. 15 years later I'm still here

There are many pros and cons of the WAH lifestyle, how easily you can identify with each will depend a lot on your personality and how you generally interact with other humans.

Some of the pros are -

- set your own schedule / hours
- little or no commuting
- more efficient in terms of car-time not contributing to the overall working week
- more portable when you do decide to travel. I can easily take my work with me when I go off on a cycling jaunt somewhere (though I rarely do take my full setup with me, just a smartphone for email)
- lower overhead cost - no office space to rent

Some of the cons -
- more isolation, less social interaction
- more difficult to share and propagate ideas
- difficult to separate work life from family life, if you're not careful one may overtake the other
- always 'there' - customers get into the habit of expecting you to pick-up 24/7
- no boundaries / borders - 'going to work' and 'leaving work' creates a mental connection/disconnection which is important. You need to be able to leave work behind, so having a physical disconnect can be critical to your mental health.

Those are a few points.

Basically I think working from home is largely overrated. At one point about 10 years ago I took my business into a retail/bricks and mortar environment just to break free from the house. I'd found myself becoming completely consumed by work - I'd start at 7am and 12 hours later I'd still be at it, still in my pyjamas!! Of course this is partly to do with self-employment, it may not be quite the same issue were I working for someone else where I could create a more structured environment for work.

I knew a guy many years ago who worked from home and grew to hate it. He finally cracked it by converting a garage into an office space. Each morning he'd shower, dress in suit and tie, pick up his briefcase, bid farewell to the wife and kids, then walk off down the garden path to the garage/office to begin his day at work. It sounded nonsensical at the time but I can relate to it now.
Thank you very much for posting all that. My impressions of working from home are pretty much exactly what you've written ... pros and cons.
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Old 07-07-15, 08:51 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by enigmaT120 View Post
Every year my boss sends me a notice officially saying that my job is not eligible for telecommuting. That makes sense. I work in an industry where we still actually make stuff to sell. In my case I inspect processed fruit or vegetables for quality. I have to actually see, smell, feel, and taste my samples to determine the quality. I cheat sometimes; when I'm not scheduled to grade anything and have a back log of online training stuff to plow through, I'll do that from home. Maybe one or two days a year.

My work email is only accessible from the desk top computer in my office, using an ID card and a PIN to log on. There are a few other documents that I need sometimes that I can only get to from that computer.

4 years, 3 months to go.
This brings up another point. Some jobs are just not going to be work-from-home jobs.

Rowan's job, working in an orchard, and other agriculture jobs are like that. Yes, of course, if you own the farm/orchard and live there, you're more or less working from home, but in many cases people have to travel to the farm/orchard to do the work. You can't prune trees from the comfort of your easy chair and laptop.

Jobs in the medical profession might be another example. There are online Drs now, and Drs can work remotely, but if you've got to have your gallbladder out, chances are you'll have to be somewhere with some sort of medical professional looking after you.
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Old 07-07-15, 09:03 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
I don't think I would have done a 20 mile commute. Seven miles takes me 45 minutes in city traffic. That's about all the enjoyment I can handle twice a day.
This observation is a confirmation of the point I have been making. Few people are going to voluntarily use a bike for commuting purposes unless they enjoy the activity, no matter what other benefits it may provide. If you enjoy riding seven miles a day to work, would you not enjoy continuing to ride seven miles a day if you worked at home or in retirement?
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Old 07-07-15, 10:12 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
I am unfamiliar with that concept.

However I do find a fellowship in similarly aged men... not something I get from children or a wife. I am currently in the ultimate "work(?) at home" situation. I am retired.

Sooner or later those work relationships will dissolve (although maybe never evaporate). The bicycle ride you take this afternoon may produce injuries that exclude you from ever returning to the workplace. I am actually saddened to imagine that your happiness might actually be somehow grounded in some temporary condition... like a worksite.

Maybe.... you should throw a party this weekend. Friendships require effort.... just like everything else of worth. Invite only non-worksite friends, family, and acquaintances. Maybe you have more human relationships than you realize. Maybe that side of your life needs a little more work. It is an appropriate thing to consider when thinking of working at home.
I'm sorry you've never had the pleasure of working together with a team of likeminded, skilled colleagues to complete a project. It is something that is energising and motivating. And, of course, it is temporary ... maybe only a few weeks, months or a year or two. You wouldn't want it to last "forever" because it can also be exhausting ... and projects, by definition, need to come to an end.


I would be interested in hearing from those who have worked from home to find out what sorts of things you do to maintain communication between project members, and that energy which drives a project.



BTW - I'm puzzled why I should throw a party this weekend????
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Old 07-07-15, 10:50 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
This brings up another point. Some jobs are just not going to be work-from-home jobs.

Rowan's job, working in an orchard, and other agriculture jobs are like that. Yes, of course, if you own the farm/orchard and live there, you're more or less working from home, but in many cases people have to travel to the farm/orchard to do the work. You can't prune trees from the comfort of your easy chair and laptop.

Jobs in the medical profession might be another example. There are online Drs now, and Drs can work remotely, but if you've got to have your gallbladder out, chances are you'll have to be somewhere with some sort of medical professional looking after you.
The Rowan of the future will be controlling the fruit picker from a cubicle, assuming he's recovered from when the doctor in Sydney operated the robotic device that took out his appendix in the OR in Hobart.

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Old 07-07-15, 10:59 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
This observation is a confirmation of the point I have been making. Few people are going to voluntarily use a bike for commuting purposes unless they enjoy the activity, no matter what other benefits it may provide. If you enjoy riding seven miles a day to work, would you not enjoy continuing to ride seven miles a day if you worked at home or in retirement?
Twice a day, so 14 miles. Probably not. I have to go to work and find biking the most pleasant way to do it, but some days it's still a chore and I do it because taking the bus would be a bigger chore. If I didn't have to work every day I likely wouldn't bike every day and I'd probably do fewer miles. However I stil might choose the bike over the car or bus for many errands, partly because I enjoy it, partly because I need the exercise and partly for the environment.

Last edited by cooker; 07-08-15 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 07-07-15, 11:39 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Probably not. I have to go to work and find biking the most pleasant way to do it, but some days it's still a chore and I do it because taking the bus would be a bigger chore.
Many if not most people find driving their car is much less of a chore than commuting by bike or bus, and are unlikely to voluntarily start commuting by means that are considered more of a chore or a drudge.
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Old 07-08-15, 05:13 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
The Rowan of the future will be controlling the fruit picker from a cubicle, assuming he's recovered from when the doctor in Sydney operated the robotic device that took out his appendix in the OR in Hobart.
There have been experiments with automated/robotic pickers for apples in the US. There are significant issues, and they expensive ones, to overcome.

There has been development of GPS tracking systems for guiding machinery through paddocks. And there are now experiments being done with colour sensors that determine where cattle have peed or poo-ed and turn off fertlliser sprays as they pass over those spots to reduce costs. And, of course, electronic control of irrigation has been common for decades now.

But nature has a real knack for whacking farmers upside the head because the weather and pest invasion can be unpredictable. Plus the farm environment is much harsher than most people anticipate and electronic stuff does wear out much quicker than in a closed, controlled environment.
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