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<p>I started this job about a month ago but I am now as trained as I'm going to get and have set up my home office.  I'm working for a credit union and will be mainly answering the toll-free number and working on basic personal accounts.  </p>
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<p>What are some of the WAH pitfalls I should look out for?  I'm excited about the lack of commute and not having to get all dressed up for work each day (the actual bank office was a very conservative atmosphere and toning down my personal style each day of training was a bit of a chore).  I'm looking forward to being home as there are portions of the day where I'll have some down time to surf the net or maybe knit a bit.  I feel comfortable with the work itself and I'll be in pretty much constant phone and IM contact with my boss and other co-workers.</p>
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<p>That said, I'm prone to seasonal depression/winter blues.  I am a little worried about feeling a bit isolated this time of year.  My husband and kids will all be out of the house by 8am and the kids start coming home around 3pm.  Right now, my work hours at 9-3, probably extended to 9-5 at some point.  I'm thinking maybe I should start a dedicated exercise of meditation time each morning or try and schedule somewhat regular coffee break dates with a SAHM neighbor? (I know of one, lol, who is actually looking for work.  All the other neighbors I know work FT.)  My mom lives with us and will be here and I *love* her but she and my husband canNOT be my only daily social outlet.  </p>
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<p>Any ideas about how to keep from feeling isolated while WAH?  Do those of you who WAH at a job that requires sitting at a desk have any great ideas about keeping healthy?  When I worked in an office, I was always good about getting up and taking a walk/bathroom/gossip-gathering break every hour or two.  I find at home, I tend to park my but in the comfy computer chair and hours will go by before I realize how sedentary I've been (and then I realize my back and neck are aching and have likely been aching for ages).</p>
 

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<p>One of my biggest complaints about being a WAHM is the isolation.  My first WAH job was the worst- I was very isolated and only saw coworkers occasionally, like every 6 months.  At my new job, I work from home the majority of the time but have constant contact with coworkers.  My job is very sedentary. </p>
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<p>I start my day by exercising for a bit (running).  I listen to NPR while working to feel connected and try to delay my work on Mondays so I can visit with a local moms group.  I get up and move again at lunch. I never work 'till 5 and usually stop working around 3 or 4 so I can run around with DS in the afternoon. </p>
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<p>To help remain connected with coworkers, I try to stay abreast of work-related social occasions such as holiday parties or networking meetings.  That always helps.</p>
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<p>Good luck to you!  WAH is great but also has pitfalls.  It sounds like you have a pretty clear idea of what to expect!</p>
 

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<p>Thanks, Sparklett!</p>
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<p>Today is my first full day at home and I'm enjoying it very much.  I am finding that I am calling or being called by my coworkers throughout the day so I'm not too lonely yet.  lol</p>
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<p>Right now, my schedule includes an hour (unpaid) lunch break.  It's both too long and not long enough.  I expressed to my boss that I would prefer 1/2 hour or 2 hours or more (so, possibly a bit of a split shift) so I could either be done earlier in the day or have enough time midday to actual run errands or get something accomplished on the personal side.  We'll see if there are any changes down the pike.</p>
 

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<p>I work at home 3 days and in the office 2 days. For me, it is the perfect balance. I get social time with my co-workers to catch up and whatever, and dress 1/2 way nice but the rest of the week I can be in pajamas or whatever. Since I am not tied to the phone (I process disability claims) I can work when and how I need to through the day so I can take breaks with a local moms group, or eat lunch with my mom (who doesn't live with us, good thing, as there is no space!)  or schedule dr's appointments, what have you.</p>
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<p>I nearly always go out in the evenings, even if it just to walk around Target or something. I need to get out of the house! as for working out/meditation, this mostly happens my at home days. I go to the gym with a SAHM-to-be it works well for me. The days I am in the office, I don't work out, because I don't want to be away from him more than I must on those days. he is only 1, after all.</p>
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<p>Definitely schedule some "me" time, and get out of the house as much as possible, if our neighborhood was more walker-friendly, I would do that every day! If there are any other telecommuters at your job, see if any are in your area, and want to get together. I do this with another mom on the same schedule as I am maybe once a week or so. Our babes are only a month apart, so it is good social time since neither is in daycare.</p>
 

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<p>Dawningmama, is there any way you could move towards a results-based environment instead of working hourly?  If your job success can be based more on results instead of hours worked, you'd have the autonomy to take a longer lunch break if you wanted to, as long as your daily work goals were completed.</p>
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<p>Yes, being in close contact with coworkers really makes a difference.  I meet with my colleagues once or twice a week, speak with them daily, and go out to lunch, etc.  At my first WAH job, it was so depressing when no one was answering calls or emails because they were attending holiday parties and such while I was home in my jammies.</p>
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<p>I'm working a full and somewhat grueling day today, but I'm working from bed (lol) and wearing my pajamas.  I love being able to do this.</p>
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<p>Have fun!  To me, being a WAH mom is such a special gift.  I'm thankful every day for not having to work in an office.  I wish this was an available option for more parents.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm doing phone customer service, so my schedule needs to be somewhat regular to accommodate phone traffic and the schedules of the other service reps so I can't change my lunch break/time without screwing things up. <img alt="lol.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/lol.gif"><br><br>
Thanks for the tips, everyone! I am feeling better knowing I've got some ideas and a bit of a plan going now. <img alt="joy.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/joy.gif">
 

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Hey, dawningmama! Have you read this <i><a class="bbcode_url" href="http://mothering.com/parenting/home-is-where-the-job-is" target="_blank">Mothering</a></i> article? Something I've found helpful is to set an alarm. I've set my computer to alert me each hour on the hour, and I try (!) to take the time to get up and do some stretching, walk around, take my dogs outside, etc. If I don't make the effort, I would literally sit in the same place for hours upon hours which isn't good. Here is a cool yoga link for stretches to do at your desk : video <a class="bbcode_url" href="http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/21/earlyshow/health/main6123419.shtml" target="_blank">here</a> .I love the idea of getting together with neighbors for a morning ritual! Hope everything continues to go well <img alt="love.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/love.gif">
 

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Thanks georgia! <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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<p>Keep your 1 hour lunch and schedule some house work and/or exercise/me time during that time.  Fold clothes, do dishes, do some dinner prep, take a walk around the neighborhood, do yoga, make personal phone calls, read a book.  I work for myself at  home so I don't have a specific time to be working. What has worked for me to get me into a work frame of mind is to get dressed in the morning (don't work in sweats, pjs, or work out clothes; you won't feel professional and that can come out in your voice over the phone) and have a schedule to my day.</p>
 

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<p>One thing I haven't seen anyone else mention that has worked for me is to set aside a specific space for work.  I have a desk, in a room, and I generally don't use it for anything else.  When I'm there, I'm working.  When I'm not there, I'm not.  It makes a boundary in my mind that's quite helpful, otherwise I have the kind of job (and co-workers) that could leak into an "always available/always working" type of situation!</p>
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<p>I also set an alarm on the hour and I'm sure to stand up, put in a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher, let the dog out, just something to get up and moving.  I don't feel isolated at all because I am in touch with co-workers via phone and email, and I try to set up occasional lunch or breakfast dates with friends.  </p>
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<p>Working at home has really worked out well for me - I hope it does for you too.  </p>
 

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Little update: I'm a few weeks in and still really enjoying it. I like the work and as the U.S. south is in the middle of an unusually freezing December, I am loving not having to bundle up and leave the house every morning! I feel like I'm doing well in the position (it's not rocket science, but not everyone has the skill for accurate and efficient customer service, and it's something I'm pretty good at) and I'm optimistic about my future with this company (they are in dire need of some service quality review and I'm trying to subtly put myself in the picture for that position).<br><br>
Right now I am working in my bedroom, which is far from ideal. I will be setting up a home office space in our bonus room but we are doing construction below that room at the moment so it's just too noisy right now. I'm researching furniture and organization options (the space will double as my crafting area as well, or at least yarn storage <img alt="wink1.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/wink1.gif"> ). My macbook power cord also died and untimely death this morning so I'm having to work on my dp's old laptop, which isn't my fav thing in the world.<br><br>
I do find it a little difficult to remember to get up and move around a bit so I'm going to look into setting an alarm. It can be hard because the volume of work is not very predictable. For instance, it was dead this afternoon so I was able to move around, clean my room, organize my makeup, etc, in between calls. Had I realized just how dead it was going to be, I would have set up some craft work or remembered to bring my holiday cards and address book to the desk. I tried to keep things small and quick because I was never sure when things would pick up.
 

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<p>Not to hijack, but what's the title of the position you hold, dawningmama? I love customer service, and that job sounds really interesting to me...</p>
 
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