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Discussion Starter #1
When I opened up shop a year ago I took over the "family room" and turned it into an office. I thought it would be a great arrangement but I'm beginning to wonder. Do any of you have home offices? What do you like and dislike about it? Any tricks for making it work?

My wife's a teacher and my three kids are all school age. We're up at 5:00 and everyone leaves between 6:20 and 8:20. The morning rush means I don't get started (A/P, estimating, prospecting, field visits, procurement, etc.) until after 8:30, almost 9:00 some days. My youngest is home by 3:15 and everyone's home by 4:30. Then there's afternoon run around to soccer, swimming, football, religious school, etc.
This is a far cry from my previous job. Up at 4:30, in to the shop by 5:30, leave by 6:00, home by 7:00. Go 105% all day. Wifey didn't teach then because I made enough money as an employee (about 40% more). She did all the home stuff. Now she's back to teaching for the health care benefits (I don't have them yet) and to pick up some of the income slack.
I'm struggling to stay on task in the home office. There's always some distraction i.e., something needs fixing, chore needs done, etc., etc. This summer, with everyone home from school, was an absolute nightmare.

Comments and suggestions please.
 

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Hey Rick, glad I can throw some experience towards you since you have been such a help to me.

My advice is when you have a home office, the number one rule is to make it as real an office as if it was an off site office, meaning don't use part of a room, you need an entire room that you can close the door and not be bothered in. I have worked out of a home office going on 8 years now. When you enter it looks like you are walking into a cubical in a big office building. Get separate phone lines for your office phone, computer and fax machine if you can. The closer you mimic a normal office the more work you will get done.

In order to really maximize and enjoy your home office the rest of the family needs to know that when Daddy is in the office he is at work and to treat you as if you weren't home. I know some people who go as far as the only way they can be contacted is by their phone when they are in their home office!

In the very least, when you close the door, you need to be left alone and not disturbed. If you were off site at your office your family wouldn't drive over and come over to talk to you about something, they would either call you if it was really important, or most likely it would wait until you got home. The more you can structure your home office like that the better it will be.

Another thing is don't work in your underwear! The closer you mimic going to work at an office job the better it will be. LOL!
 

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I work out of my second bedroom for now but I am moving out as soon as work is stable enough for me to afford it. This should come some time at the beginning of next year.

I had another home office before when I ran a small internet company years ago. I ended up working from morning to night, just like I do now. Plus the phone rings at all hours which is annoying. Plus I really don't want customers, suppliers and employees coming over every day. I'm the opposite of you Rick, I tend to sink myself into my work and ignore the chores. I also tend to work from the time I wake up unil the time I fall asleep.

I truly believe a person needs a seperation between home and work.

Hey Rick it seems to me you are making 40% less becaus eyou are working 40% less due to family involvement ;) You have a good wife for helping you follow your dreams!

Mike I agree. Don't work in your underwear. Take em off :)
 

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Rick, I'll try to be of some help. I agree with most of what Mike said except for the dressing part, I find it best to be as comfortable as possible.
When our last 'bird' left the nest, we downsized (moved) and my wife and I took the 2 spare bedrooms as offices (we both now work out of the house). It also reinforces our 'no return' policy. LOL
If I were to do it with kids still around there would have to be a 'do not disturb' policy in place. Everybody is outside or quiet from 8-5 when dad's working. Being a parent and trying to work at home would be damned near impossible with TVs and stereo's blasting and trying to figure out if they are just playing or really trying to kill each other.
My bro-in-law does it, his kids 13,9,and 7 know not to make dad come out of the office. Penalties are severe, he seperates them and gives them educational things to do.
 

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Mike, I actually like my JB getup, T-shirt, baggies and Key West Keds (flip-flops). Never can tell when you may need a break and have to fall into the pool!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Teetorbilt said:
Being a parent and trying to work at home would be damned near impossible trying to figure out if they are just playing or really trying to kill each other.
Teetor, I'm glad to know it's not just my kids who act like that. Two of my kids are a year apart and they're either best of friends or sworn enemies.

It looks like there's a consencus that I need to enforce stricter "do not disturb" policies. That's OK because it fits into my "you're the meanest dad ever" persona (they always want me to sit with them at the end of the day though, despite my "old world" approach to parenting).
 

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Rick, My kids are 2 yr.s apart to the month, now 20 and 22 and GONE.
As far as raising them with the 'old' values, they both survived our no BS approach. 'Spare the rod and spoil the child' ruled in our home and we ended up with 2 well adjusted, well educated children and no drug or alcohol problems. Ben was just accepted to Texas A&M and Sarah graduated from Wellesley last year and is now studying for her Masters at the University of Vienna. 2 for 2, pretty good nowdays.
Always remember that you are a parent and your primary duty is to steer your children into adulthood to be productive members of society. Trying too hard to be a friend or a buddy first will lead to a world of hurt. Want examples? Just ask.
 

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Wifey didn't teach then because I made enough money as an employee (about 40% more). She did all the home stuff. Now she's back to teaching for the health care benefits (I don't have them yet) and to pick up some of the income slack.

Here is to wifes who go back to teaching to support their husbands! Give them all a hug and a beer! My trophy bride went back to teaching after 7 years. I had been in the corporate world and no time for a life. She has gone back for the benefits so I could go out on my own. She is having a big readjustment as she is back to teaching basic math to a bunch of thugs, druggies, and no-accounts. I would love to catch some of these bums away from school for the way she is treated.

Enough of that - I just had to get that off the chest. Rick, it is a blessing to have such wonderful brides. Best of luck and hugs to your bride. Jay
 

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jg, IMHO teachers ought to be paid the same as professional athletes. Todays kids demand respect for nothing and give none in return, muy BS! Who put a child in charge of the bus? Adults are supposed to guide a child into adulthood. Teachers are not supposed to be surrogate parents. I am unsure as to what can be done about this but somebody, somewhere needs to get a grip! I could write an entire piece on this, maybe a book.
May God bless your wife and you take care of her too.
 

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Yeeter I agree with what you said, and not to know any teachers... but most of the teachers I had didn't deserve what they were making.

I think the people who mold our youth, and essentially mold society should be better trained and much better paid.

I'll tell you what can be done about it, or more importantly what used to be done about it. A back hand to the noggin fixes alot of attitude real quick. I truly do appreciate some of the whoopins I got... but ya can't do that any more. I've told my wife to be (less than 5 more months of freedom) that she can expect me to spend a few nights in jail if that's what it takes to raise my kids right.
 

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Teetorbilt said:
jg, IMHO teachers ought to be paid the same as professional athletes.
I wouldn't mind them being paid on the same level as pro athletes as long as we switch the school systems to a for profit business model and parents have to pay for their kids education. As long as the public school system is funded by property taxes on my house and by my federal income taxes then I want the salaries as low as the market will bear.

What I would like to see is the school systems using their funds much more prudently and base part of their government funding on the national achievement testing. Like most non-profit organizations whose budgets are based on the dole from the government, unlike a business when times get tough you have to get by with less, the schools launch a heart tugging campaign in the community and start a ballet proposal to raise the mil levy on property taxes. Personally I don't see anything wrong with 30-40 kids in a class room, having to have 15 students per teacher is crap to me. I would rather see smaller class sizes in the elementary grades where such individual care would benefit a kid the most, but once they get into junior high and such it matters less and less, let teachers teach to 30-40 kids at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Grumpy said:
I'll tell you what can be done about it...A back hand to the noggin. I've told my wife to be that she can expect me to spend a few nights in jail if that's what it takes to raise my kids right.
Grumpy- Like all other major issues I highly encourage you to make sure BEFORE YOU GET MARRIED! that you and the bride are on the same page. Me and my little cutie don't see eye to eye on a number of issues, such as spanking, and it's the source of a lot of angst.
 

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Yeah we are on the same page with all the major subjects. We both agree that I can discipline them with the occasional spanking for serious issues as long as I don't beat them daily, like my father did to me.

I also inform her daily that in order to teach them a strong work ethic I plan to be a tyrant. No allowance. You want money? Clean my car. Take out the trash. Polish my shoes.

They will learn real soon, that the toy "They really need" is not worth sniffing my stinky feet. Plus they will treat their toys better if they actually paid for them by sniffing my stinky feet.
 

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We used to own a roofing company and I had an office both at home and in an industrial park. I'll take my home office anyday. Working in cutoffs and bunny slippers can't be beat. See, when you're female (grin) you have the capacity to do billing, a load of laundry, and put a roast in the oven. It's called multi-tasking.

Now I am a freelance writer and I have a home office. Same cutoffs and bunny slippers.

Seriously, for a wife and mom, there is no better arrangement. (wink)
 
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