working from home?

maybe should have posted this under the job section.. but wanted to get a response from a bigger audience..

we all have computers that can do the job and the know how... (or at least that is our goal)

so i was just wondering how many people out there work from home or even think about one day working from home..

walking around the house in your undies... with a piece of toast and coffee .... uninterupted ...

using messenger to talk deadlines and comunicate with colleagues..

bypassing all the traffic and ratrace..

your favourite music blaring out at your choice of volume..

... and your trusty dog at your feet??

mcdrewski's picture

friends who've done it say that what they miss most is the ability to talk things over, plan, critique, brainstorm etc. with their colleagues.

palantir's picture

// doomer mode
What if in the years to come, economic hardship hits everyone extremely hard? This is possible (and I believe probable, don?t ask me why?), and in that case working from home will become an essential part of maintaining a job. Millions of people commuting to work everyday is extremely expensive and wasteful, especially when it?s not completely necessary. There are many jobs that could be performed at home (not just games), and in the perfect world they would be. If times get tough, I believe many companies would prefer to have the bulk of their employees working from home ? in order to save the dollars that allow them to stay in business. Though that?s assuming a harsh future that most people don?t believe in. Will things be this good forever? Time will tell.
//end doomer mode

-And working from home would be way cool!! [:D]

Jacana's picture

Just to add to what Palantir has said - as internet speeds become faster and faster it will allow for larger data transfers and mean that we can have net meetings that run a lot more smoothly....

rezn0r's picture

As someone who's worked from home in the past, I have to say that it's not all roses.

It's incredibly difficult to remain productive when you're working from home for a variety of reasons.

Firstly, Instant Messaging is no substitute for a team dynamic. You'll find that you're not working as much as you would be if you were working together in a work specific environment. It doesn't matter how motivated you are, you just NEED to have that human element.

Secondly, when you live in the space that you work, you'll find it hard to keep yourself on task. You'll wake up when you feel like it, when you hit a stumbling block you'll jump over to slashdot or will go make some toast... if you use the same PC for work, play and general screwing around, you'll find it immensely difficult to stay focused on work. The internet is your worst enemy in this situation. Probably the best thing you can do is turn off MSN and kick out your network cable.

You'll find your motivation waning because you have no place to go in the day, except the 3 metres between your bed and your PC. It's a really shabby lifestyle (you're a domestic housewife with homework... any young go getter type will vomit at this thought).

Compare this to placing yourself in an office every day with people who are insanely good at what they do, working as a team... being a part of the machine (rather than a displaced component). Seperating work and play. You'll meet new people, do new things and find yourself a part of what's called life.

I don't believe the "virtual office" can work (or at least it will never be a substitute for a real workplace). This is partly why a vast majority of MODs never even get past 10% complete.


Leto's picture

My current workplace has plans to eventually allow everyone to be able to work from home, using applications like COITalk and Skype that can allow you to conference, even share your desktop, and talk with anyone/everyone at anytime. It all sounds good because we could all be spread over the four corners of the globe and still be able to talk like we're sitting round the conference table.

The first problem I have with that is that, unless you're very disciplined, work-life and home-life merge. For me, there has to be a clear separation between work and home otherwise I'd turn into one of those workalholic types that suffers a mental breakdown or dies of heart failure before making it to 50. The second problem is that your world becomes so small. The commute to work consists of the 10 second walk from the kitchen to the home office. Unless you've got some sort of social group of friends to get you out of the house, that's all your world consists of.

quote:Originally posted by rezn0r
I don't believe the "virtual office" can work (or at least it will never be a substitute for a real workplace).

Have to say I couldn't agree more with that.

unknownuser2's picture

It can work, you just have to be very disciplined, motivated, 110% dedicated and have extremely powerful will to suceed.
Im an example of exactly what this topic is all about.

I Picked at bits and pieces of small work here and there for various clients for quite some time, before long I needed more people to help. But without the money to setup a studio - I had to make best use of the time / money that was available to me.
Hence my virtual network began (mostly of brisbanites so i was actually able to call meetings for that physical factor)

Since then things have moved on a bit, we have a new studio in Teneriffe - But with almost a couple years worth of exactly this kind of experience and 2 major projects under my belt ive found that the tough part is all about finding the right people. Without team players this will never work at all. Ive found over the last couple of years thats its definately for some people, not for others.

Mick1460's picture

Working from home for me is the best, most productive, most inspiring and most efficient way to run my business. This is not to say that it works for everyone though!

I suffer badly with insomnia. I am having a particularly bad stretch at the moment with only about 3 hours per 24 hours. However, with a home studio - THIS IS GREAT FOR BUSINESS! Jumping up in the middle of the night and talking to a client in the States, then popping outside to record some night ambience, then doing some exercise, having a bite to eat, then back to work - its all up to me! With an office 9-5 situation, this could not happen.

Now, the point of being motivated. Why do we go to work each and every day and do our 9-5??? - To pay the bills and put food on the table. If that isn?t enough motivation for home workers to get off the net and games and start working...I don?t know what is! You need to work to earn money to live - simple!

I do understand that it can be hard gathering inspiration. I?m am very lucky because sitting right behind me is 9 acres of bushland, dams, a swimming pool and a tennis court - perfect for inspiration - but that?s all from working at home.

Now, I also have 41 contract employees from around the world working for me on various projects and guess what...they all work from home. This is perfect because everybody works in their own time and their own motivation.

For the future, I don?t think that there are many game development houses that make everything 'in-house', especially with the connection of the internet as a means of virtual interaction.

Anyway, again, this is just me and everyone is completely different! Great topic though!

Mick Gordon

tojo's picture

yeh...definately something that is worth thinking about..

the idea is really attractive to me... and i have worked from home in the past as an illustrator and designer...

i really like what mick said about the bushland, swimming pool and the tennis court :)
.....sounds like the perfect working enviroment to me...

in the past i would make good money in short bursts... very freeing feeling...and then i would spend another 3 weeks learning game or 3d stuff (until the money ran out:) )...

i would love to be in that situation again sometime in the future..
only with game asset creation [:)]

Rahnem's picture

quote:Originally posted by mcdrewski

friends who've done it say that what they miss most is the ability to talk things over, plan, critique, brainstorm etc. with their colleagues.

I'll attest to that.

animal's picture

I'm trying to get work like this, work from home. I live in New Zealand and haven't been able to get a job in a local studio yet, so it think this is a great way to get some more experience and some money. I've been working on a mod for 18 months now, so i'm quite used to working this way. Any tips on how to get these kind of jobs, off-site contract work. I keep an eye on all the major forums and new sites for job postings. I've been applying for jobs that pop up, but haven't been successful as yet.

What things helped you to get this kind of work.

Gibbz's picture

I think it would be hard to learn new things from the people around you if your working form home. Espeically if its your first time in the industry.

unknownuser2's picture

Gibbz: Once again - it comes down to the individual - youll only learn as fast as you allow yourself. Here good communication with our contractors is the *key* ingredient to running a successful pipeline. We are constantly chatting / talking to one another ( bullshit and workstuff ) and producing shots of where we are up to and as we progress - every 2 hours, as if we were right there anyway - the only part thats undisputable is the face to face human contact - but we call meetings every few days to talk and see how everyone is going - discuss new possibilties / trouble with the pipline / new ideas.

Personally I wouldnt have it any other way. [:)]