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Ask HN: Are you/anyone you know actually *thriving* under lockdown, WFH? How?
16 points by supernova87a 2 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 30 comments

Yes. Wife & I greatly prefer remote/WFH. The hours of BS meetings are easier to deal with in the comfort of my own home with food/drink/bathroom quickly available without queues. I have a treadmill for walks during breaks, before and after work. The time saved not commuting has gone towards home cooking / more consistent daily workouts / sleep.

That said we are DINK, so results may vary. However most of my coworkers with kids have figured out some sort of childcare arrangement and are happier than before. Several coworkers with small children are cherishing the extra time bonding that they would never have had before.

The people suffering are those who were probably struggling before - two income households who needed public schools open as a form of free daycare.

Also a lot of extroverts & type-a managers imagining they are suffering because it's harder to BS, appear busy and politic from home.

WFH for the last 10 years. 2020 I went from full time to part time at the same company to better homeschool my two children. No more on call. Lost benefits and we moved onto my wife's plan (not as generous). She went from five days to four. Letting go some of the work responsibilities has reduced the related work stress. "Work" problems seem so much smaller now. Family bonds feel stronger. There is a lot of laughter at home. Our work/life balance improvement has been worth the financial changes but no career or professional growth for 2020. Just maintaining.

I am. No more loud office. No loud coworkers trying to out opinion each other. I can take calls from prospective companies anytime during the day. Plus my own kitchen, bar, toilet. I’m having the time of my life.

I absolutely love not having to waste 2-3+ hours daily on my commute. Pre-covid, reducing that commute was not an option without paying significantly more on housing. In fact, I don't mind working extra hours if it means I don't waste time on commuting. Personally I think that's a win-win for both myself and my employer, but the company is traditional conservative enough that permanent or even majority WFH is a nonstarter.

The only downside is that we live in a relatively small (900 sq ft) condo that does not have a balcony and does not get much sunlight, so my wife and I get cabin fever. We also take the pandemic serious enough that we do not venture out except for absolute necessities. We've decided our next place to live will be detached housing, or at least an apartment with a large balcony.

In terms of social life, this isn't a problem though since we are both introverts. We only have a handful of close friends, and most of them are also taking the pandemic seriously enough that they are likewise bunkering in at their homes.

I'm saving around 2 hours of commute per day by WFH, and it allows me to see my kids a lot more so this pandemic has been great to have more quality time with them. They grow so fast, it's nice have the chance to see them more.

As parents of a young child (i.e. not much of a social life anyway), the main thing the pandemic changed for us was saving the commute time by working from home. Losing our childcare during the first wave made the work quite challenging, but once the daycares re-opened in our province and the Covid-related anxieties subsided, it's been overall better than pre-Covid.

I'm happy with WFH. At least where I am located calling it a lockdown is a bit of a stretch. That said, I haven't been going out, going to other people's homes, or inviting people to mine. I do miss going out to get lunch, dinner, and drinks. However, I've saved quite a bit not doing those things.

The biggest positive change for me has been eliminating my commute, which usually takes 2-3 hours per day. I've used that time for weightlifting and have stuck with it 3-5 (usually 5) days a week since March. I have also been able to get more sleep due to not needing to get up as early to commute to work.

Beyond that, I have a much easier time focusing in my home office. Most workplaces are loud and distracting. Peopling walking by or having impromptu conversations by your desk is a major distraction that seems to happen every day in an office.

The biggest benefit for me has been working from home. My wife stayed home with our young daughter before the pandemic, and this has reinforced that decision. Being able to work from home and seeing her go from 6mo to 16mo and being present for all those milestones has been a blessing, especially with an accommodating workplace. It hasn’t been easy as we live in a small home, but we do what we can.

So, I wouldn't say we're necessarily thriving, but we're doing the best we can to see the silver linings and I’m thankful that I’m able to work at home.

In a similar boat.

Our first was born this past June, and while it hasn't been easy—FYI TO ANYONE READING, BABIES ARE A LOT OF WORK—I feel like this pandemic couldn't have come at a better time, if it had to come at all.

There will be a point soon, I'm sure, where I may start to feel he's missing out on building relationships with other toddlers and trusted adults. But for now, all things considered, we can't really complain.

I was frequently reminded as a kid how much trouble kids are, so I was totally ready for that when I became a parent. What I was not ready for was how shockingly fun and beautiful the whole process has been.

Babies can also be a ton of money. My kid developed a condition which will pretty much lead to me hitting max out of pocket every year on the medical insurance.

I have multiple kids like that, and after more than two decades of being a parent I still love every damn day of it.

Once I got a remote office to work in, WFH got way, way, way better for me. Having a small office at a WeWork has been awesome.

I need a lot of dedicated focus when I'm writing code, which I've spent much more time doing lately. Having a dedicated space for this really helps. I still miss travelling and having as much time for myself as I did then, but I also really like being able to spend more time with my wife.

(I also like having the office because I need a commute; being in our apartment all day was a huge letdown in the past, even with walks and such.)

I've been WFH since the mid 80s. For me, this had been a goal since I first heard of the concept of WFH back in the mid 70's.

I've never really though of it as anything but a positive. I don't have to drive to work. I can take a break when I want and start late and work late (or early) if I want.

I code so not getting interrupted or distracted and having a quiet place to work is a huge plus.

I've always been comfortable with solitude though. It's a lack of it that wears on me.

Super curious to know if anyone out there is actually doing better than before, while under this virus situation? Personally, family, work-wise, hobbies?

Do you know anyone who has really made the most (in an unexpectedly exceeding way) of this crisis? Personally all I can say positive is that I ride my bike far more than I ever have in my entire life.

I used to work from home semi regularly and always enjoyed it, I found the transition to 100% WFH easy and net positive. Conveniently I had setup a new home office in late 2019. No need to waste time and effort commuting and I am more productive at home with less distractions. I also had more time to think and reflect and took the opportunity to change job/employer to a role I find more satisfying and meaningful.

I find that I exercise more regularly as the logistics are easier - no need to try and get up at 6AM for a class, or forget my running shoes, or try to lock my bike up securely. Everything I need is here at home.

With more time at home I've had the opportunity to improve my cooking which I've always wanted to do and the extra time with my partner has been great.

Downtimes have been learning to live with less alone time; whilst my partner and I are comfortable and do things separately its not quite the same alone as say a full day WFH whilst they were out for dinner or in the office.

Seeing my family in person less often is not ideal but I've compensated with video chats and in the process I now talk to my family more frequently and with more of them. I'd say that is a positive.

I see people on sites like instagram that seem to need to demonstrate how they have used this situation to somehow radically change their lives with extreme diets or levels of fitness etc. which is unrealistic expectations. For me its been about gradually doing more of the good and less of the bad, and overall found a good balance.

To be honest, I love working from home that I never want to return to an office again.

That means I want now to change my job. Remote FTW!

2020 was one of the best years of my life!

I’m doing substantially better than before. Now I have been working from home for decades so that hasn’t changed. I have an online business that went from slow decline to growing noticeably.

But the truth is I have thrived for kind of a dumb reason. I have been paranoid all my life and by the time Covid hit I was ready for everything. Somehow the fact that my family was totally prepared lifted me out of a depression I have been in for a long time.

To be clear, it is not that I am happy others are hurting. I think there was some kind of unconscious bit flipping where my slightly embarrassing habit of expecting the worst paid off.

Also I sold my office and bought an insanely beautiful farm 5 minutes from my house so I am over the moon about that.

My base income went up by $14k and I made extra on the side. 2020 was a good year for us.

My son works for a small firm in Nashville which writes and sells software for conveyor-belt machines and similar warehouse-y equipment (Amazon, UPS, that type of thing). So as you can imagine that's pretty much a bottomless market right now. He makes more money that I do, which of course is what we hope for all our children.

I thrived briefly, but even as an introvert the lack of any social interaction and being locked in a decent sized apt is starting to get to me. I used to love living in cities, now it just frustrates me and seems like an idiotic waste of money. The whole idea of socializing in my head also feels like it's no longer worth it since the barrier of entry is now higher than any time I can remember in my life - which as an introvert was already pretty high (why I lived in cities to lower this barrier a little bit).

Sure, made 50k on consulting billable hours bonus in the manufacturing space. 10k over the year before. Company profits up 25% YoY. If you are willing to work for it, the work and money is out there.

BTW, I WFH doing manufacturing ERP system implementations and custom development. I also have Psoriatic Arthritis, so have been pretty much sidelined at home since March 1, 2020. Used to travel a few times a year for work, which was nice, but companies are definitely starting to see the cost benefits of not paying consultants to come onsite. So I expect this is more or less a permanent situation. For most companies the servers don't live onsite, so what's the point having someone come to their office to install software, configure it, and customize it when it is all done remotely anyways? What would normally be $20k a week with travel expenses is only $10k remote. We are pretty much pros with Zoom and Microsoft Teams now and make use of digital whiteboards for presentations. Travel for implementations hit the ridiculous point last January anyways when we went onsite at one customer's HQ and all the people we were talking to were Zooming in - we were the only ones there in-person!

Do I feel fortunate for my situation? Absolutely. But at the same time I worked my way up from a helpdesk-like position for $12 an hour to where I am now 25+ years later. I have earned this and then some.

I wasn't triving before and I'm still not thriving now. Pretty much the same as before the pandemic for me. A few new pros and cons.

I am. But i've been WFH for ~8 years now. My wife seems to do well too, though i think she may prefer going in.

The important distinction for us i think is that we both have offices. Easily closing up as needed.

Doing fine, enjoying the loss of the forty-minute commute each way.

I do regret that the time-saving came at the cost of such damage to the economy, and to people working e.g. restaurant and hair salon jobs.

Very interesting topic. Personally, I know many suffering burnout except those who have a balanced life before lockdown. People who have a safe social network. But when it comes to entrepreneurship it's a disaster.

Work is the same. My commute is short, but not having to do it is saving me a lot of fuel expense. Every day I am not on the road is one less day of dealing with crazy drivers. I like the risk mitigation.

Exercise. Vitamin D. Cut down alcohol and cigs lately.


moved to the Appalachia’s

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