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First work from home job, normal for lots of down time?

2 months ago

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Hey everyone, So I’m about 2 months into my new work from home job as a Project Manager/Purchasing for a commercial plumbing company. While some days can get busy, I find myself with a lot of downtime, especially between waiting for email responses, price quotes and waiting for material lists to order material. I’ve always had jobs like being a plumber or working retail where there was basically 0 downtime but now it feels almost like I’m doing something wrong because I’m not constantly busy. Has anyone else had similar experience working from home or even in the office , especially in a similar role/field? Appreciate all the help/advice on this :) ***Update*** I want to thank everyone who has already posted a response. There are alot of good advice and suggestions here for anyone who works from home and is feeling similar to me. Really appreciate it!!


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    Th3-Dude-Abides

    Office jobs are like this in general a lot of the time, and I have found that my job has gained more downtime since I’ve been working from home. I had the same feeling as you in my first office job - I had only worked in fast food before that, so I was used to always moving and being on my feet. Now, parts of my workday include just sitting there being available to work when something comes along.

    2 months ago

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      ImJustGreene

      Good to know I’m not alone. I enjoy working an office job, especially from home, but the amount of downtime just messes with me. Guess I just have to find ways to stay busy.

      2 months ago

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    FiguringItOut--

    Definitely. Feels like you’re cheating or something. But if you’re getting your work done, that’s what matters. I personally prefer jobs with less downtime because the days tend to go faster. Maybe you’re like that too. Everyone’s different. Just because something is “normal”, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for you.

    2 months ago

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      ImJustGreene

      Exactly, I’m the type of person who rather be busy to make the day fly by

      2 months ago

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    Varvatos_Vex

    Whatever you do don’t ask for more work. Once they know you can do more it will avalanche.

    2 months ago

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      Honestbabe2021

      Best advice ever.

      2 months ago

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    holografia

    This happens a lot in the office as well, the thing is you notice it more when you’re home because you can do whatever you want

    2 months ago

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    popfartz9

    I do work really quickly. If it’s not a busy day, I only spend 1-3 hours on actual work and the rest of the day I’m just checking emails. It’s normal

    2 months ago

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    SanDiegoCK

    I intentionally stayed in the office for as long as I could. Recently just made the switch to work from home and honestly didn’t know why I was so resistant. I work at a job where I talk on the phone a lot and in between calls I have a lot of downtime. Usually at the office I would be sitting at my desk doing absolutely nothing. Now I’m home listening to podcasts. Making some food. Using my time in ways to where otherwise it would be wasted. Working from home is the shit.

    2 months ago

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    teddyelisebear

    I know how you feel. I WFH as well. This is normal. It is not possible to fill every minute of the day unless you are overloaded. Since you have some bandwidth take the time to double check your work. Also look for opportunity to help outside your role. That will not go unnoticed by management.

    2 months ago

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    Tiaan

    I've found the downtime to be similar compared to being in the office. The only difference is that I don't feel compelled to always "look busy" like I did back in the office. Now, I use the downtime to avoid burnout while still getting my work done

    2 months ago

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    Honestbabe2021

    Mine goes from chill to horrifically busy in minutes. I hate how up and down it is. It makes it impossible to know when I can get high 😂 kidding it can be a mind F sometimes.

    2 months ago

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    luseegoosey

    Hmm idk how much you get paid and if this is in the scope of the role, downtime sometimes is expected to be a time to explore side projects that could for example, optimize operations. So is there anything you could do to optimize your processes? Organize? Prepare for scaling up? If not, enjoy the time. I'm on the other side of the spectrum where so much little shit needs to get done but there's too much daily workload

    2 months ago

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      ImJustGreene

      Absolutely, that is something I was thinking I can do, work on some stuff to help streamline certain processes. Appreciate the advice!

      2 months ago

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    firestonemountain

    I would not complain if I had downtime from my job especially if it’s from home…

    2 months ago

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      ImJustGreene

      Definitely not complaining, I appreciate the down time especially having worked jobs where there is none. Just want to make sure I’m not alone since I’ve never had a “office” job

      2 months ago

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    starsandmo0ns

    Now that I’ve been home for over a year I notice there is a trend in my downtime. In the office, I spent a lot of downtime just chatting with coworkers, but now that downtime is cleaning or doing the dishes or cooking. I think I felt like I did more because I was with my coworkers, but in reality I was shooting the breeze. Working retail there was never a break, and you always have to do something to look busy. Office work is definitely more relaxed as long as you’re not micro managed

    2 months ago

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    la_ct

    I don’t find I have much downtime at my WFH job. I’m pretty slammed all day with meetings, trainings, updating documents, etc.

    2 months ago

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    DavidOneMillion

    Nyoooooopppeee. I work from home, have since before the pandemic. I have zero down-time. On occasion, when I have caught up on all the urgent stuff, there's always some back-burner stuff that I can do to improve productivity/services. This sounds to me like you're new to the job and haven't yet really found all the stuff that you could be doing to be better at it. If you're happy where you're at, it sounds like maybe you could get away with continuing as is, but if you're looking to advance, let your boss know that you could use a few more responsibilities without being over-tasked. Unless s/he's garbage, you'll be appreciated for it.

    2 months ago

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    OutrageousMix5145

    I'm kind of in the same boat! I worked in restaurants and retail my whole life, until my WFH job now. I do have quite a lot of down time, and it used to make me feel really guilty not putting in 7.5 hours a day. I've learned though that with the amount of technology and resources we have these days, a full 8 hour work day in many instances is just silly. We can complete tasks more efficiently than we ever could, so as long as your work gets done, don't feel too bad :)

    2 months ago

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    ImJustGreene

    Really appreciate all of the advice and suggestions. It seems like the common consensus is that with most office jobs, there is going to be some downtime but that I should try to utilize that time to get ahead with work, work on something to further my career or just find things around the house to do. As a lot of you seem to relate to, going from a job where you have no time to sit to one where all I do is sit, is going to be a adjustment in itself but I’ll take all the advice I got today to make work that much better. Cheers!

    2 months ago

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    Tempintern23

    Well, i'm a freelancer and WFH. It's normal to have lots of downtime. Personally when i have downtime at home. Just do other stuff, i reach out to other clients. Check up on emails, calls. Or maybe even cook lunch/dinner early or meaprep or sit down in the living room watch netflix with popcorn lol especially if it's on a rainy day. Put my blanket on, popcorn + netflix. You gotta learn how to have fun with downtime.

    2 months ago

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    OneJumpSummer

    I HATE downtime so I get it OP but i sometimes appreciate some down time on days that I have personal stuff to do. Can you read? Learn a new work related skill while there? Take a class and do classwork during your downtime? Learn a foreign language? Journal or write?

    2 months ago

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    GlumWillow8816

    I work as an inbound chat customer service rep, so I have zero downtime. If I did have downtime, I would work on my personal goals. You could try that. Start journaling or working on bettering yourself. As long as you're not being heavily monitored, you could do yoga or whatever you wanted.

    2 months ago

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    stanklin_frubbs

    As you get more experience at your job you'll have more to do. If you can, try to find projects you can work on on your own, or find articles related to your field you can read. Basically keep learning as much as you can.

    2 months ago

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    edubwub

    I find that the extremes of my workload have gotten worse since going WFH. When I'm busy, it's insane. When there's not much going on, I may have days where I do under an hour of actual work. I've embraced it, I do a lot of chores around the house or hang out in Discord. I just keep up with emails and no one complains.

    2 months ago

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    CarmeloManning

    In a similar situation and it's where I appreciate an opportunity to do chores or hit the gym for an hour.

    2 months ago

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    PushItHard

    That's office work sometimes. Incredibly busy at times, and incredibly slow at others. If you're planning to stay in roles like these, you could always fill the down time working on getting a professional certification.

    2 months ago

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    runninggraduate

    congrats on the new job! may i ask how you got that opportunity? I know that the trades, architecture and engineering industries do not have a lot of remote job options. I have construction management and architecture experience and seeking a remote position. Any recommendations? thanks and congrats again!

    2 months ago

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      ImJustGreene

      Thank you for that! As for how I got the position, it came down to being lucky and fortunate enough for the opportunity. My experience comes from working for my fathers plumbing and heating company for many years. He has since sold the business, moved and is now a foreman for the company I work for and he got me the interview. The only reason it is remote is because our main office is about 3 hours away and we are getting more work on my side of the state so that is why I work remote. I do have to travel to job sites and meetings occasionally but most of my work could really be done from anywhere, especially the purchasing aspect. Hope this helps! :)

      2 months ago

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    coolfroglover

    I think this is normal. At my last job there were some 50-60 hour weeks and some where I barely did 30 hours of productive work.

    2 months ago

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    AlienLighter2019

    I know from friends that even receptionist jobs can have a lot of downtime. And by the way, so can retail. But in retail, you're expected to stand around look busy anyway.

    2 months ago

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      ImJustGreene

      Absolutely. Having worked in a particular fruit named store that sold phone ;), for 5 years, there were morning where not a single person walked in to a Sunday where there wasn’t even a second to breathe

      2 months ago

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    McNasty420

    Is this a contract position?

    2 months ago

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      ImJustGreene

      Nope, full time permanent

      2 months ago

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    shaoting

    I was WFH from March 2020 - July 2020 when I volunteered to come back in a few days per week. While I was full-time WFH, I regularly my daily and unexpected duties generally before noon. In my case, this was because there were no coworkers to stop in my office to interrupt/gossip, no need for physical meetings to run overly long, etc. When you remove all of that, all that's left is the actual work, which surprisingly doesn't take much time to complete. Afternoons were my "downtime," wherein I focused on work-related housekeeping, personal housekeeping (I actually painted the entire upstairs of my old home during downtime), etc. Now that I and my colleagues are all back in the office, I find myself once more not getting as much done during the day.

    2 months ago

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    kkcky

    Same here. I work 12 hours a day rotating 3 days or 4 days a week. In the 12 hours, I only work 4 hours, nap 4 hours and watch Netflix for 4 hours. Working from home is the best thing ever.

    2 months ago

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    joshyjosh24

    I've been working from home for 3 weeks and I've had the exact same experience.

    2 months ago

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    Sweetness27

    Comes with type of work. I might have to do 5 quotes in a day then not have any to do for a week. You don't just come out and say I'm bored. Pick what you want to do and expand your role. Reformat your price list, determine products that have experienced larger price increases, confirm margins on all products, research incoming supply issues, research alternative brands that you don't currently use. Have you had one on one's with large customers? Are they happy? How have variances been the last 12 months. Are they on target? Frankly it seems odd that you are bored at a time where plumbing and HVAC supplies are such a large issue and prices are going up across the board. Seems like I spend an hour on the phone every other day listening to why prices are skyrocketing. Depending on the company you'll probably be fine doing bare minimum. But you likely won't go anywhere, hell people will probably forget about you if it's 100% from home haha. If that's your thing go for it.

    2 months ago

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    ReklessS0ul

    Generally speaking, yeah. In all likelihood we all had more downtime at the office, it just couldn’t be used unless you wanted middle management on your ass about slacking off.

    2 months ago

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    m4star1

    Came here to say that working for 8 hours straight is a complete fallacy. No one does that, in office or at home. Our brains could not handle that. Sure, you might be "busy" with things, but *actual, meaningful* work? Nope. Doesn't happen. There's an excellent book called Deep Work by Cal Newport. Read that and you'll truly understand how much we lie to ourselves about this concept.

    2 months ago

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    BTownPhD

    Use the down time to connect with coworkers. Get ahead. Improve. 😁 Enjoy!

    2 months ago

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    hardgeeklife

    I like to use WFH downtime to take care of chores. The supermarket and the laundromat are less crowded during work hours, so I run those errands between meetings

    2 months ago

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    akorn123

    At first lots of downtime but you have to make sure when nobody is telling you do something that you are learning things. There is going to be online resources inside your company where you can learn things from.

    2 months ago

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    4Ever2Thee

    I see people post stuff like this at least once a week and every time I think, where the hell can I find one of these jobs with decent pay and all this down time?! I don't hate my job and the pay is decent but it's a lot, I'm constantly switching gears and playing catchup; so all I can say is enjoy the down time

    2 months ago

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    TSAngels1993

    Best advice I heard from an old boss. Enjoy the downtime because you never know when you’ll get some again. You could all of a sudden get busy and then for the rest of your career hav minimal downtime.

    2 months ago

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    life_liberty_persuit

    Fill the free time with skill building and self improvement. Both you and your employer will benefit from this and it will make you a stronger candidate should you ever exit your position.

    2 months ago

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    WadeLikesPlanes

    I want your job

    2 months ago

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    ProcessTaz

    It's a normal thing for workaholics to feel that. And even if you are not, I understand the feeling. I'm currently doing a job where I'm paid for 25% of my day. 75% is just me waiting to be told what to do. I realize that it is not sustainable. I'm starting a new job next week where I expect myself to be waaaaay more occupied. Anyway, adding value for your company by helping in other departments? Or starting your own venture part-time? Or playing poker online? The choice is yours lol!

    2 months ago

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    tyrghast

    Every job has downtime, but right now you're not a prisoner at the office forced to keep up appearances lest a manager think they're not squeezing their money's worth out of you.

    2 months ago

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    attackfarce

    With that downtime, find a hobby bro. No need to get anxious not having to work every second of the day on the job if you can help it.

    2 months ago

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    Upbeat_Copy7875

    Search David Graeber - Bullshit jobs. Should help explain :)

    2 months ago

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    SnapeProbDiedAVirgin

    Currently WFM. I do maybe about an hour to 90 minutes of actual work a day and get paid fairly well. It is completely normal

    2 months ago

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    pacificghostwriter

    This post is super helpful to me. It's my first time in a WFH setup too and my last job before this was really tedious. Now I feel like I'm on the opposite side of the spectrum and I feel guilty for not doing anything. I have an 8hr shift but I almost always just spend 2hrs on my daily work tasks but leave my channels open so I can go back when needed. I just spend my downtime reading books 😂😂

    2 months ago

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    sjmiv

    It's a lot like that for me. I knock out all my admin work first thing in morning after cleaning up my email box. On slow days I take care of things around the house while checking on email and ph calls every 30 mins to an hour. I look at it like I'm "on call" much of the time.

    2 months ago

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    MessyAngelo

    Learn to day trade. I wish and wish i could have a job at a desk where i can have charts on to the side to monitor. Its hard to day trade working in the field. People get all pissy because your on your phone. Lol

    2 months ago

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    radman84

    Welcome to corporate America!

    2 months ago

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    Only_BlackTShirt_Guy

    I do a lot of BSing at work (stock trading, reading up news, personal shit). Now I play video games while work from home. Enjoy

    2 months ago

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    Zealousideal-Cow6626

    I work in corporate and had a lot of down time but trust me, you are doing nothing wrong. This will balance out when you’re doing the busy work and when it takes up all your time. Think of it as a payback when you have to work overtime.

    2 months ago

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    Kidcody44

    I took a new position within a company. I went from being slammed busy, super toxic work environment, to bored as hell and still a toxic work environment. Lol as for me, I cannot tolerate sitting at a desk all day. It’s driving me crazy. I hate trying to keep up with emails and pricing and all that constantly. A lot of it is our systems and SOP’s are absolutely awful.

    2 months ago

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