Just got a computer job - Any tips for me?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by mfuchs88, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. mfuchs88 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2011
    Hey all! So I was just a few minutes ago given the opportunity to take a job that would require me to spend hours on the computer at a time. I get to work from home, but will be spending 5 or 6 hours a day over the summer on the computer working. I am only in high school and have never had a job like this before, so I was wondering if any of you had any good tips for me when it comes to the do's and dont's of working a computer job. This will probably carry into the school year as well, but obviously with less hours spent working. I know a lot of you work online and at your computer and a lot of you are more experienced and knowledgeable than I, so I thought I would come to you for help. Thanks so much everyone!
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    make sure you get up and walk around every now and then lol
  3. soloer macrumors 6502a


    Sep 27, 2004
    What type of tips are you looking for, exactly? Taking breaks? How do do your job efficiently? We probably need more details as to what the job entails.
  4. diane143 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Take real lunch/supper breaks, not at the computer.
  5. mfuchs88 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2011
    Thanks for all the help guys! Basically, what I'd be doing is just straight up data entry, but using custom software and a custom gooey. I was just basically wondering what you all did to make it less stressful for yourselves, release tension, avoid body pain, reduce eye strain, and just overall stay happy while working. I currently have a desk chair with an Apple Keyboard and Apple Magic Trackpad. I might be getting another mouse to use because using a trackpad for this long can't be good for my hand. If you think of anything, just chime in!
  6. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    What job is this because I would love to take it (in HS), but mom would hate me for it :D says I am on computer enough.
  7. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
  8. espiritujo macrumors member


    Sep 19, 2011
    columbia, sc
    I'd get some anti glare glasses just to reduce eye strain. Even if you don't get eye strain, spending hours behind that computer screen adds up, and I've noticed a difference actually. I spend 9 hours a day behind a computer and my eyes get tired without using the glasses. Granted, it might be a lot of money, so it's something that you can wait on. Give it a couple of weeks and look ahead and see if you will do this job for a long time, and then consider investing in them.
  9. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Create some sort of "signal" or "routine" to indicate to yourself and to the people in the house that you are either "at work" or "not at work".

    For example, I've heard of people who put on scarf or a particular hat when they arrive "at work". They leave it on while working, and then take it off when they "leave work". You need to be really disciplined - especially at the beginning - to not sneak doing "non-work" stuff when wearing your signal. If you are going to take a break, just take it off. Often the act of taking off your signal is enough of deterrent that you will stay "at work" instead of being distracted.

    It also tells your family that you are at work, and if you can train them to the signal you will find yourself less distracted. One of the great challenges of working from home is convincing people that you do not in fact live in a TV Sitcom and that you do indeed need to keep your butt in that chair for a certain number of hours a day and can't just go out for coffee whenever someone else is bored.

    There was a classical painter, I forget who, that every morning got up at a particular time, had breakfast etc, and the then dressed for going out to the "office/studio". They left the house, locked the front door, walked around the house, unlocked the front door, entered the house and proceeded to his studio - in the house - where he changed out of his outdoor clothes and changed into his painting clothes. At the end of the painting session he reversed the process. It may sound silly, but his routine ensured that his family knew when they could interact with him, and it put his head into a "working" space.

    Hope this helps.
  10. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    I would make sure you start at a regular time and do dress for work. That dressing could be just jeans and and a polo.
    I would suggest you wear tenis shoes at the very least and do not work barefoot since you are working from home.

    As for work in general always at the very least take a lunch break. Something I refuse to do is eat at my desk. If the weather is not bad I will always eat lunch outside. The smallest amount of time I try to take for lunch is 30 mins just so I am away from my desk and work for a little while. It is just a nice break. I do really enjoy what I do but I have learned that the break gives me some time to get fresh eyes on it afterwards and solve what I was working on.
  11. G5isAlive macrumors 6502a

    Aug 28, 2003
    From the title I was going to make some inappropriate comment about what not to do with your computer... but...

    the biggest challenge you will have working at home is staying focused on work. people will be interrupting you because you are home. you will be easily distracted because not only is an entertainment portal sitting in front of you but there are all the memories of what other things you do at home calling to you.

    Find a way to be disciplined.
  12. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    Drink lots of tea. Getting up to make it for a few minutes gives your eyes a rest and makes sure you actually do move your muscles occasionally.

    Plus, tea is nice.
  13. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    This times 1000.
  14. ebolamonkey3 macrumors regular


    Apr 9, 2011
    Yup, this. My eyes hurt after staring at the screen for 5hrs.
  15. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Switch off your phone. Don't have twitter or Facebook running in the background. When you are not working (like others have said) take a break from the desk.
  16. mfuchs88 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2011
    It's for an online food ordering company, where instead of calling into Dominos or whatever and ordering, you just order it online. Not willing to share too much info on it right now though, but thanks for showing interest.

    Thanks for the great response guys, I love the suggestions so far and will definitely be taking them seriously. Much appreciated.
  17. NZed macrumors 65816


    Jan 24, 2011
    Canada, Eh?
    After a couple hours of staring at a computer screen, take a short 2 min break and try staring into something distanced. It really helps for me as it doesnt strain my eyes too much.
  18. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Congratulations on the job. Lots of good advice here. Both my wife and I work from home, and we find the biggest challenge are our friends (and perhaps in your case family as well).

    When you work in an "office" people understand that there is "work" time and "play" time. When you work from home, people just assume you are available whenever they are. On the one hand you have to train your friends that you can't just drop things on a whim. It sounds like, however, that you may need to keep some sort of office hours... which is good, because you can tell people that are "on the clock". It's harder when your hours are flexible because your friends never really know when you need to work - in any case, you gotta train your friends that when you are working - you need to work.

    The other thing is ... understand that the company is off-loading some of their costs onto you. If they were to maintain an office for you in a building, then they would be paying for property taxes, insurance, heating/cooling, janitorial services, etc. All of those costs are now yours. It may be a good bargain because now you aren't commuting (and that cost would have been yours)... but just understand that the company financially benefits. You will be cleaning your room more often (because it's used more) there may be insurance costs - the computer may not be covered by homeowners coverage if it's used professionally. Will the company pay for repairs to the computer you use? Are you going to be incurring extra heating/cooling costs because your room is not empty during the day? Some of these costs can sometimes be recovered on income taxes... so look into that.

    You also lose the social network that a traditional office can provide. Not a biggies, maybe ... but be careful that you can socializing time in during the week.
  19. mfuchs88 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2011
    So I wanted to come back and thank you all for your fantastic advice. This is my first job (other than my YouTube channel) and I just started last week and so far it's going great. I'm typically waking up and starting at 8:30 in the morning and working straight through 12:30, and then coming back and doing another 1:00-2:00 after lunch. It's really nice work and although it takes a lot more thinking and brain power than I had initially thought, it's not as boring as I thought it would be and the time actually goes by relatively fast. I'm happy with what I get paid right now, and throughout the rest of my high school career and maybe into college, if they like the work I'm doing, there may be room to grow and that's always a good thing. I want to thank you all for all your help and the suggestions about working habits, ergonomics, and everything else. I'll give you guys updates later if anybody is even interested, but for now, everything is going well and steady. Thanks again! Have a nice 4th of July week everybody and enjoy your time with your loved ones. Always surround yourself with those who make you happy. Cheers!

  20. ThemacNub macrumors regular

    Aug 26, 2010
    Make sure that you have a supportive chair, make sure you sit with good posture. As others have said be sure to walk around the office every so often
  21. R94N macrumors 68020


    May 30, 2010
    With regards to maintaining physical activity you could walk or cycle to work if you can, which could count as still keeping active even if you are mostly sitting all day.
  22. aziatiklover macrumors 68030


    Jul 12, 2011
    Location: and
    Stay away from being too much on fb and 4chan thats all! ;) :D

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