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Discuss Latest POF Blog Post: Remote Work: A Viable Alternative to FIRE?

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  • Discuss Latest POF Blog Post: Remote Work: A Viable Alternative to FIRE?

    Instead of stopping work entirely, could working differently be the change of pace that you need? This post speaks to ... Read more

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  • #2
    Having done quite a bit of work from home the last two years, in my opinion work from home is still work. There are some minor advantages like no commute and wearing shorts, and some disadvantages like not connecting with coworkers. In the end it's still work and doesn't count as FIRE for me.

    Now if you want to work one half day per week and as a result can travel to your winter home in Yuma while maintaining your practice, obviously that is an advantage of the modern world. But the working component feels no different to me than the working component in my office.

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    • #3
      exactly right. I've done two WFH FT stints....one from 2012-2016 and the other from the beginning of the pandemic through now. Many people who WFH also don't have the ability to separate work time from family/home time since it's all the same place. I don't have that issue thank goodness. But I work full time. When I'm at work I'm working. It saves commute time. I love it. But it's not even close to retirement. I remember I was WFH when my first kid was born. People didn't understand why we were sending the baby to daycare since I work from home. I was like "yeah, WORK is WORK." You can't raise a baby and work 40 hours a week at the same time
      Last edited by JBME; 02-26-2022, 01:52 PM.

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      • #4
        PoF works remotely but is also his own boss, which I think is the most important aspect. While I have not worked remotely, remote work where someone else is controlling your schedule seems marginally better in some ways and in some ways worse than traditional work. Remote work where you have autonomy over your schedule sounds great…and that seems to be how most people who hit the FIRE trigger end up spending at least some of their time anyway.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by FIREshrink View Post
          Having done quite a bit of work from home the last two years, in my opinion work from home is still work. There are some minor advantages like no commute and wearing shorts, and some disadvantages like not connecting with coworkers. In the end it's still work and doesn't count as FIRE for me.

          Now if you want to work one half day per week and as a result can travel to your winter home in Yuma while maintaining your practice, obviously that is an advantage of the modern world. But the working component feels no different to me than the working component in my office.
          Totally agree. I mean I love wfh and absolutely will not go back into the office more than I do now ( 1/2 day like twice a month). But it's not at all the same as being retired? And with kids at home, in school, no one is living in one location half the year and another the rest of the year. We were able to do a long "working vacation" last summer because our nanny tagged along but again it's not at all like the freedom I expect when retired.

          So no, wfh is still working. And I stand by the fact that you really can't be retired when you have school age kids.

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          • #6
            I am currently in a WFH job with Big Health, and the mindset is quite a bit different. It is much more 8-5 (plus an hour for lunch) with flexibility for personal appointments, errands, laundry, and minor house chores throughout the day. I also like that I can literally roll out of bed and into office, if I wanted, but it is more likely that I get up, exercise, feed/walk the dogs, and then get to work. Not having to commute saves me a minimum of one hour per day, when all of the frictional time costs of commuting are considered. My wife has been working from home since March, 2020, for her law job, and it probably saves her 90+ minutes per day (dressing, commuting, etc.). That means more time for exercise, other self-care, additional time walking dogs, more time spent on meal preparation, more leisure time, etc.

            Let's face it. Commuting sucks. If you have to drive or take public transportation for more than 10 minutes to work, it is a joy-killer. When I worked as a commuter, in Colorado, I had a beautiful 20-30 min walk to work, and I loved it. I looked forward to my morning walk and my evening walk, too (unless the weather was extreme). In my life, I never looked forward to getting in my car to go to work, and especially since the traffic was usually worse on the way home, sometimes much worse if there was a ball game or concert, I never looked forward to the return trip, either.

            Otherwise, yes, work is work, and if you are working for someone else, expect that it is a better deal for them than it is for you. I currently do it to keep busy and sharp (or at least slow my dulling), and I enjoy still learning new things about medicine and health care daily. For me, it is currently much better than FIRE. If I retired, I would be worried about money (probably needlessly), worried about how to stay busy and sharp, worried about my purpose, identity, and lack of community. Working from home solves all of that.

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            • #7
              VagabondMD Did you consider doing full-time teleradiology before going to a non-clinical WFH job?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Turf Doc View Post
                VagabondMD Did you consider doing full-time teleradiology before going to a non-clinical WFH job?
                I did. Some of the drawbacks to teleradiology were not appealing:
                1) Most jobs required evenings and or nights. Hard pass for me.
                2) Pay was not all that great.
                3) I did some teleradiology-like practice in my last job, reading remotely from up to 30 hospitals across four states, and I did not like it. I did not like not knowing the clinicians on the other end, not getting decent or relevant clinical history, not getting follow-up on complicated or unknown cases, and the overall sweatshop nature of telerad work. For me, it would suck whatever joy might be left in doing radiology. I grew up in radiology in a different era, and the field that it is today would not have appealed to me.

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                • #9
                  I work remotely sometimes (radiologist). It's a little better than regular work, especially if my kids are in school that day. No commute, my wife usually makes me lunch, I can open a window and see sunshine occasionally. But it's nothing like retirement. On a scale where regular work is 100 and retirement is 0, WFH is like 95.

                  Agree with Anne above, a huge driver of happiness is a controlling one's own time. That's sort of the whole idea behind FIRE, and working a regular job remotely does not provide that. At least not in the arena of private practice radiology. It sounds like a corporate job like Vagabond has provides more flexibility.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by VagabondMD View Post

                    I did. Some of the drawbacks to teleradiology were not appealing:
                    1) Most jobs required evenings and or nights. Hard pass for me.
                    2) Pay was not all that great.
                    3) I did some teleradiology-like practice in my last job, reading remotely from up to 30 hospitals across four states, and I did not like it. I did not like not knowing the clinicians on the other end, not getting decent or relevant clinical history, not getting follow-up on complicated or unknown cases, and the overall sweatshop nature of telerad work. For me, it would suck whatever joy might be left in doing radiology. I grew up in radiology in a different era, and the field that it is today would not have appealed to me.
                    Did you have to get separately credentialed at all of those hospitals? There are a lot of factors that have deterred me from telemedicine but this is at the top of the list. One of my former colleagues is doing telepsych, and for the last year, it seems like I’ve been getting a reference request from a random hospital every week.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lithium View Post

                      Did you have to get separately credentialed at all of those hospitals? There are a lot of factors that have deterred me from telemedicine but this is at the top of the list. One of my former colleagues is doing telepsych, and for the last year, it seems like I’ve been getting a reference request from a random hospital every week.
                      Yes, I did. The practice had excellent support for this, mostly sending an email with an enclosure that you had to complete or sign and scan and return. In the initial credentialing process, there were A LOT of these. The maintenance phase was a lot less arduous. But there was a steady flow of these emails.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lithium View Post

                        Did you have to get separately credentialed at all of those hospitals? There are a lot of factors that have deterred me from telemedicine but this is at the top of the list. One of my former colleagues is doing telepsych, and for the last year, it seems like I’ve been getting a reference request from a random hospital every week.
                        Haha. I will always help my brothers and sisters, but I wonder if they know how much paperwork these gigs generate for folks on the reference list!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by G View Post

                          Haha. I will always help my brothers and sisters, but I wonder if they know how much paperwork these gigs generate for folks on the reference list!
                          True dat. I am a job hopper and because of this I go out of my way to build good will with my colleagues by covering weekends, taking call and holidays etc. I hate begging people for references all the time.

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