Since the beginning of the Corona period, home office has been the order of the day for many. Most people take it with humour, but for many it’s a case of the ceiling falling on their heads. I myself have been working in the home office for over three years and have made tips from my experience which I would like to share with you.
Give the changeover time
The move from the office to home may sound tempting in theory, but the sudden loneliness, the omission of loosening up conversations in between and the quick advice in decision-making situations is now gone or at least – thanks to Skype and Co. In the first phase, a loss of motivation, lack of ideas and loneliness are a problem for many. Like every new situation, the changeover to a home office takes time.
Working from home means a spatial combination of work and leisure. However, these two things remain two different areas.
Important: organise yourself and stick to your schedule.
You still don’t live at work and you can/should continue to separate work and leisure.
If the washing machine starts beeping because it has finished washing, let it beep. You are working. If you now have your laptop at home, you still don’t need to sit in front of it all the time. You don’t lie in bed all day just because you have one.
The saying “everything in its own time” comes to bear here.
And if you still have to do something really urgent, then you can enjoy the luxury of postponing your working hours a little.
Breaks are and remain breaks
A break is and remains a break in the home office. A break does not mean quickly putting away the laundry, clearing out the dishwasher or vacuuming the home. A break is a time out from work, which you can spend as much time doing the things you do there as at your regular workplace: a quick coffee, a chat or a little mindfulness exercise. If it is possible, arrange with your colleagues a certain time for the break, during which you can talk to each other via video phone over a coffee. This relaxes, cheers you up and you can then continue with your recovery.
To-Do and Done
I always have a small booklet on my desk. This is my To-Do and my Done booklet. Every morning I sit down at my desk and write down everything I have to do today. Some things take several days, and I write them down anew every day. Things that I have already done, I write on another page. That’s where the little things go, too, because every single point creates satisfaction in me and is a sense of achievement. And at the end of the day I know how much I have actually done.
Recognize the advantages
In order to enjoy something new and unusual, it is helpful to look for the advantages. What can you enjoy about working from home?
Do you have a better coffee machine than at work? Can you go out onto the balcony during your breaks? Can you finally play your favourite music at work?
Can you allow yourself to postpone the start of work a little and work at your preferred times?
Rules and rituals
For women and men with children, home office has an additional component that can cause difficulties. Here it is recommended – if possible – to divide the working hours between the partners. Is it possible to find periods of time when one works while the other is there for the children and then vice versa? Are there overlapping times when the children are allowed to watch a film?
Great flexibility is currently required and this is also necessary in a changed professional and private environment.
Fixed rituals and rules can help to ensure that the home office does not degenerate into chaos, but still has its daily routines, times and certain activities. These rituals can include to-do lists and to-do lists, they can mean fixed working hours and fixed free time, they can mean consciously carrying out activities in the home, they can mean a new or old hobby that you have not pursued for a long time (making music, listening, reading, writing, etc.). Just as you would have planned to have coffee with your girlfriend on Thursday, plan sports exercises, reading time, music time, etc.
It is a challenging time for everyone and everyone has to deal with their own inner processes and organising a temporary new daily routine. It is important to take the personal pressure off yourself. It is not a time for pressure, it is time for flexibility, focus on the essential and openness to change.
Selfishness has no place at the moment, because we all have to look at each other.
Always looking ahead
Even if the situation seems threatening, unfamiliar and unpleasant at the moment, we will all get used to the changeover and we can trust that home office will soon be a thing of the past for many. Until then, give yourself time to process the changeover, get used to it, make rituals and rules for yourself and your household as it is happening for you and in your home at the moment. See where the advantages lie and what the positive sides of the current everyday life are.
Home office always has its pitfalls, but I know from my own experience that the first stumbling blocks disappear if you consciously get them out of the way.
- motivate myself
- set goals and deadlines
- observe breaks and working hours
- write me a daily to-do list and a list of things I have done
- plan my free time actively
Flexibility, adaptation and a focus on the essentials will accompany you through this time and perhaps even beyond.