We have all been hearing for years how we are on the cusp of the digital transformation. Learning about how connective technologies will one day enable us to work from the kitchen table, on the commuter train, and even on sandy shores in some exotic country. Yet, like the promise of clean fusion energy, the transformation has remained an idea stuck in the future. Well… until now!
Just like no one could have predicted COVID-19, a particularly nasty strain of flu, no one could have foreseen the catalytic effect it would have on working conditions experienced around the world.
As many of us already know, it’s likely that we’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future. Even though the popular trend to work from home or completely remote in first instance sounds like the sweet flexibility you were searching for, working in your home is not always easy – we know this. But for a lot of you, home office structures might be here to stay – long after the current exceptional situation has ended. That´s why we would like to share a few collected suggestions to keep our homelife and work life as healthy and productive as possible.
As we accept the golden promise of the digital transformation, now more than ever, we need to learn how to maintain structure in our daily lives, keep in touch with colleagues, friends, family and the wider community, and understand the impact physical distance has on us all. The following recommendations may be helpful in this regard.
Start your day with some exercise
Do whatever does you well – yoga, planking or any other form of home workout will help get your breathing, circulation going, and you´ll start the day energised.
Set a specific area of the home for your work
Where you work matters. Make a clear distinction between “home-office space” and the rest of your home. Communicate your daily schedule clearly to family or flatmates who may be home during the day. Defining separate spaces for work and play does make a big psychological difference.
It is also essential to consider the ergonomics of your environment. Some basic guidelines include
Have a routine and don’t forget to take scheduled breaks
If you’re not careful when working from home, you may feel like you can’t relax in your own house or flat anymore. Firstly, make sure you’re prepared as if you were going to the office. Get dressed in work clothing (and not pyjamas – even if it´s tempting on Monday mornings!). It is also important to have frequent breaks – but for sure not in front of your computer: get up, exercise, walk around, drink a glass of water, do something else. When the day is over, have a wind-down routine.
Get some fresh air – as much as possible
Working from home means you probably spend a lot of time indoors. Get up and walk around frequently, to refresh your mind and body. Open the windows to let in as much natural daylight and fresh air as possible.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Ongoing communication is key. Make sure you put double effort into how you’re communicating with colleagues. The best thing to do is to over communicate and assign specific channels for specific things your group wants to accomplish. It is important to strengthen the use of a phone or online call to speed things up. It is also important to check in frequently and regularly. Also, letting others know when you will be available during the day is another important step. Find a way to inform your colleagues about your available and booked times – simply try to ensure a smooth working day for everyone, without crashing each other’s virtual conferences by accident.
Still: Protect Data
Please keep on following all GDPR-Guidelines and protect all data, also in home-office environments. Discussing a confidential business model via phone conference should most likely not be done on your balcony!
Remote working doesn’t mean goodbye world! Instead, keep spirits high!
We are living in a digital world and there has never been a better time to make use of online communication and training tools. Also, besides work-related meetings - let your colleagues know how you´re doing. Going a bit crazy alone? Start a video chat with your colleague(s), share your thoughts, suggestions or start a dance challenge and see who shows off the best moves in the living room! Share pictures, send selfies …let´s simply keep in touch.
Lastly, stay cool :o)
Stay cool. If you are part of an organization that is lucky enough to be able to work from home, let’s take it as a chance to learn, find new ways of doing business, improve collaboration and grow into the future of work.
Please find below some more articles and a videos full of tips and tricks to make home office as successful as possible:
What's more to say: Take care, stay healthy and up to date.