Working from home - 9 tips for fulfilling and productive work outside the office.
Due to Corona, social contacts have to be reduced to the bare minimum. This also applies to working in the office with many colleagues. Most companies therefore give their employees the opportunity to work from home. Below are tips for a fulfilling and productive time in the home office.
When working in the home office, the structure that one finds in everyday office life with meetings and teamwork is often missing. In addition, private rooms merge with professional activities and the employee often does not come to rest because emails are constantly checked or something can be done quickly next to dinner.
Therefore, the day should be planned well. Of course you do that when you work in the office. In the home office, however, this structure is even more important. For this purpose, the next day should be roughly planned in advance in the morning or the evening before. Of course, there is usually something unforeseen. Nevertheless, it is good to go to work with a clear structure:
- What are the three most important results that will be produced today?
- What will take approximately how long?
- What interfaces are there today with whom from the team?
- When are breaks taken? What do you need for your personal well-being?
These questions flow into the daily planning - ideally before you start.
2. Tools in the home office
There are digital tools that can help when working from home, especially in teamwork. Almost more important than digital tools are the techniques with which you can structure yourself. These include the following:
- A tidy desk in a nice setting. If you are to draw up a concept or have a personal conversation between piles of laundry and washing up, there is usually no external order. Because the internal clarity that is required and that is difficult or impossible to get when there is chaos outside. Before starting work, it is ensured that the environment is tidy and sorted so that the employee feels comfortable.
- Everything that is needed (laptop, notebook, telephone, pen, water, coffee) is ready to hand.
3. Video calls instead of phone calls
Video calls create a different form of communication: We see each other in a team and can better assess the reactions and emotional states of the others, even when working from home.
- It also just feels more like a team and community to see each other regularly. So turn on your laptop camera and off you go.
- In addition, video calls force you to dress properly, like for the office. Instead of spending the day in pajamas, you wear office outfits and draw a clear line between work and leisure.
4. Draw clear boundaries and get to work fresh.
Where and how the boundaries between work and private life run in the home office is very individual. It's good to draw clear lines.
- Ideally, the bedroom and living room are taboo for working. You should set up a permanent place as a place of work. At the same time, there are places that are not associated with work, where after-work and morning free time is spent.
- Starting work showered and dressed is another limit: Instead of spending the day in a slouchy look, you go to work in the morning with a shower and properly dressed. With disciplined adherence to limits and consequently, it also helps to draw a clear line under a working day after work.
5. mobile away
Minimizing distraction is one of the most effective ways to work productively - especially when working from home. Instead of constantly switching back and forth between tasks, focused work on just one task can lead to significantly more being achieved in the course of a day.
- To do this, all push notifications should be deactivated on all devices.
- The mobile phone should be completely out of sight and reach during the focus phases. Picking up the phone is simply not possible.
6. Work phases
Above all, fulfilled work days are the days on which progress is made on topics that are important and meaningful. Days when things are finished are good days.
- For this you should plan at least one so-called deep work phase: plan 60 to 90 minutes concentrated on one or (one after the other) several tasks that require deep concentration and real thinking.
- These concentrated work phases can be marked in the calendar so that the team can see that the employee cannot be reached during this time.
- Also inform the family that you will not be accessible during this time.
7. Plan and take breaks
If you work properly, the breaks are easily forgotten.
- Therefore, plan breaks firmly.
- A short walk or a private phone call during your lunch break can be a nice change. Movement is especially good for clearing your head and collecting new energy.
- One advantage of the home office is that, for example, going for a jog or yoga can be easily integrated into everyday home office life without spending a lot of time.
8. Leave work and draw a clear line under the working day.
Especially for those who enjoy their job so much and have so much to do that it could go on and on: It is important to call it a day. Making a point and ending the working day is very important - especially in the home office. Little is more strenuous than when the work simply shifts into the late evening hours and the days of a work week just flow into one another. Suddenly there are no longer any boundaries between work and private life. Then at dinner with loved ones, the deadline or the project documents are still on the back of your neck. That puts a strain on the employee and his environment. Of course, exceptions cannot be avoided. Only when the exception becomes the rule should carefully intervene and clear lines drawn under the working day.
9. Tip for night owls
It has been proven that there are people who are much more productive in the late working hours than in the early hours of the day. The home office can open up completely new possibilities here. Instead of having to follow the rigid guidelines of classic everyday office life (early start of the day, in most companies work starts at 9 a.m. at the latest), you can let your own rhythm flow into the design of your working day. This can increase productivity and satisfaction at work. Of course, the general conditions of the environment and job play a role. But you can also help shape them. The end of work can easily take place later.