Working from home can be more difficult than it might appear at first sight. More freedom, more distractions, less communication.
We put together some pieces of advice on what we do to work concentrated. Maybe it will help you to work as effectively as possible as well.
- Create a to-do-list at the beginning of every week and every day. What are your main goals this week? How can you break these down to smaller day to day tasks?
- Furthermore, make a clear schedule of the day: How much time do you plan on working on a specific task? Set an alarm clock and once the time has run out, have a short break. Use the time to take a small walk (inside or, even better, outside), do some exercises, stretch yourself or play with your pet
- Open the window regularly. The fresh air will boost your brain!
- The same goes for drinking: Don't forget to drink enough coffee, tea and, in particular, water! You will feel more energized and awake.
- Try to stick to your regular morning routine: Set your alarm clock to your normal wake up time, have breakfast, take a shower and put on some not too comfy clothes.
- Have regular video calls with your colleagues to chat and keep yourselves updated. Keep the communication upright as best as possible!
- If you're a snack person: Meal-prep your snacks and your lunch. This way, you won't waste precious time preparing the food during working hours or thinking about what you will eat next (We know - this is the most difficult part!)
- If you have pets: Feed your furry babies something yummy, so they get satisfied and go to sleep instead of walking all over your work station.
If you follow some of these tips, you can do a good job AND enjoy your time at home.
Unfortunately, it's not so easy for parents. Closed kindergartens and schools mean smooth transitions between work and supervision. Here are some tips on how parents can make the working day a success:
- Both parents work from home? Jackpot. Agree on strict times when one parent takes care of the children while the other can work calmly. Keep each other's backs free - teamwork makes everything possible.
- Reconsider the rules of everyday life before Corona: On the one hand, it may be useful to relax certain rules (Your children have been dreaming of a pillow castle for a long time, but normally mattress, pillow and blanket have to stay in bed? Maybe now is the right time to let them do their job)...
- ... On the other hand, the children may need some additional rules to understand that mum and dad don't have holidays, but have to work (Important conference call at 10am, for which you need an hour's rest? Help your children to understand this time span. An hourglass, for example, can help)
- Board games, audiobooks and books are long-running favourites
- There are thousands of low- to no-budget game ideas on the Internet: Print out painting templates and puzzles, spin threads around the house and let the kids play spy, etc. Google is your friend :-)
- Your kids want to do video conferencing too? Ask grandma, grandpa, uncle, aunt or even the children's friends if they want to have a Skype conversation.
- Let the kids enjoy watching TV or playing with the game console. There are also creative, stimulating and educational options!
- The most important thing: Allow yourself to be imperfect. Everyone will understand that you can't be productive for 8 hours at a time with a child. Be proud of yourself, you are doing a great job!
For some, the current uncertainties are accompanied by a lower workload. This is the best time to do tasks that you would normally not find time for! We have some suggestions for you. (In case you are uncertain, please check with your employer whether you are allowed to do these within your working hours!)
- You might have many handwritten notes or loose documents. Rewrite them thoroughly on the computer or scan them and classify properly afterwards. You'll have everything in a safe place without taking up too much space in your closets and have quick access.
- If you have old notes from trainings or other educations you have done, it might be good to refreshen your memory when going through those papers.
- Learnt a foreign language at school or university, but they're a tad rusty? Refreshen your memory about grammar and vocabulary by going through exercises etc. in the language books.
- Whether or not you are currently looking for a professional reorientation, it might be a good idea to update your CV. You never know when you are going to need an up to date-version. Also, think about giving your CV a fresh new look. Are there any new conventions for CVs (ordering, topics, etc.)? By the way: For all kinds of digital designs, we at people-s-place love Canva!
- While you're at it: Update your LinkedIn and Xing profiles. You want to sell yourself best to all kinds of potential business partners.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 / 10 / 20 years? The answer to this question is not only of interest in job interviews, but also for you personally. What milestones do you want to reach? When do you want to reach them? A clear vision will help you to tackle these goals and turn them into reality.
We hope to have brought you some nice suggestions and that you can make the best of this time!