15 weeks of getting up, brushing teeth, and going to the desk without putting on shoes. The entire Anexia staff has been working from home since 03/16/2020 – to protect the employees from the spread of the corona virus. Some of us are already used to working from home and are able to do their daily work while sleeping (please don’t really sleep at work!). Others, and I count myself among this group, have never worked from home ever and were therefore confronted with new challenges. In this blog post you can check out the things that helped me during this time to master my everyday life and what I learned in the process.
It is well known that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately I have to admit that I – like many others perhaps – have often skipped it due to time constraints. But since I save the travel time between my flat and the office for a few weeks now, I’ve been using the newly gained time to make myself a delicious and extensive breakfast. I quickly noticed that it takes just five minutes and gives me more energy to start the day. Compared to before, I now have much more stamina, which also helps me with my work. It’s a good habit that I’d definitely like to keep up.
I don’t mind admitting it: I’m a couch potato. I spend most of my time in my apartment, where I can pursue my hobbies protected from all external influences. Due to the Corona crisis and working in the home office, I initially did my entire daily routine only in the apartment. And I quickly realized that this is not as great as I had initially thought: the lack of variety was bothering me. So I forced myself to go outside and take my first walks. The astonishing result: I discovered nature for myself. A few minutes away there is a really beautiful forest and I love to walk there, listen to birds twittering and keep some distance from social media. I consciously do not take a mobile phone with me on my walks, so that I can fully concentrate on my surroundings and internalize the peace of nature. I really appreciate this time out from everyday life and will certainly be able to recharge my batteries here more often in the future.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons. If you also associate this game with Quarantine, then we have something in common! For some it may seem a bit strange to spend your time on a virtual island with ten talking animals, but I can assure you that this game is great and very relaxing. That’s why I play a little Animal Crossing almost every day after work, because there’s always something new to discover. You design your own island, set up a virtual house, make friends with the inhabitants and, in addition, you can invite friends or colleagues to your island via Internet or visit their island to play together. When the weather is nice, you can also use the console as a handheld and sit outside if you are addicted. So, if you’re looking for a relaxing activity that you can do after work and are not averse to video games, I highly recommend Animal Crossing: New Horizons!
When all colleagues are working from home, social contacts come up a little short. That’s not surprising, but it doesn’t have to be like that. My unconventional solution for staying connected: Dungeons & Dragons (short: D&D). D&D is a Pen & Paper role playing game. You play this game like a board game at the table. But special circumstances require special measures, so I started an online round with a few colleagues, where we play our campaign a bit every week. For game board and character management we use Roll20 andwe communicate via Discord. In this way I was able to get to know colleagues from other departments better, which is a nice side effect. This enabled us to exchange ideas and experiences with our self-created characters in the last weeks and we had some funny moments.
Last, but not least (and probably the topic most home office newbies were confronted with): Self-organisation. Everybody is once more, once less motivated. No matter whether it is about work-related topics, such as taking breaks, or everyday to-dos like eating, drinking or sleeping enough. And hand on heart: Who has ever thought about skipping the morning routine and getting straight to work, since you are not seen anyway? It is precisely with such small things that it is important to persevere and not give in, because these things determine how we feel in everyday life and at work. That didn’t work out so well for me at the beginning, because there were a few days that I spent completely in pyjamas. That’s why I have adjusted my routine so that I sleep a little longer in the morning, but still get ready as if I was going to the office. In breaks I eat full meals and not only snacks, I also go out and breathe in some fresh air or at least open the window. What I also learned is how important the spatial separation of workplace and leisure areas is. It helps me a lot to be less distracted and to work more concentrated. If you want to work even more effective, weekly meetings are also very suitable. Exchange and communication are important, especially if you cannot meet personally or discuss topics on the side.
Even though the current situation demands a lot of our strength, I think that everyone could learn something for themselves. Maybe you even recognized each other in some points or discovered a completely different talent in you? But even though I really appreciate my learning: I’m looking forward to the moment when everyone can get together again in the office, I can have lunch with colleagues or meet for a drink after work.
Whether you are a home office professional or a beginner like me, we are always looking for motivated people: