Who would have thought at the beginning of the year that many of us would be working from home at this time? Although some, especially freelancers, are already familiar with home office, the Corona crisis is forcing a lot of people into unfamiliar ground. But gradually, employees and supervisors are getting used to the new situation and they are realizing that there is no lack of morale or quality within one' s own four walls - on the contrary, the productivity of colleagues tends to be higher in the home office.
The current situation, in my opinion, will lead many companies to rethink their remote work policies after the crisis, opening up many new opportunities for employees and employers. Germany is now once again discussing the idea of the right to a home office. But what does this mean for companies and employees?
Advantages Remote Work
It is no longer a secret that employees are more productive in the home office than in the traditional office, and this has been proven by many studies. Remote work can also reduce physical and psychological problems because work-related stress, such as regular commuting, is reduced and people can find a secure job even in economically disadvantaged regions or countries. Companies also benefit: They do not need to recruit industry experts locally, but can draw from an international talent pool. Remote Work can be a great support, especially for young families or single parents, as it allows them to plan work around their personal lives and still be able to keep everything in balance.
Remote Work Demands Culture
Just as there is an office culture that is ideally exemplified by the management team, companies need a remote work culture. In addition to clearly defined rules, such as those relating to availability or target agreements, a daily exchange within the team is a must. This is the only way for colleagues to understand each other's complete situation and plan group capacities accordingly. Managers must also learn how to deal with remote workers and bring the team on a common track despite distance. Regular personal teambuilding events, such as skiing or hiking trips, help to achieve this.
Being Successful in the Home Office
Not every employee is fit for working in a home office. In addition to efficient time management, they should have organisational talent and self-discipline. A high degree of independence and a sense of responsibility are also essential, as no one can overlook them as easily as in the office and remind them of certain tasks. In addition, an essential part of Remote Work is that all colleagues use collaborative tools such as Monday, Trello, Microsoft 365 or Slack to work together on projects and control them. It is especially important that employees in the office also use the solutions, so that everyone has the same level of knowledge at all times. A healthy corporate and remote work culture is crucial for this.
An oasis of well-being at home
If you spend most of your time in your home office, you need to furnish it in a pleasant and ergonomic way to meet your personal requirements and preferences. Light, plants or work equipment should be well thought out to take account of personal preferences. However, while health aspects of furnishing are usually limited to the desk and office chair, it is also particularly important to select input devices such as mouse and keyboard according to ergonomic standards. This can prevent tendonitis or the well-known tennis elbow, among other things, and thus prevent a major absence. Because if you are on sick leave, you are not allowed to work even in the home office. I particularly recommend the CHERRY ROLLERMOUSE™ to people who spend several hours a day at the computer. For this purpose, computer input device manufacturer CHERRY has joined forces with the ergonomics experts from Contour Design Group and developed a completely new type of mouse that not only relieves the strain on joints and tendons, but is also elegant.
Mindfulness in the home office
Employees in the home office tend to work overtime more often or take fewer breaks than employees in the office. This is due to the fact that the natural signs of the end of the working day are often missing at home: the colleagues around you get up one after the other and say goodbye, and offices and corridors become noticeably emptier. Therefore, fixed routines and breaks should be planned. After work is done, it is important to keep your distance. If you have your own study, you should close the door behind you. If, on the other hand, you work directly in the living area, you should switch off your laptop and put it in a drawer or you can use a room divider to symbolically mark the beginning of your free time.
No matter whether you prefer to work remotely in the future, like to be in the home office only once in a while or would like to come to the office every day: the most important thing is that you always work in the spirit of the team and maintain regular contact. You should not forget to think about yourself and your health. Be it by setting up your workplace as you need it or by establishing fixed breaks and routines so as not to overburden yourself.