Be Productive At Home
The home office is here to stay. Many employees in companies and public administrations have long wanted it, but it is now part of everyday life in many companies. Many people associate with the term – or dream of – a flexible working day that can be organized from within your own four walls. But what sounds like the ideal place to work at first turns out to be a significant challenge without the right home office tips.
What Are The Advantages Of The Home Office?
In principle, the home office concept offers many advantages – not only in corona-related exceptional situations. An added value of working from home: the daily work routine can be arranged flexibly and thus adapted to the personal situation. The whole team becomes location-independent and can work on projects from anywhere.
Nowadays, time is the most precious commodity. And this is precisely what is saved, for example, if you don’t travel to work. Long rush hour traffic jams are avoided. This not only reduces stress but is also easy on the wallet. There are no costs for trips to the office. It also has a positive side effect on the environment. Employers also save money because, for example, office rents are no longer applicable.
Home Office: What Are The Challenges?
Disadvantages in the home office result from the lack of structure and organization for employees. Communication and coordination become more complicated, and misunderstandings lead to conflicts, as on-site meetings, individual jour fixes, and visits to colleagues’ offices are no longer necessary.
Productivity due to distraction and a lack of discipline decreases. Team spirit disappears, and the danger of loneliness arises. The climax of the challenges is technical problems that cannot be solved by yourself.
Also Read: 8 Tips For Using Scrum Effectively
Helpful Tips For Everyday Home Office Work
Many employers across Germany have discovered the home office concept for themselves. According to the Hans Böckler Foundation, this is currently around 24 percent of companies – and the trend is rising. The central values of New Work are also supported by working from home. New Work primarily stands for more co-determination, freedom, independence, and a better work-life balance.
Due to the corona pandemic, employers and employees were thrown into the “home office” experiment with all its advantages and disadvantages without much preparation. But despite possible starting difficulties, there is now the chance to digitize your collaboration sustainably and thus to react flexibly to external influences in the future.
We have seven good tips so that the switch to the home office succeeds and problems do not arise in the first place.
Set Time Limits
It makes sense to adhere to the work structures and working hours to steer old processes in new directions. Setting time limits has the effect that neither too little nor too much work is done. End of work also means the end of work! Active communication with colleagues prevents the expectation of continuous availability. Precise times for breaks bring structure to the working day.
Formulate Clear Goals
At least as necessary as a timetable for the Home Office are targets. Companies with specifically formulated goals have a higher likelihood of success in achieving them. Clear objectives reduce queries and accelerate decisions, especially in the home office, if a direct exchange with colleagues is impossible or feedback is delayed.
In addition, you create a shared understanding in the entire team so that everyone pulls together. One approach to the formulation of goals is, for example, the SMART method. After that, the goals set are:
- S – specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Accepted
- R – Realistic
- T – Terminated
In addition, a list of the to-do’s creates clarity for yourself and the team. In support are digital tools for project management. The day is planned in terms of content; tasks are distributed. One of these tools is, for example, a factor, with which functions in a team can be processed in a structured manner.
Keeping The Workplace Tidy
The optimal solution for a separation between work and private life is to create a separate work zone. There should only be things that are needed for the working day.
It is also essential for people who spend a lot of time at their desks to use a good office chair and think about a healthy posture. Make sure you have enough daylight to prevent fatigue and to protect your eyes.
Prepare Technical Equipment
Functioning technical equipment is a prerequisite for working from home. Either you get the equipment from your employer, or you use a BYOD scheme. It is essential to pay attention to the protection of internal company data.
Solutions to technical problems are also required. It should be clarified who is the right contact person in the team. Basic PC know-how is necessary in any case.
Recognize & Eliminate Disruptive Factors
Of course, a certain amount of self-discipline is required not to let everyday housework deter you from professional tasks. Although there are no distractions from colleagues, the rubbish now wants to be taken out, or the long-awaited parcel unpacked. Take care of private matters in your time – this also makes it easier to separate work and leisure time.
Possible disruptive factors are:
Ensure Work-Life Balance
In the home office, the boundaries between work and private life are becoming increasingly blurred. To ensure that work does not take over personal life, some principles are essential:
- Develop routines: Make yourself a coffee before you go to work, or dress like you would work for everyday office life.
- Exercise creates distance: Instead of spending your break on the office chair, treat yourself to exercise in the fresh air.
- Fixed breaks: Fixed breaks make it easier to meet colleagues for a virtual lunch
- Light lunch: save the pizza for after work. At lunchtime, a salad or fruit promotes concentration.
- Promote social contacts: Start the day with a daily exchange in the team: Who has which to-do’s, which tasks are still open? This creates an overview and brings all members to a uniform level.
Strengthen Team Culture
The feeling of togetherness in your team does not have to be lost on the screen. An excellent working atmosphere and solidarity can be created despite the spatial distance. Regular contact with colleagues is essential. So that the team spirit is not lost, measures such as team-building measures are also crucial in the home office.
Other possibilities are calls with your colleagues, who may also be private, to replace the small talk in the coffee kitchen in between. Managers, in particular, should seek regular exchange with team members, so that shy colleagues do not build a distance.
The regular exchange can be organized through home office software such as Slack and Microsoft Teams. To improve collaboration, team quizzes, webinars, or creative collaboration can strengthen the team culture.
Remote teams need something that connects them so that everyone pulls together in the home office. Share with your colleagues what is on your mind or send a photo of your lunch.
Conclusion: Successful Home Office
The magic formula for an effective working day from the home office is made up of various factors. The basis for an efficient and happy team in remote work is transparent communication with one another. Talk about problems and conflicts because cohesion among all members of the group is essential.