And suddenly so much is possible

Mann arbeitet am Computer im Homeoffice

During the corona crisis, a lot of people are working from home. This proves that there is scope for remote working and flexible working forms. The only question is whether this will lead to a fundamental shift in thinking and a cultural change. For companies, this crisis could be an opportunity.

Home office

What many employers have as yet failed to address is now being forced upon them during the corona crisis – and demanded from one day to the next. We find ourselves in an exceptional situation. Many things are changing: priorities are shifting, creative solutions are being found, working from home is common practice. How would it be if things were to continue like this once the pandemic has been contained?

How to work successfully from home

Workspace

  • Desk
  • sufficient space
  • comfortable chair
  • good lighting

Equipment

  • Internet
  • computer/laptop
  • screen not too small
  • headphones (possibly a headset)
  • mouse
  • writing materials

Routine

  • Fixed start
  • breaks
  • lunch
  • fixed end of the day

Look

Appropriate for a video conference – this will also help you to concentrate

Distraction

None; neither housework, TV, smartphone nor fridge

Interaction

It’s still important to use Skype calls and chats to interact. Phone calls instead of emails. Even ‘shared’ breaks together are possible

What else?

Fresh air and exercise (e.g. at your desk)

Children

Especially when the children are younger, working from home is either difficult or simply impossible. Due to schools currently being closed, the practice of social distancing and also because grandparents are unable to watch the children, tolerance is needed on all sides as well as a readiness to find creative solutions – from which opportunities arise.

A few tips (if the children are older):

  • Make use of the children’s routine (work early in the morning if the children sleep in, or use nap and rest times, etc.)
  • Define a clear schedule with the children: “Let me work quietly” and “now we can do something together”
  • Set up a daily or weekly plan as the children also have school work to do, work now and again, encourage independence, let them organise their own schedules

Leaner and faster

People are noticing that processes also function in a leaner way. Meetings aren't always necessary or can be held less frequently. Actually:

Everyone knows what needs to be done. Communication is more direct, often immediate.

The person needing to be reached isn't sitting in meetings or away on business, but is at home where they respond quickly.

Change as an opportunity

The responsibility, but also the freedoms, of each employee is increasing – which requires trust on the part of the employer. This can be achieved if the employer stays in constant touch, is easily accessible and provides clear running updates on the scope of the workload in a supportive rather than a controlling sense. It’s performance that counts, not presence. The changes in working methods during the corona crisis create opportunities. It’s important to identify them as such – and not simply as changes.

Flip side

The flip side of these flexible working forms and remote working is the lack of social contact. There are certainly topics and tasks that can be dealt with not only more quickly, but also in a more target-oriented manner in personal interaction. This is a fact that can't be denied. At the moment, there are too few conversations and informal contacts.