Inside Zweitag

Home-Office - from flop to top

3 minutes reading time
  • Maren Wenker
    Maren Wenker

It is technically easy to go to the home office. But what habits I had to change, I learned the hard way. An experience report on permanent remote work during Corona times - from Lisbon, Portugal.

No, definitely not for me. I could never imagine doing that.

Well, that was exactly my attitude towards home office. But mostly everything turns out differently than you think and now I'm in the home office in Lisbon. Here I am doing my master’s degree in human resources for two years and continue to work remotely as a working student in personnel and office management for two days. But first I had to fall into one or the other home office trap to learn how it works.

As with most office workers, there was also the case of two days from March due to Corona: “All men and women to the home office”. Technically, everything went perfectly, but of course that was still a big change. I could never have imagined that this would be my normal everyday work. But it is well known that you learn from mistakes.

After turning a few screws, I've come to appreciate the home office. Perhaps you are in a similar situation and (for the time being) involuntarily ended up in the home office. That's why I've put together a list of my top 3 home office failures that you shouldn't do:

Fail # 1: Work in your pajamas 😴

Not a good idea at all. At the beginning I thought “Hey cool, I can sleep longer, I don't even have to change”. But it also kept my head in sleep mode and even though I was working, I didn't feel really productive. After working in my pajamas for two weeks, I switched back to jeans. It made me feel a lot fitter right away. It also felt more like “real work” too. The sweatpants have since been withheld from online lectures. ;)

Fail # 2: Insufficient breaks ⏰

After I was able to raise the productivity level again thanks to my jeans, I fell into the next trap: working without taking breaks. I wanted to use my time as effectively as possible and I completely forgot that you also take breaks in the office. At two days, we meanwhile also arrange to meet for an (online) coffee. This togetherness is really good and it is a matter of course to continue this despite the distance.

But what I found for myself: I have to take a short break at least once a day that has nothing to do with work. Check Instagram for five minutes, pick up the package at the post office around the corner, etc. Working in the home office feels more intense than in the office, so I sometimes have to disconnect in order to continue working with a full battery. To do this without a guilty conscience and without thinking that I was wasting time, however, took me a long time.

Fail # 3: Fresh Air? No, let's ... 😖

To be honest, I still make my third mistake every now and then. To be precise, also at this very moment: I forget to ventilate. When I came to the office by bike and I had colleagues who occasionally open the windows, I had a significantly higher daily oxygen supply. Fresh air works wonders. Sounds banal, but sticking my nose out of the window for a moment or even turning the block a little saves my mood, creativity and productivity.

With this in mind: I'll ventilate and hope that my experiences will help you to make your home office better. 💪🏼

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