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Solutions 14. April 2020

Sustainably productive in the home office

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Did you know that commuting is considered the biggest inhibitor of happiness? Since the turn of the millennium, the number of people who regularly work from home has more than tripled, according to a study by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (2019). This is due to the strong increase in digitalization and the implementation of new forms of work. Due to the current directives of the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH, companies were asked to work from home overnight. Many companies are mastering the current situation with flying colors and are now asking themselves how they can offer home office in the long term without losing productivity.

We at youngsolutions see the current situation as an opportunity and would like to give you five recommendations on the way to a home office in order to be able to work productively from home in the long term.

  • Despite the different work locations, visual communication is eminently important. We often underestimate this and try to resolve conflicts or the like through nonverbal communication (e.g. e-mails), which rarely succeeds. It is advisable to establish clear communication rules and informal meetings, such as a virtual coffee round. I personally like the organized virtual gamer rounds, whereby all employees are invited to a quiz shortly before the weekend.
    Reliable and regular communication with work colleagues should be ensured in any case.
  • Did you know that in the office you are interrupted on average every eleven minutes. After that, another eight minutes of mental set-up time are needed to be at the same mental level as before. In the home office, too, clear times should be defined in which one may not be disturbed. I personally visualize these slots in my calendar, put my cell phone aside, and switch the status of my communication tools to “Do not disturb”. In case of non-compliance, for example, one franc can be paid into a money box, which the company then uses to pay for a joint lunch.
  • Enormous self-discipline is required in the home office. Clear structures and the same rituals are helpful here. These must be defined and adhered to in a disciplined manner. An ergonomic workstation with an external monitor and keyboard, as well as sufficient light, space and air, is a basic requirement, along with a stable infrastructure. For psychological hygiene, it is important that work does not take place in pajamas on the sofa, but if possible in a dedicated work corner. It is also important to take breaks, especially to give your eyes a break from the screen.
  • An absolute productivity killer is the lack of a strict separation between the private work device and the business interface. This prevents, for example, a suitable “bring-your-own-device” concept, which means that no business data and business programs can be stored locally. Our customers appreciate the fact that they can access their workstation from anywhere with a central data repository, allowing them to work productively even in their home office. Would you like to find out what this looks like for your company? Talk to one of our experts without obligation
  • The current situation also brings new challenges for managers. The transition from manager to coach is currently being promoted as never before. Goals are to be defined and freedom allowed in their implementation. Nevertheless, it is increasingly necessary to accept sensitivities as well as current challenges. Also, motivational difficulties and disciplinary problems as well as the so-called home office coller should be addressed openly and possible measures for improvement should be discussed. Every employee has a different situation at home, be it a family with home schooling, a partner who also works at home or a room in a shared flat without the appropriate facilities and retreat. It is important to evaluate the best option together. A Daily Standup, for example, can help here, with a brief daily discussion of the individual situation.

In the general perception, home office does not enjoy a very good reputation. However, by following simple recommendations, nothing stands in the way of working productively from home. These conditions were made possible for me and helped me to continue to work in a motivated and productive manner. We are also available to you as consultants for a sustainable transition to the home office. Find out now and test it right away!

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