Home office – how to make it work remotely
The Corona crisis has led to an increasing home office boom. According to a survey by the Hans Böckler Foundation’s Institute of Economic and Social Research, around 27 percent of employees were in home offices in the first lockdown in April 2020, and 14 percent were still there in November. Following the latest decisions by the federal and state governments, all employers are now also officially required to send their employees to the home office wherever possible as part of the pandemic response.
In the current situation, home office offers above all the advantage of reducing direct contacts and thus the risk of infection. It also makes it easier for employees to reconcile work and family life, especially in times of homeschooling or emergency childcare. Experts assume that the development will continue to permanently change the working world in the future and that many employees will continue to move all or part of their work location to home premises after the pandemic.
But in addition to the advantages, mobile working from home also brings disadvantages due to a lack of communication or changed processes. To minimize these, we would like to provide you with tips that we have gathered from our experience with the home office.
What is important to consider as a home worker?
Starting the washing machine here and there, chatting with the neighbor when you do not see anyone else, quickly cooking something for the kids… Being at home is a quick distraction, so there is a risk of being pulled out of the work process again and again and thus falling into unproductivity. At the same time, it can also give you the feeling that you have to be constantly on call, so that even after work is over, you have to quickly process tasks and answer e-mails. Therefore, create a clear separation between work and free time, ideally in terms of both space and time. A workroom or a separate area within your own four walls helps enormously here: on the one hand, you can concentrate more on your job there, and on the other hand, you can simply close the door behind your work in the evening so that it is not omnipresent.
Very important: Stay in touch! In home office, contact with superiors, colleagues and business partners becomes more distant. However, modern communication technologies make it possible to remain in constant exchange. Internally, for example, a regular video call in the sense of a daily Scrum meeting has proven to be extremely effective, in which current topics are discussed and agreements are made for further work. And if we are honest: You are also happy to be able to see your colleagues continuously from the seclusion of your own four walls.
In addition to internal cooperation, a buyer’s bread and butter is to stay in touch with his suppliers and service providers. Do not forget this! Correct, a face-to-face meeting is currently difficult, but here, too, there are many possibilities through telephone calls or video conferences. In the past, for example, we have already blogged about the possibilities of online negotiations and provided you with ten success factors.
Companies that have already tackled the digitization of processes and documents in the past are now at an advantage, for example through P2P tools that regulate operational communication with suppliers and the digital transmission of business documents such as orders or invoices. Other possibilities that can be mentioned here are supplier management platforms for strategic exchange with business partners, workflow systems for defining and approving processes, or controlling tools as cloud-based knowledge containers that all colleagues can access decentrally in real time. The possibilities for digital support in everyday working life are manifold and can be adapted to every individual need. The development proves that digitization in everyday working life is no longer a future version, but an everyday reality.
We as ADCONIA have been predominantly in home office since March 2020 and even before that we were already used to working decentrally due to our activities. Likewise, we see the trend for the future that this development will continue.
How are you positioned? We would be happy to support you in identifying and implementing the necessary digitization measures to enable you to continue implementing your processes in the best possible way on a decentralized basis in the future and can draw on our enormous wealth of experience to do so.
Consultant, ADCONIA GmbH