Why efficiency in the home office is a matter of organisation
(NOT JUST YOUR OWN!)
Many mums and dads realised during the pandemic that it’s a real challenge to cope with a full-time job when working from home if there are small children in the house. Our view is this: of course productivity took a hit while kids were being home-schooled! We now know that it’s important to create the right conditions for productive work to ensure efficiency and good results in the home office. Business coach and clarification assistance coach Sabine Engelhardt gives us some of her best tips for working from home:
What conditions might we need to work efficiently in our living rooms?
Know your work phases and routines.
First of all, good self-organisation and time management are important for home office working – and following on from that a quick analysis of your own habits. What’s the best time to perform routine tasks when you can still be spoken to and if necessary still chat to your kids? For this, it’s useful to take a look at your own working rhythm in the office over a few days. When do you spend a lot of time making telephone calls? How long and when do you work for long stretches on focused tasks with no distractions? Adapt your home office days to suit these routines.
Create concentration islands
Clearly define a time window in which you cannot be distracted – for work that requires maximum concentration, or for virtual meetings. Remove sources of distraction such as social media, ideally the children aren’t at home in this time slot either, or they are entertaining themselves. Otherwise it helps to set out clear agreements.
Give some thought to furniture and equipment
Create a home office workspace where you feel comfortable, where you feel relaxed as you work. If the workspace is in your living room, you’ll need privacy screening and storage, as well as ergonomic furniture. This minimises distractions during the day and allows you to put everything away at night so it can’t be seen – which makes it easier for you to switch off.
Communication is the key
Once you’ve defined your needs and working rhythm (which also depends on your biorhythm), and identified which conditions are perfect for you, it’s time to put it all into practice: Who do you need to involve in the arrangements of your individual home office routine? What does your team need to know? Is your employer open to your home working routine being different from a day at the office? (Don’t forget to plan breaks – they are important for productive work.) The more clearly you communicate your preferences and stipulations, the easier it will be to keep to the plan later on.