Remote Work Ten New Year’s resolutions for the home office

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Home office icon imageGetty Images

Quit smoking, order less from the delivery service and do significantly more sport. These three points are generally considered to be the classics of New Year’s resolutions. But also all the other bad habits that one has wanted to tackle for a long time like to end up on the list of things that should improve for the New Year.

It is true that these are mostly personal vices that make your private life difficult. However, since Germany has been increasingly working from home again, working within one’s own four walls has also given rise to one or two corrections at the turn of the year. A small selection with suggestions for your own New Year’s resolutions:

# 1 No sweatpants at work

Hardly any other habit has been decried as a home office faux pas as often as wearing sweatpants at work. And yet, even Vogue boss Anna Wintour showed herself at home in red sweatpants during the pandemic at home. Like so much, the choice of clothes is ultimately a matter of taste. However, especially if you don’t have your own study, it can be helpful to at least make a fashionable distinction between leisure and work.

# 2 Attend the after-work video conference

Without the shared breaks, a central component of social working life also falls by the wayside. The after-work video conferences are intended to remedy this, but are often tense or barely noticed. Because the very thought of spending the evening with the entire workforce is rather daunting for many. Nevertheless, it is worth participating, as the conference is an opportunity to talk to colleagues who you would otherwise only meet in the elevator. In addition, the work is more than just completing your own duties.

# 3 First disapprove, then speak

Even after months in the home office, this faux pas happens again and again, even to the most experienced: speaking in a video conference – and forgetting to switch on the microphone. So it’s no wonder that “Can you hear me?” Is now part of the repertoire of the most common home office phrases. Since the mistake not only costs unnecessary time, but is also annoying for everyone involved, the following should apply to the video conference in 2021: First dismay, then speak.

# 4 Keeping track of the conference jungle

Without personal contact, agreements and updates with your own team are all the more important. However, it is not always easy to keep track of all the video conferences and tools. And so it can happen that you find one meeting late or even miss it completely. If you want to shine through punctuality and attendance, you should therefore enter all the various meetings and access data at the end of the previous week in a calendar tool. So you have everything at a glance at the start of the week and you can’t miss anything.

# 5 Less is more, especially when it comes to email

Despite video and telephone conferences, e-mail remains the means of choice for many employees. Firstly, you can put everything important there in writing and, secondly, you can calmly formulate what you actually want to put on paper. The last point in particular should be more in focus in 2021, because too often everyday communication via Messenger tempts you to write your own email for every thought. Although this does not change the content, it quickly floods colleagues’ mailboxes. The same applies to business e-mails: less is more.

# 6 camera on!

Of course, it is tempting not to use the camera in a video conference, especially in the early hours of the morning. Most meetings depend on what is said anyway. In addition, not everyone has the luxury of sitting in a tidy study and does not necessarily want to be naked in front of colleagues to switch on from the kitchen or the children’s room. For the interviewees, however, it is uncomfortable just to stare at a black screen – especially if that applies to the majority of the workforce. For 2021 the following applies: camera on during video call. Instead of your own four walls, you can also choose a digital background.

# 7 Take the evening seriously

With all the New Year’s resolutions, your own well-being should not be neglected despite working from home. Because even if you are practically always available within your own four walls – your free time is there for relaxation and not for overtime. It is true that extra work cannot always be avoided, but it is still important to make sure that your own work-life balance is not neglected.

# 8 No more multitasking

The separation of work and private life is important, but this is not always understandable for your own family. Why your own partner cannot pick up the children from the home office, go shopping or bring something to the mother-in-law, does not always meet with the necessary understanding. Here too, clear limits must be set in 2021. Because if you were in the office you wouldn’t have time for household chores, so the home office is no exception.

# 9 Breaks are there to be taken

If colleagues are absent in the home office, there is also no opportunity to meet for a cup of coffee or lunch in the meantime. However, it is precisely these short breaks from work that are important in order to charge the battery and then get to work strengthened. This is why the following also applies in your own four walls: Don’t forget to take breaks. If you sink too deeply into your work, you can set a timer with fixed times if necessary. The main thing is that you don’t work through it, because that harms productivity more than it’s good.

# 10 A little chat in honor …

… nobody can refuse. This also applies to our dear colleagues. So if you cannot bring yourself to the after-work meeting, try at least to stay in contact with one or the other colleague and to exchange ideas after work. This not only helps to feel less lonely in the home office, but also to keep you up to date with innovations. And even with one or the other technical problem, it is more pleasant to ask your trusted colleague before you send a general SOS via the e-mail list.

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