people-stories

It has never been more important to work alone together

Home is where your workplace. At least nowadays. Let's have a look on how to work remotely.

from  Felipe Moroder-Bendyk
23.03.2020

It has never been more important to work alone together

Home is where your workplace is. We at REWE digital are one of those companies that fortunately can do their work almost anywhere in the world. We are well aware of this advantage. 

Sure, we are involved in the fight for the food supply in Germany and Europe to some extent, but we also live social and corporate responsibility behind the scenes. In this way we help all professional groups and people who are critical of the entire social system. With the exception of satirists of course. 

Since a few weeks we moved a little closer together digitally, continue to learn from each other and now we just need to clear our minds for a moment. That way we make and take the best out of the situation. But, how does this "work" and "home" actually fit together?

You'll never work alone

Working from home is, we are quite honestly, not necessarily widespread in Germany. Here, only about every tenth person - if at all possible - works from home. At REWE digital, by the way, this figure is currently over 97% ... 

Back to topic: For a functioning home-based office in the 21st century, all you really need is a computer, an internet connection and a telephone line. The reality looks - fortunately - different. 

You are what you wear

An old white man once said, "If you wear sweatpants, (...) there's almost a 99% chance you work from home." This Albert Einstein wasn't all that wrong with his statement, but the dress code does indeed play a role while working from home and should not be underestimated.

One often reads that one should dress the same way as one does in the office. This is where even unmarried spirits divorce. But let's be honest: it doesn't matter what you wear. The important thing is that you feel comfortable in your clothes. That applies to the office as much as the privacy of your closet. Please make sure that you are dressed properly only during video conferences, otherwise it will quickly become uncomfortable for all participants. 

And there's one banal thing that really works wonders: Keep your routine. Getting up, getting dressed and consciously sitting down at your own workplace gives you a psychological advantage. Towards yourself. So remember: Oriental pants with little elephants are okay, but should not be worn too prominently in the hangout.    

A quiet place

You stand freshly showered in the kitchen in a fine twist and don't know how to act now? We actually only feel this helpless when people are singing Happy Birthday for you, but we have a solution for this as well: Work where you feel most comfortable. And where it's quiet.

A desk, kitchen or living room table all serve their purpose. So the best friend of a remote working man remains the four-legged friend with a height of between 66 and 75 centimetres.

With one exception: we do not recommend working in bed or at the couch table. Unless you are professional mattress testers, but we doubt it. Otherwise your neck, back, tendon sheaths and bursae will raise the burning pitchforks. And you really don't want that. 

Fully equipped

If you have now been able to determine a halfway flat area in your Pinterest home using a water level and a folding rule (not the Cologne district), then it's time for the icing on the cake: 

  • Your four well-formed letters feel most comfortable on an ergonomic office chair. By the way, ergonomics is no insurance for gnomes here. 
  • Your fancy (work*) MacBook may be hip and cool, but a second or third monitor helps a lot. A television will do if necessary.
  • You work at REWE digital and want to take your setup with you? Just note it here and contact our Office IT for additional equipment.
  • *IMPORTANT: Never use your private computer to access the company network! It's like visiting your grandparents with Corona symptoms.
  • If you don't want your ears to burn from all the "hähs", "why?" and "what?" during video conferencing, use Active Noise Cancelling headphones with a built-in microphone. This kills two birds with one stone: disturbing ambient noise stays outside and your voice quality is worlds better.
  • You work for us and have not yet ordered headphones? Please contact Antje with a little patience.
  • NOTE: Always keep yourself muted (CTRL+D) when you are not making an earth-shattering contribution. 

And daily the groundhog greets

It's about time. You are ready for the adventure home office and start your work full of verve. The lines of code or words just pour out of you. You can fend off disturbances by closing doors or you don't even notice them because of your ANC headphones. Simply brilliant.

But something is different. With all the technical and organizational requirements we should not forget that we are human beings. At least the ones that aren't reptiloids.

In short: If you work from home, you have to show the same concentration and motivation under completely different circumstances than at the office. Many dangers lurk here. Changed communication and structures are one thing. Distraction and loneliness are the other.

The home official

Divide your working time and set a maximum. Of course, working several hours in a block on a flexible basis here and there is tempting, but not always effective. Set your own personal standards, communicate them transparently within the team and be as productive as possible.

You know your workload best. It is therefore helpful for many people to create a work plan on Monday. Take up tasks that you can realistically accomplish in your working time according to urgency. If you notice on Thursday that you still have capacity for Friday, use it. But also postpone tasks to the next week, so that you don't strain yourself too much. Transparency - in contrast to clothing - is very welcome here.

Have a break

Breaks are always a part of the program and help wonderfully against social isolation. Have you ever taken a digital lunch break? Sounds funny at first, but it also brings teams and people closer together socially in the home office.

Look beyond the (digital) horizon and celebrate your Happy Lunch as "Meok Bang". This is not a new film classic from Michael Bay, but the Korean neologism for "send" and "eat". So try the culinary "Stay at home, but not alone" - thanks to digitalization.

By the way, our Health Angels use their breaks for fitness exercises, for example from Les Mills on Demand and Seven. There are some free thoughts with Down Dog or Headspace - many are currently available free of charge. So make sure you get the necessary variety with (mental) changes of location, exercise, music and fresh air.

Switch off

After a mixture of productivity, countless push notifications, active breaks and no technical problems whatsoever, it's time to for a wrap. As we all know the saying that one should praise the day to the evening. Sure, your work is your undisputed passion and you'd love to keep on going without interruption, but sometime it's good.

Celebrate your well-earned retirement. Shut down all your operating systems, put on your sweatpants if you haven't already and consciously leave your workplace. Or as our in Germany esteemed Peter Lustig used to say in his soft voice: "Switch off". This way you will stay REWE-like fresh in your mind. 

It ain't over until the fat lady sings

Let's not fool ourselves: Right now we're all in good company when we're alone, even if the situation still seems a bit surreal. Maybe that's s why we should be responsible digital pioneers, parents, sons and daughters. Because, as they say here in Kölle: Et kütt wie et kütt and et hätt noch emmer joot jejange. In this sense: Take care and stay healthy!

If you have read the article up to here, you will now get a hand... uh elbowful of useful tips, which I will gradually add in Confluence (only for internals, sorry). Read you soon! 

Next Story from  Felipe Moroder-Bendyk

It has never been more important to work alone together

Felipe Moroder-Bendyk
Next Story in : report-stories

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