At the beginning of this extended work-from-home situation, we offered you a few tips to make the most of your time away from the office. Some of us here at Meister followed our own advice, and some of us did not. Either way, we’ve made it this far and wanted to share with you an inside look at what’s become of us.
The best way to find out how everyone is doing at home is to ask. So that’s precisely what I did via Slack. Judging by the twists and turns the threads took, I’d like to believe the answers my colleagues provided me with are honest. The following is a summary of my remote, but nonetheless fascinating investigation.
1. What is your favorite part about working from home?
The most popular answer here won’t come as a surprise: no commuting. It saves time, it saves effort and depending on how you get to work, it also saves you money. The most important thing it saves, however, is the environment and that is probably the brightest of the silver linings we can take away from this time.
The second most popular answer was being able to do more sports, and do them on our own schedules. In parallel to more exercise, some of us at Meister are also eating better because we are cooking all our own meals rather than eating out. Apparently, we’re a healthy bunch!
Because we all have different working styles and preferences, some of us actually thrive at home and are better able to focus in the quiet. For some, working with cat-on-lap only serves to increase that focus. If you thought cats were where we stopped with cuteness, think again. Two of my colleagues even reported that their favorite part of working from home was spending more time with their significant other. I have a funny feeling that would not be my neighbors’ answer.
2. What is the most challenging part and how are you overcoming it?
I’ll start this one off with a direct quote from my boss: “kiiiiiids.” There was no answer to the overcoming part of the question and I won’t be pressing him for it. I’m sure many of you reading this also share his sentiment, so please know that you’re not alone.
Other answers were much as you might expect: time management, keeping a routine or schedule, separating work and private life, not having the optimal work setup at home, the feeling of always needing to be available, virtual meeting irritations, difficulties in alignment and, of course, missing colleagues and chit-chat.
To combat time management and routine issues, some of us have started to work in focused chunks of time, pomodoro style. When in this focused-work mode, some of us are also starting to turn off notifications, which also helps with separating work from private life. Speaking for myself, it’s hard to keep clear boundaries between the two as I now do each and every activity in my life in my living room, but it is doable. Close your work laptop at a set time each day, don’t check your messages, notifications or emails until you start the next day.
Because we know that colleagues are turning off notifications, we’re also cutting them a little slack on