Healthy in the home office

Home office has by now become firmly established as a form of working in most companies. For many employees, this approach offers many advantages, but it can also bring challenges. After all, it is not always easy to adjust to working in one's private environment or to actually leave work behind when you’re finished for the day.

Achieving a healthy work-life balance

When employees work from home a lot, the boundaries between work and private life often become blurred. Although home office contributes to a better balance between these two areas, there is a fine line between achieving a healthy work-life balance and having work creep into all aspects of life. Employees working from home often work more and longer hours, maybe spending a bit more time at the computer during the evening or making important phone calls outside their normal working hours, for example. That’s why it’s important for employees, managers and companies to develop employees’ skills in this field, helping them to stay healthy and productive in the flexible work environment.

Tips for healthy work in the home office

In order to work just as productively from home as in the office while at the same time not neglecting personal needs, many people find it helpful to adjust their work habits.

1. Establish routines
If employees tend to work from home autonomously and attend few meetings, they may feel they’re lacking in direction and focus. Routines help to bring structure to the working day, e.g. spending a specific amount of time checking e-mails first thing in the morning, then drawing up a to-do list for the day, and checking the calendar to see what's coming up the next day before finishing for the evening.
2. Equipment and tools
To work well in a home office, it's important that you have everything you need to complete your tasks. If you require certain tools to enable productive, digital collaboration, for example, or you need a large monitor, discuss it with your manager. The right equipment can save you a lot of time and effort.
3. Work against procrastination
Sometimes it's hard to get started with annoying tasks when working from home. To work against procrastination, you can try out various time management methods. A good technique to get started is the Pomodoro principle. Here, you divide your work into a number of 20-minute blocks and take a short break after each block. Dividing your work into several packages will make it easier to complete tasks, especially tasks that you would like to avoid.
4. Keep in touch with colleagues
If you work a lot in a home office, you may feel lonely or miss having direct contact with colleagues. Suggest to your team that they meet regularly online or at the office. Focus these meetings not only on work, but also on the informal exchanges that usually take place in the hallway. If there is not enough time for this, let your manager know.
5. Spatial separation of work and private life
If you find it difficult to switch off after work, you should try to separate your work from your private life. The simplest solution is a separate study, but for many employees this is not possible within their own four walls. Alternatively, it can be helpful to put the laptop and all work materials in a bag at the end of the day and to keep them out of sight.

Opportunities that arise from working in a home office

Even if not all employees like to work from home, it does open up completely new opportunities. Those who make good use of the opportunities offered by the home office can benefit greatly.

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Focused work
In the home office, there are fewer distractions from ringing phones or colleagues. Use the opportunity for tasks that require a lot of concentration.
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Work-life balance
For those who have a lot of personal commitments, the elimination of travel time allows them to better balance their personal and professional lives.
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Work flexibly
Depending on the company, the spatial flexibility also gives you the opportunity to work from abroad, for example, in a so-called "workation".

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