Christian Holst, co-founder of the Baymard Institute, has years of practice working from home. The company’s 17 members of staff are spread throughout Europe and the US, and only meet in person twice a year.
Each employee begins their day by entering their daily targets in Slack.
“This helps to set some goals for the day, so you don’t end up doing all sorts of things that aren’t work-related. You’ll suddenly need to do the laundry or go grocery shopping”, explains Christian Holst. He continues:
“But it’s also important for the individual employee because it makes it possible to define when the working day is over. I’m sure that many of us are familiar with sitting on the couch and checking work emails. However, when your workplace is also your home, it’s important that you differentiate between when you’re at work and when you’re not,” he explains to Henrik Føhns, in the latest edition of Techtopia - a podcast in danish.
The newspaper Jyllands-Posten has received advice from readers on how to structure a workday at home. One piece of advice comes from Per Rask Jensen who puts on a tie while he’s working and removes it when he’s not.
“The children quickly learned to tell the difference between when dad was working and was not to be interrupted, and when he was off,” he says.
If you delay your tasks to quickly do the dishes or check the news, trying to be more self-disciplined won’t help.
Procrastination is actually a strategy to avoid uncomfortable feelings such as anxiety, confusion and loneliness. So, the first step is to deal with those feelings, writes the New York Times.
When you’re working on your laptop at the dining table or on the couch, you’ll quickly pay the penalty in the form of sore joints and muscles.
The Min Krop på Job health and safety website (in Danish only) has prepared a guide on how to work ergonomically and keep your body going at home. Note that working environment legislation still applies, even though you’re working from home. Check IDA’s FAQ for more information.
Many managers are facing the unaccustomed task of organising employees who are working from home. They need to structure work tasks and make sure that employees do not feel overlooked or lonely.
The newspaper Finans has asked Michael Uhrenholt, management advisor at the Lederne organisation, for tips on how to achieve this (in danish)
On a more light-hearted note, a Reddit user has described how he recreates the feeling of being in an open-plan office from the confines of his home.
For example, make yourself a cup coffee and then re-heat it the next day to get the flavour just right. Or, set an egg timer to ring every 23 minutes so you never manage to really concentrate.