Driving home for Christmas – The upside for us to Remote Working and things to consider
And it happened again, one more year is almost over and Christmas is just a few days away. Another year with the worldwide pandemic, lockdowns, daily Corona numbers and constantly changing rules and regulations – and what has been unthinkable just 2 years ago, has become a normal way of working in many companies: Regular, if not exclusive home-office.
Despite all the negative news and the sadness this pandemic has brought, one part that I would not want to miss anymore is the great flexibility it also gave to many of us. Working from home has many advantages, from saving the time for commuting to work, to spending a lot more time with your loved ones. And if you can, it also enables completely new options for working from a different place for some time, maybe somewhere, where you would normally only spend 2 weeks of vacation, or somewhere, where you would only visit for a weekend, for example at home with the parents or grand-parents. And the latter one is the case for us this year again (and was also last year): We are spending some weeks at home with our parents in Germany, who live 6 hours away from us, and they will be able to spend some great quality time with their grand-daughter.
Driving home for Christmas has always been an unquestionable activity during the last weeks of December. This year (same as last) it is unfortunately combined with the uncertainty that the pandemic brings with it, but also with the comfort of being able to spend more than just a few days at home, thanks to working remote. But it goes without saying that being at home, in my old childhood room, while working full time also brings some challenges, so I wanted to share my Top 3 tips for making it personally and professionally successful or at least a bit easier – and I would be very happy if one or the other of you would share some of their tips with me as well and leave a comment 🙂
1) Align with everyone in the house on working times
This is for us very important, as we have 2 retirees, 2 remote workers and a baby in the house, additionally to this, “only” my father has actually ever worked from home, so also really understands, that this is not a vacation, but work needs to be done (and I guess we are even in a luxury situation, as he has worked from home before, which I cannot say about many of the parents of my friends). So while working from home creates a lot of flexibility in terms of time management, if you are working while having other adults in the house that are not, I can only recommend to align on those working times, so you can actually be productive. For us it is a daily alignment in the morning, to keep some of this flexibility for example to enjoy lunch together and even a coffee break, but for some it might be a general time arrangement – just make sure everyone is on the same page, to avoid any frustrations.
2) Ensure a good work environment
This is important for me no matter where I work, if in a holiday apartment or at home at my parents. And I know, ‘good work environment’ means something completely different for everyone, so for me it means: having a desk, a comfortable office chair, ideally a monitor and a door, that I can close when being in calls (and a good stock of coffee, so we don’t run out during the day!)
3) Create signals that everyone can understand and respect
While I wrote about time and space in the first 2 parts, I also know (and appreciate) that work and family life can very much melt into one another while working from home, and there are times, when no matter the space or the time, the other members of the family will come into ‘my office’, either to get something, ask something, or just have a quick chat. And let’s be honest: This is (or was) the same at the office, no matter if you have your own space or are working in an open space style office. However, there are times when I really don’t want to be disturbed, and we have created the sign, that I leave my door just a bit open while working, and I can be disturbed, but if it is closed, no one should come in. We all know, there is no right timing to have someone else appearing on a business video call.
On top of those 3, a take away for me during these weeks as well is to remind myself to actually be very grateful for the opportunity I have to work from home and combine it with seeing the people I love most in this world. So despite all the work tips another one I could offer: Don’t forget to enjoy as well, life is too short to just think about work!
This is it from me and now I’m really curious to see if you have any tips you would like to share. So happy for you to just leave a comment or send a message to us at Nomad To Be.
Have a wonderful time preparing for Christmas, don’t get stressed and just enjoy wherever you are!