Hardship case 1: “In the home office, nobody gets me into my work clothes.”
A very common and very useful tip that we found on the Internet: Dress in the morning as if you were leaving the house and driving to your workplace. The advantage of this tip is obvious: The work clothes communicate to your own head that it is now time to hang out instead of hanging out. This increases the chances of professionalism and productivity from the living room at home.
The work clothes increase the discipline. However, it takes a lot of discipline to get there. The inner weaker self says: If you already work at home, then you shouldn’t do without the convenience advantage. Pigs and dogs are very clever animals. So if you can’t or don’t want to ignore them completely, then we have the light version of the basic tip for you. The same principle is addressed, but the inhibition threshold is significantly reduced.
The idea for the home office: Uniform socks. You don’t have to be in work clothes from head to toe. To call up the mechanism for you, you are well served with a piece of clothing that means work for you. A successful compromise can consist of comfortable stretch trousers and a blouse, for example. A piece of home comfort can be lived out with supple legwear. The blouse pulls the ripcord during free fall into the depths of loitering. The collar communicates to us mentally that we are at work. The blouse collar is only recommended if it is part of your work clothing. Find a piece of clothing that you associate with a typical workday and make it your uniform.
In extreme cases, it can even be a specific sock style. For example colorful sports socks for leisure time, but as soon as the black suit socks are slipped on, duty time begins. It is important that you only use your uniform for working hours. Slippers are also a good choice. Simple “slippers” in the home office simulate the shoes that are normally worn at work.
If you usually put on perfume or use aftershave before going to work in the morning, you should keep this habit in the home office. Smells are closely linked to memory. As you smell the fragrances, your head will remember that a workday is about to begin. Fragrances can also be part of the daily service uniform.
Hardship case 2: “Unfortunately, this quiet time to work was sold out for me.”
Another very useful piece of advice that is not missing from any substantial list of home office tips is a quiet work environment. You should be able to concentrate to work productively at the computer. Finding a quiet place to work is often not that easy. For someone who lives alone, it’s as easy as turning off the television. When a whole gang of rascals rages on children in the next room, it turns out to be much more difficult or even impossible. And often the luxury of this adjoining room is not feasible either. If this valuable tip fails due to the reality of your situation, maybe this idea can help you.
The idea for the home office: White noise. A consciously chosen sound backdrop helps to block out irritating ambient noises. Music can therefore be conducive to concentration. For actual productivity, it is optimal if no speech passages are included. Instrumental sounds or nature noises are well suited to create this positive background noise. So maybe the sound of a thunderstorm, classical concert orchestras, or the instrumental versions of your favorite songs will help you.
The tempo of the beat should be calm enough to create a relaxed work atmosphere, but dynamic enough to get you going. Where exactly this ideal area lies has a lot to do with your personal feelings. It is also important to ensure a continuous flow of work and not constantly looking for new pieces of music on the side. Therefore, before starting work, choose a longer playlist or set a loop: Simply click the right mouse button somewhere on the video ad in the browser and then select “Repeat”. The beat is done on repeat.
Hardship case 3: “I can only dream of a fixed work area.”
A wonderful tip in an ideal world is to set up your own study: a door that can be closed. A desk chair that deserves the name. A work surface on which work documents can be spread out in a structured manner. This is what the home office worker dreams of. The usefulness of this measure cannot be overestimated. In so many cases, a real study is simply not an option.
The reality: fathers who quarter themselves in a crooked sitting posture in the children’s room and hope during video calls that the uninvited, pink meeting participants made of plush do not come into the picture for their conversation partners. Mothers hogging the dining table with laptops and documents and trying to scare away snacking, crumbling family members like pigeons. Some have also set up their office camp in the bedroom. A mental separation between regeneration and productivity phases is so crucial. For the work ethic but also for switching off after work.
The idea for the home office: Thinking zone. In addition to inadequate conditions at these improvised workplaces, some places have to be cleared again and again. When the food comes on the table, the office has to move to the bedroom. If the partner goes to bed with a headache, the work utensils have to be transported to the children’s room. At the latest when the children go to bed, everything has to be taken out again. To maintain a piece of continuity despite constant relocation, it is helpful to find elements that mark your thinking zone. An extensive, flat surface, possibly a simple tablecloth, is particularly suitable. Wherever you spread this tablecloth, your office is officially located. The constantly changing surroundings, which can be very distracting and reduce concentration, are pushed into the background by this designed and constant zone. The tablecloth, on which you can spread out all your work utensils, serves as your base camp. At least you can control your immediate field of vision and keep it constant.
Of course, it is important that you really only use your chosen mat for work. When it comes to eating, the work mat has to be removed and a different colored tablecloth has to be used. The recurring connection between your defined work documents and the concentrated pursuit of professional tasks quickly becomes a learned, cognitive pattern. In this way, you can regain your mental focus and your flow despite the hiking office.