And how are you doing in the home office, Maik?
I’m doing pretty good these days. My wife, my children and I are healthy and fit, which is probably the most important thing at the moment.
My days are even more planned than before, which is more due to my living situation with little twins at home. The balancing act between project manager and dad has become much more difficult, since everything is now in the same place.
Fortunately, I am at least still in the situation to have a complete study. But of course, the door opens up here every now and then and my wife stands there with demands. And if you hear a child, crying in the backround, I won´t stay seated. This would not have happened in a normal office environment. Whether this is better or worse, I can only say after more time. But I’m definitely much more exhausted in the evening than before, because there’s no longer a commute between my two main jobs. That’s when I always slowly switched from one job to the other. Now it is immediately.
What was the biggest challenge/changeover in the home office for you?
To find a regulation with my wife that allows me to work in a concentrated manner despite having two children. This is something we are still negotiating, because for her it is really not easy to have two babies on her own.
Also some technical things. For example, I have to regulate my broadband transmission in the study differently, because otherwise I would notice my weak W-Lan transmission, especially in video conferences.
How does your working day look like now? Which things/tasks have remained the same? What has changed? Do you have new routines?
The workflow itself has not changed much. I still lead my daily meeting with the developers in the morning, even if now via video call. The funny thing is that even in the home office, the team insists that it’s a stand-up meeting, even though I didn’t insist on it. Apart from that, I still play a lot of solitaire on our Trello boards, and work hand in hand with the Marketing/Sales team I was sitting in the same room with before.
What has changed for me is that I feel I spend more time with the Trello board, since we currently don’t have a real board in the development office for the whole team. Also the amount of written communication in Slack has increased a lot. For certain things like mini-workshops I have to come up with solutions online. And I can work on a task undisturbed for longer.
But my breaks are different now. I take my lunch break a little later, because socialising with the team at lunchtime no longer exists and no one has yet asked for virtual meals together. From my 1 hour lunch break, I use 50 minutes for sports 3-4 days a week. My study also hides some fitness equipment. On the one hand I need this as compensation, on the other hand I need it to counteract the permanent sitting at the computer.
Well and I have here my Pezzi ball as an alternative sitting possibility. So I change between ball and chair every 60 minutes. And then every day there is a little bit of hopping around on the ball. I think, in the office I would get a strange look if I was fidgeting around so wildly.
What kind of equipment do you have at home?
I have a second 28 inch full HD monitor from Benq, Bose Bluetooth speakers (if the music needs to be loud), a very good Marshall Bluetooth over-ear headset (for video conferencing or if I want to block out outside noise), my company laptop, my company high end gaming mouse (I love it´s green lights), my death star table lamp that glows in the same green (nerd attack) AND the nightmare of all my office colleagues: I own a 1.5 kg high-end keyboard from the German company Klim with MECHANICAL keys. Every keystroke is as loud as on an old typewriter. I could never use it in the office. The keystroke afterglow I set to green of course.
What are the three things you couldn’t get through a home office without?
1. Loud music 2. Dark chocolate 3. Sports against eating too much dark chocolate