It´s still running? A status update after 6 months in the home office

6 Monate im Home-Office

6 month home office

Who would have thought that in March of this year? Back then, everything was still fresh, everything new (as reported here). It felt good to work from home. Finally in comfortable clothes, without long commutes, just throwing the laundry in the washing machine during my lunch break. A whole new attitude to life.

But how are we doing today? What has become of this supposed fulfillment of work-life balance? After more than 6 months in the home office, do we still feel as good as we did at the beginning of the Corona crisis? What has changed? How much do we miss the office routine and why do we suddenly no longer hoard toilet paper, but completely different things?

After half a year of “working from home”, we asked a few selected Picalike employees questions about their well-being and their work situation in the home office, and these are their answers:

Franziska is our Customer Success Manager and looks after existing customers at Picalike

Franziska Weiß
Franzi im Home Office

Franzi in the Home Office

 

If you don’t hoard toilet paper anymore, what do you have in abundance in the house now?

Phew, nothing really. We go shopping once or twice a week and get what we need. I don’t have the space at home to hoard anything.

Best book/audiobook/series/movie/video game/board game/podcast you discovered in the last months?

Series I could list many here now, but my favorites include:

The Handmaid’s Tale and Dark. Board games and community games I’m a fan of Wizard, but you need 3 people for that, which was of course difficult at the beginning of Corona. I could go on forever, but I think that’s enough.

It’s been a good 6 months now that we all don’t see each other every day in the office, but only every 2 weeks in a joint meeting. How do you feel today? Has your emotional state changed since the beginning of March?

I still feel very comfortable, as I have also gotten used to the situation and I like working in the home office.

Has anything changed in your workplace?

Yes, actually. Since working in the kitchen was not a long-term solution, I have created a small work corner in the living room. I can leave everything there at the end of the day and don’t have to put it away for dinner.

Which piece of clothing has become particularly dear to you during this time?

I’ll be honest – the sweatpants. When you sit at your desk all day it’s more comfortable than wearing jeans or something like that. 😄

Any new acquisitions in the household? (Pet, fitness equipment, balcony or garden remodel?).

We did purchase a food processor. Other than that, as I mentioned before, my new desk 😉

Have you discovered new leisure activities for you and/ or discontinued others?

Unfortunately, I do much less sports, at home I can motivate myself less well to do so. However, I still don’t like going to gyms at the moment.

What do you miss most in the home office?

Riding my bike to work every day and direct contact with colleagues, but fortunately we’ve found a pretty good solution internally so that it’s only half as bad 😉 (Editor’s note: We’ve introduced a daily chatroulette via Slack. Every day, you chat with a random team member for about 15 minutes about random topics or something completely different).

What do you not miss so much?

The time it takes to drive to work – yes, I miss riding my bike, but this way I have one hour more a day for private things.

Hand on heart: How often do you cook yourself pasta during the week or conveniently order food to eat at home?

In the beginning I ate a lot of convenience food, but now we cook a lot more thanks to our new food processor.

Hi Julius, how do you feel after 6 months in the home office? Has your emotional situation changed since the beginning of March?

I think we have made the situation as comfortable as possible for everyone. I am one of the people who spends most of my time in the home office (a team meeting in the office every 14 days). This is still more than in the early days, but not much. I realize that especially when I then see the team on site, then I notice that the contact with colleagues is already a bit lacking.

Has anything changed in your workplace?

Hardly at all, the main changes took place in the first few weeks. Although, a curtain was still important – in the mornings you are otherwise strongly blinded here.

Which piece of clothing has become particularly dear to you during this time?

Let’s be honest: shorts / sweatpants.

Any new acquisitions in the household? (Pet, fitness equipment, balcony or garden remodel?).

No.

Have you discovered any new leisure activities for yourself and/ or stopped doing others?

Too little exercise… Other than that, app development.

Hallo Julius, wie fühlst du dich nach nunmehr 6 Monaten im Home Office? Hat sich deine Gefühlslage zum Anfang März verändert?

Ich denke wir haben die Situation für alle so angenehm wie möglich gemacht. Ich gehöre zu den Leuten, die die meiste Zeit im Homeoffice verbringen (alle 14 Tage ein Team-Meeting im Büro). Das ist zwar immer noch mehr als in der Anfangszeit, aber nicht viel. Das wird mir vor allem bewusst, wenn ich dann das Team vor Ort sehe, dann bemerke ich, dass der Kontakt mit den Kollegen schon ein wenig fehlt.

Hat sich etwas an deinem Arbeitsplatz geändert?

Kaum noch, die wesentlichen Veränderungen fanden in den ersten Wochen statt. Obwohl, ein Vorhang war noch wichtig – morgens wird man hier sonst stark geblendet.

Welches Kleidungsstück ist dir in dieser Zeit besonders ans Herz gewachsen?

Seien wir doch ehrlich: kurze Hose / Jogginghose.

Irgendwelche Neu-Anschaffungen im Haushalt? (Haustier, Fitnessgerät, Balkon oder Garten umgestaltet?)

Nein.

Hast du neue Freizeitaktivitäten für dich entdeckt und/ oder andere eingestellt?

Zu wenig Sport… Abgesehen davon: App-Entwicklung.

Julius im Home Office

Julius im Home Office

Julius at home office

Julius is a machine learning engineer and programmer at Picalike

Julius Lange

What do you miss most about the home office?

Probably no one can hear this anymore: the colleagues (talking and actually sitting across from each other are very different things).

What do you not miss at all?

100 minutes of commuting per day.

Hand on heart: how many times a week do you cook yourself pasta or conveniently order food home?

On average 1x per week I think. Not living alone is very helpful there.

If you don’t hoard toilet paper anymore, what do you have in abundance in the house now?

Honestly… nothing. The fridge is still empty at least once a week.

Best book/audiobook/series/movie/video game/board game/podcast you’ve discovered in the last few months?

The Switch. Overall. At home alone or as a couple and online with friends. It just fits. Besides, there have been days when I wouldn’t have moved at all without “Just Dance”.

Maik is project manager of the Picalike dev team and leads our big team meeting every 2 weeks at Betahaus

Maik Kade

Maik im Home Office

Maik at the Home Office

 

What do you miss most about the home office?

Working together with the marketing/sales team in one office. But since we moved with the company, this is no longer possible anyway. Otherwise sports, as already mentioned, especially the way there and back by bike. And going to the movies.

What do you not miss at all?

The train rides to work.

Hand on heart: How often do you cook yourself pasta during the week or conveniently order food home?

Because of the kids, we have ready-to-eat pizza once a week or food that is generally quick to prepare – for us adults, that is. The children feast on the best we can prepare for them. You have to take a back seat, or sometimes you don’t even have time to eat properly. Delivery service is only once every 3-4 weeks.

If you no longer hoard toilet paper, what do you now have in abundance in the house?

Toilet paper! No, seriously. We didn’t really start hoarding things more than we did before. And we weren’t hoarding then either.

And what about you, Maik? How do you feel after 6 months in the home office? Have your feelings changed since the beginning of March?

Overall, I’m actually doing just as well as I was in March, although I have to say that I mostly like the many home offices quite a lot and they fit in quite well with my private everyday life – especially my two very agile twin girls. Regarding the pandemic, I’m not so much in panic mode anymore, but I’m still not completely relaxed about it and probably won’t be until the issue is finally over.

Has anything changed at your workplace?

I have moved my work desk to another place in the room and am more meticulous about keeping the space and room tidy, as I have noticed that having to work in an untidy room really affects me.

What piece of clothing have you grown particularly fond of during this time?

In the hot summer it was definitely my two new cargo shorts. With them, you can work comfortably without feeling like you’re sitting in a ski suit in the sauna. And on long walks with the stroller, they have enough pockets for everything.

Any new acquisitions in the household? (Pet, fitness equipment, balcony or garden remodel?).

We purchased a mini swimming pool for the balcony, which the kids have used plenty to splash around in, and I’ve been cooling my feet in it. Apart from that, I now have a knee stool in the study and can regularly switch between it and my Petzi bouncy ball. That does my back a lot of good in the home office. And well, my kettlebell collection is now complete, since I still like to use lunch breaks for a short sports program.

Have you discovered any new recreational activities for you and/ or discontinued others?

I don’t teach Capoeira at the moment and train this only alone. That is surely also Corona-conditioned, however it would have come there anyway by the two small children at home to restrictions. Even if that’s complaining on a high level, it’s putting a lot of pressure on me, since I’ve been practicing this sport very intensively for over 20 years and have a lot of my friends there.

On the other hand, I now have more time in the evenings to listen to audio books and to watch/listen to a series via tablet and headphones with a sleeping child in my arms. That is really something special!

Best book/audiobook/series/movie/video game/board game/podcast you’ve discovered in the last few months?

Best TV series – Cobra Kai (formerly MTV) now on Netflix. The series surprised me beyond belief, as I never thought a sequel to the Karate Kid trilogy from the 80s could be so exciting, emotional and funny.

In terms of audiobooks, I’m currently delving into the “Gray Man” tech crime series about a solo operative (assassin) from the hand of Mark Greaney, who has also co-written with Tom Clancy. And I’m looking forward to the 200 million Netflix film adaptation of these books.

Finally, I want to finally read Frank Herbert’s Dune (The Desert Planet) in the original, and thus prepare myself for the film adaptation by Denis Villeneuve (here’s the trailer).

And how do you feel after the long time in the home office? Or are you already back-to-normal and back in the office?
Tell us about your experiences in the comments!