I started to become annoyed with things
After exact a half day, I became restless and started worrying: How do I ensure variation in the coming period? Where will I get my energy from? And I started to become annoyed with things, such as a full dishwasher or my boyfriend who lunched at the same table where I was working. As a result, I started delaying tasks, I got the feeling that I had ‘nothing to do’, and I felt that everything was miserable. I even started to pick a fight with the person who is closest to me (sorry!). Even though I normally see everything quite rosy, the above events all occurred within a four-hour period of time. In short, this was not working.
It is easier to advise others
Some 24 hours later I biked home after exercising; I had calmed down and come to my senses. Why didn’t I put into practice everything I had read about working from home and what I advise people about in my daily work? Well, naturally it’s a lot easier to tell others how something should be done than to actually put it into practice yourself. I realised that it really helped to vent my feelings about what I was encountering and to write down what I need to do my work. So that’s what I did.
These four tips provide structure in my day
I also realised that I enjoyed having structure in my week. I am quite a ‘flexible’ person and that structure gives me my footing. The tips below help me to incorporate structure.
- A good start to the day:Instead of travelling to the office, I set my alarm a little earlier three days a week. As soon as I get up, I walk or bike for a half hour to three quarters of an hour. This gives me time to think or to listen to an inspiring podcast. On the other two days, I have breakfast with my boyfriend. This helps me start a new day with the right energy.
- Take enough moments in between:While I’m working, I make sure I take enough breaks — for example, to have lunch (no, not secretly at my laptop), to have a bit of distraction, and to prevent getting ‘square eyes’. This is quite challenging, considering my personal record for lunchtime is 1 minute and 31 seconds.
- Work agreements with immediate colleagues:In team meetings with my immediate colleagues, we make clear work agreements. Now that we are again working 100% digital, are more or fewer meetings needed? What results do we expect from each other? What do we need for an effective working day? What does everyone need to also be able to take breaks in between the work?
- Consciously look for social contacts: Because I get a lot of energy from discussions with colleagues and customers, sometimes I also schedule appointments without a strict agenda. For example, to hear what colleagues are working on or how they look at a specific topic.
Study of productivity and job satisfaction
The above tips work for me and fit my needs. But over the past months, all of the Netherlands has struggled with the working-from-home situation. What works for me may not work for someone else. At The Cue, we studied the needs of Dutch business professionals with respect to productivity and job satisfaction. In our free whitepaper, The Future of Work — Collaboration, now and in the future, we share the key learnings and provide practical tips to increase your productivity and job satisfaction.