Home Office

01 May 2020

If the corona crisis has taught me one thing, it is that Einstein was right. Time is relative. And, seemingly, so is space. A few weeks ago, a lot of us entered the magic realms of the home office. And working hasn’t been the same ever since.

My home is not only a home anymore. It has transformed into an office, a lecture hall, and a gym. The lines between my private and my work life have blurred. With days feeling like weeks. Deadlines feeling inescapable. And because I’m living at my parents’ place right now, I am feeling both sixteen and twenty-one at once. It’s strange.

Working from home is generally not a new concept. And it’s generally also not a bad one. I’m actually quite glad that I can do my job from home. Especially keeping the amount of people in mind who can’t and consequently have lost theirs. But working from home, especially if you are doing it next to regular classes, requires some re-organisation.

While I still figure this working-from-home-thing out myself, there are a few things I have already learned about it. Firstly, that a time schedule is your friend. If you only tackle the work as it comes in, you will go insane. Dedicate specific time-intervals to work, to university or to doing nothing. And then stick to it. Especially to your free days, which leads me to my second tip: you cannot work properly without drawing lines.

Especially when you’re working from home, you need to emphasise the point where you call it a day. It’s easy to always be available, but necessary to put a hold to that. I’m trying to not work on the weekends, the holidays and after seven. Something that, in order to uphold it, requires my final tip: proper communication.

Communicating personal boundaries is hard. It is, however, something everyone should master. You can’t blame people for not respecting your boundaries if you don’t tell them what they are. Most people will understand once you do, but you have to make them clear. And that optimally happens before you’re breaking under built-up pressure.

It seems easy: make a plan, emphasise boundaries, communicate them. This is, however, actually quite hard. But it is something everyone needs to figure out. Especially when working from home, where time and space seem to be even more complicated than usual. It will take time. But you will come out the other end as a more balanced person.

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