For an active and social Partner Marketing Manager, the new way of working remotely from the Netherlands during the COVID-19 situation can be challenging. But creating a workday day with structure, stretch, support and online socializing makes the day successful.
During normal times, I work from home 2-3 days a week. The other days I’m usually in meetings with partners, other business associates or working from our office in Schiphol (Amsterdam).
For those days that I do drive into the office, I usually do so in the early morning. It’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive for me into the office. Given that, I actually find the driving hours to be quite relaxing, as they allow me to work out certain solutions in my head or simply enjoy thinking and brainstorming.
By the time I arrive at work, I’m fully prepared and ready to get my day started as soon as I arrive.
Working from home
Conversely, working from home does take some time and practice, and an established schedule to help you have a successful day. I began working from home on a regular basis when I started working for TimeXtender. At first, I had to find my way and create some best practices.
I’d like to share some of those best practices with you. Let's inspire each other- feel free to share your best practices below.
07.00 Get up. In the past, I would get my kids ready for school. At this time, during the COVID-19 situation, we’re home tutoring them and have had to adjust our schedule somewhat.
07.15 Enjoy family breakfast and take the dog for a walk.
08.30 Time to officially start my day. I go upstairs to my personal work space and begin my workday.
09.00 The double Nespresso I took upstairs is already empty, time to get a new one!
10.30 Keeping to my schedule, I say a quick hello to my daughter and refill my coffee cup.
12.30 Lunch out of the office and a short visit with my family.
14.30 Short break downstairs
17.00 Turn off the computer and clean up my desk for a fresh start tomorrow.
Stretch, socialize, structure, and support
In between my schedule, I get up every now and then to stretch and sometimes address an item. I also enjoy reaching out and connecting with my work colleagues just like I would do if I were in the office in Schiphol ;-)
What I have found works the best for me is to have the day as structured as possible. This starts by getting up at a regular time and keeping to my schedule – just like I would do on a normal workday in the office. Having this structure gets your mind in a working mood.
I also find it’s important to have your home office support system that allows me to be efficient and productive.
Here are my work items:
- Macbook Pro
- 27-inch external flat screen
- HP printer
- Nespresso machine
- JBL Bluetooth headset
- Wireless internet (with a lot of lag these days)
- iPhone X for hotspots during lag
Lack of social contact
One last personal note to share: It’s not the change of working from home that can be the most challenging. It’s the lack of social contacts that you get from working in an office, participating in activities or socializing with friends.
For instance, my family’s social life is built around several sports activities during the week. I coach three teams and play in one. My kids also play on several teams with their friends. Our season was just about to start, after a really boring winter, and we were ready to go. Not being able to go out there with my kids, my friends and their friends is probably one of the hardest things to cope with right now!
Everybody stay safe!