The new “Corona Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance”-now Home Office applies to all who can make it happen. For me and my team at Polygran, working from home has long since become a routine – and this routine has been optimized year after year. Polygran GmbH is a company that lives and loves digitalization and home office as something long established. Each of us is (fortunately) allowed to adjust our own working time to our personal biorhythm, family, friends or hobbies. So what does a day at work at Polygran GmbH look like? I would like to provide some insight and – in keeping with the current topic – share my own personal approach to digital tools in the home office.
6:30 - Digital Morning
With the first coffee and an iPad on the lap, the first thing to do is read the blink of the day on Blinkist, browse the latest HR news on Xing and ask Siri for the weather. With new knowledge and energy, I peel myself out of the chair. It goes out into the fresh air – rather involuntarily because of the bladder of my dog, but the cold air makes additionally awake. The workplace is stocked with water, brain food, and even more coffee, and the “Pure Focus” playlist is launched on Apple Music.
8:00 - Digital Workflow
Outlook is opened first. Appointments, mails and tasks are checked and transferred to a to-do list using the Eisenhower principle. Whether these are organized digitally on Jira or handwritten on my iPad depends on the nature of the task. It is important that all colleagues are kept up to date and that everything is clear. Then the first weeklys, jour fixes and stand-ups start – virtually via teams. However, we don’t talk, chat and plan for very long in the mornings. It feels like almost everyone is in a phase of focused work at this time. So the emphasis here in the digital workflow is on “flow”. The mental immersion in the tasks is very easy because of the digital tools we are allowed to use in our company. Teams chats for quick coordination, Confluence for easy-to-find information, Personio for lean administrative work and clear recruiting.
12:00 - Digital Break
Most days, a push notification reminds me of my lunch break – digital tools often occupy me so much that I don’t notice how quickly time flies – nice to have digital tools for this. In order to relax my eyes, back and brain a bit, I have come to love cooking again in the last few months. Apparently, the colors and scents of food, have a regenerating effect on my concentration. Standing there for a few minutes is certainly not bad for my posture either. Of course, the recipes are collected and re-cooked on digital cooking platforms and via apps. Lieferando is currently still an app on the first page of my iPhone, but I now only order it when I really don’t have time.
13:00 - Digital Meetings
I prefer to put off longer conversations until the afternoon. So I still have time in the morning to prepare for the content and the most important information about the people, topics and projects fresh in my head in the afternoon. While digital tools help me document and structure information, clear thinking is still important to me for a clear conversation. Video conferencing often takes place via Teams, Zoom or Google Meet. The functionalities of these solutions have gradually improved significantly since the last lockdown.
"My personal tips for good video meetings: good light, good internet, casual and authentic conversation starter, and keep meeting notes in view on the side."
Still, I prefer a quick call to a long chat. Often things are discussed more quickly than tediously described. For questions such as how to upload certificates of incapacity, a team call with screen sharing is simply better. This way I can directly demonstrate visually how it works. For more complex questions, the good old mail is still an uncomplicated medium. This way, I can easily create all sent content as a Jira task, for example, or schedule the next online meeting for it.
16:00 - Digital Finish
As long as it’s still light out at this time of year, I’m going out to get some vitamin D in.
Of course, my dog and my iPhone accompany me. This way I am available for everyone and can quickly organize short-term concerns on the side. Long tasks will have to wait for now. Whether the new tasks have to wait until after my walk or until the next day depends on the level of urgency or my energy level. The fact is that the digital workflow supports me in my job in such a way that I can work much faster, more reliably and more flexibly every day. I won’t go into detail here about how digital my end of the day looks. So whether I prefer a yoga session with Mady Morrison or a workout with Pamela Reif, whether I prefer watching Netflix or Amazon Prime, or whether I prefer listening to podcasts or reading about Kindl? That’s what I like to talk about with my colleagues at our Friday Cheers meeting.
Hopefully, my daily work routine could inspire how a well-structured day in connection with the right digital tools can support a more productive work – also in the home office.