EBSdigital: Suddenly everything is online
Home office, this is nothing new for me and everyone who knows me knows how much I appreciate it. But actually, just one day a week. Home office is then a small, creative space for me. There I can completely immerse myself in new topics, develop concepts, work through tasks, but also everyday challenges. But currently, I have to discover my beloved home office in a completely new way. Suddenly it is no longer a free space, but a general reality. At this point everything is still unclear and we have to accept the sudden changes and all the possible consequences. What was so normal and natural has changed in a very short time. A new understanding of work and cooperation has to build up in a very short time and we all have to see how this new (and certainly not easy) situation can be shaped. How can a longer-lasting home office be set up to be productive and above all comfortable? How can clear structures be created? How can we be mindful of ourselves and all others in this stressful situation? How can I take care of myself - mentally and physically?
I take the following 5 topics especially seriously, even if some points do not yet work perfectly. But that’s the way it is, everything is a process, needs time and practice - even the home office.
1. My 8 to 5 - fixed working hours: This is still difficult for me, as my work laptop and smartphone have moved in with me for quite some time now. But especially in the home office, we have to learn to draw boundaries and to put work equipment aside or into another room. My daily plans are very helpful for this. In this way, I can create space for my personal interests and breaks in addition to clear working hours. That doesn’t work perfectly yet, but as we all know, practice makes perfect. And remember: know and accept the working hours of your colleagues.
2. I know what makes the home office easier for me: Creating to-do lists, maintaining and tidying up my email inbox and digital calendar (especially now!!) and enhancing digital tools for collaboration and exchange. And very important: having all login data at hand or knowing where to get them.
3. Self-discipline is essential: In the home office distractions are often especially big. Now self-discipline is needed, but also clear structures, routines and rituals. If you want to prevent private messages, you can regulate the use of your smartphone with various apps. I use YourHour, for example.
4. Time for a break: Don’t forget your rest! At the moment, not only the way we work is changing, but new digital cultural and sports activities are emerging. Many yoga teachers, for example, are now offering online courses, sometimes also break-time yoga at lunchtime. Make use of such offers. I can also recommend the App Insight for short meditation breaks and impulses.
5. Hello? Is anyone there?: Currently, there’s a flood of calls or video conferences. That’s good, because that way a certain daily routine is maintained, but it can also be exhausting. The short chat in the hallway or the kitchenette is missing, but there are enough opportunities to stay in touch. And this is something we should all do very much now. Laughing together, solving problems together, together we can get ahead. Effective cooperation can be successful and productive in real life through clear agreements and procedures. Nothing changes about this in the digital world. Arrange fixed appointments for meetings via zoom and let others know when and how you can be reached. Maintain your digital calendar! Otherwise the team can exchange information via Messenger or the Intranet.
I wish us all the best during this time, lots of energy and patience. I still see it as a great opportunity. Stay healthy!
Julia Münzinger is a specialist in digitalization at EBS Universität. For the past 8 years she has been working in the field of digitalization, mainly on the conception, design and development of digital learning and work spaces. The development of skills for working and learning in a digitalized world is at the forefront of her work, alongside the design of infrastructural and demand-oriented foundations for teaching, communication and collaboration.
In this time during the biggest global pandemic since the Spanish flu, we are all challenged to slow the spread of the coronavirus as much as possible. EBS Universität would like to make its contribution to this and has been offering courses since Monday, 16 March 2020 until further notice completely in the form of interactive video or audio conferences and e-learning, in which students interact directly with their professors, have room for discussion and there is basically no difference to a normal lecture (except presence). In this way, we fully maintain the lectures. These measures enable us to ensure that students can complete their semester or studies on time as planned. The safety and health of the EBS community and all visitors is of utmost importance to EBS University. We have been actively following developments since the first reports of the SARS-Cov-2 based disease in China. So far, there are no confirmed or suspected cases of the disease at our university or in its environment. We continue to consider personal contact with students to be an important part of a successful study program and a successful start: all employees and professors can be reached by phone, e-mail or video call - in the home office or as the last remaining person from the office.