Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Day 19: Why is the Home Office so exhausting?

This article is part of The 100 Days Offensive. Go to Day 18 or Day 20.

It is usual for me to return from work quite tired. Nevertheless the Home Office is even more exhausting. I find myself surprised at the fact that I end nearly every day with completely drained batteries. When reading about all the record numbers of players, I feel a twinge of envy. The holidays around easter arrive just in time for me to catch some breath. 

What makes the Home Office so stressful? There is not more work, so it must be in the way we're working right now. IMHO there are several aspects coming together:
  • The current mode of work has completely disrupted the daily schedule. There is no longer any lunch breaks where all colleagues head towards the tables (and therefore do not call you). I find it really hard to have a proper break around noon. I rarely had to eat as fast as I did the last days.
  • My job (sales) is all about communication and that has become a lot more difficult. A lot of people are not used to video conferences and chat as tools. This has me sometimes working on both ends of the communication while trying to integrate some training. I can totally understand that a lot of people dislike Microsoft Teams, but if it is the tool at hand, it should be used efficiently.
  • The new way of communicating has more channels. Those cause more context switches which in turn cost effort.
  • Trying to migrate the Hey-Joe-Principle into the online world does not work. Such attempts work just good enough to ruin other peoples day. If there is a working online process for X than use it and don't try to reroute it through personal connections. If only the requests that are obviously wrong with me would go away, a lot of stress would too.
  • The next one goes right on my own tab: the work has no clear start or end. It is more a fade-in and fade-out. The overall time tends to be longer than the usual work plus commuting. I sit there during breakfast and remember something and *POOF* I'm writing the first email at 7 a.m. and the last at 9 p.m. This is something I have to fix myself.
Probably I overlooked some aspects, but those seem to be the largest chunks of my power-drain.

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