Dear Friends

I’d like to address a topic about WORK LIFE BALANCE at the home office with you today .

Last Friday evening, I was tired from a busy week. It had been one full of endless meetings and phone calls, with one appointment right after the next. I’d hardly had time to have lunch, get a coffee or even grab some fresh air.

I don’t know if you feel the same way, but I’d nonetheless like to share with you some of the countermeasures I’m trying to embrace this week – in the hope that I can create a better work atmosphere in my home office.

I’m planning my day in a more structured and specific way:

– Between meetings, I’m trying to have at least a 5-minute break. (What helps here is to plan meetings that last 25 or 55 minutes, for example.)

– I’m entering fixed work blocks in my calendar that indicate to myself and others when I’m going to be offline.

– I’m adding breaks to my calendar, e.g. lunch.

– I’m respecting my colleagues’ appointments, and not overbooking with other appointments, where possible.

I’m also considering what is the right communication channel:

– I’m thinking about what the right channel is to discuss each individual topic.

– I’m only contacting colleagues via Hangout if I need to reach them urgently.

– I’m using the chat tool when I want to exchange information on a topic, but do not require an immediate answer.

– I’m using email if it’s a case of one-way info, or when a later response is OK.

– I’m only scheduling actual meetings where exchange is important, and when joint decisions have to be made. Or for workshops.

– I’m thinking about who is required to join each meeting, and who I have to inform about decisions by email afterwards. It’s often the case that meetings with a few people are much more efficient than meetings with many.

– When responding to an email, I’m considering whether the information is relevant for the sender only, or for everyone on the mailing list (i.e. reply vs. reply to all).

It’s difficult – for me, too – to find the right mix between work and private time when doing home office. That’s why I’m consciously deciding to call it a day when I am done, after which point I’m offline.

So, please don’t have the feeling that you have to be available everywhere and at all times just because it’s technically possible.

In short: I genuinely hope that we all manage to reduce our stress levels, and take enough time for our private lives during this exceptional situation.

I wish you the very best