We spoke to five employees from Grenzach about their impressions of the benefits and challenges of mobile working.
"The freedom to shape my working day in a self-determined way! I appreciate the flexibility of working from home, as I start my day more relaxed, spend my breaks outside in the fresh air and can also vary in my choice of lunch menu," says Lea Geißert, Product Manager at Roche in Grenzach, when asked about the benefits of mobile working. "I find the results from my virtual meetings very efficient, and through the Internet you are directly connected with colleagues from all over Germany, so distance directly becomes proximity again."
Leonard Smaczny, Customer Experience Manager in Grenzach, sees the good work-life balance as a clear advantage of mobile working: "Having lunch together with the family provides space for conversations for which there is normally not much time. By eliminating the commute, I've developed a morning routine and go jogging regularly. This gives me a fit start to the day."
At the same time, mobile working also brings challenges. "I miss the personal exchange with my colleagues on site," says Simone Schlagmüller, Market Access Manager. "Some topics can be clarified faster and better face-to-face, and social interactions unfortunately come up short." Healthy eating, mindfulness and good time management - all these aspects have an impact on a healthy state of mind. "Mobile working naturally eliminates the need to go to the canteen, and for a balanced diet, shopping and putting food away are now added to the equation, which in turn takes up a lot of time," reports Alfons Wiggenhauser, Medical Manager at Roche in Grenzach.
Fixed rituals are important
Working within the four walls at home requires a lot of discipline and is also dependent on external conditions. By switching to mobile working, rituals such as greeting one's team in person and going to the canteen together have fallen away.
"Since the start of Corona Time, I start my day at a fixed time, likewise the fixed lunch time with my family also helps me to structure my day," says Hannes Harz, Senior Legal Counsel. "Spontaneous calls with my team and exchanges outside of professional topics help me to get variety in my day and strengthens the team feeling enormously."
Wishes for the time after the pandemic
In general, the employees would like to continue to have flexibility and the choice to determine their own place of work. "I would like mobile working to continue to be present after the pandemic and for the employees with the center of life outside Grenzach to have the possibility to better combine job and family in everyday life," answers Simone. Alfons, on the other hand, hopes to return to the Grenzach campus soon so that he can "exchange ideas with colleagues there in the flesh."
I was surprised that the transition to a home office went very smoothly overall. Whereas before there were appointments where I absolutely had to be present, the situation has now shown that many meetings can also be arranged virtually.
The switch to digital working
"I associate the switch to digital working with an exceptionally steep learning curve, both for me and in my dealings with colleagues. The transition was very smooth with a naturalness for mobile, digital working," Leonard responds when asked how he experienced the transition. "The myth of video calls has been disproved," he recounts with a laugh, "because even while working on the go, we can easily assess the other person and the situation in terms of body language and facial expressions. Through virtual meetings, non-verbal communication has become tangible," he says, describing his impressions.
Tips for mobile working
Many factors play a role in making mobile working more successful. "A good office chair is essential for back health, but not only! Taking exercise breaks twice a day also helps to clear your head and keep your body fit," Leonard tells us. Lea complements this suggestion with a height-adjustable desk. Alternating between standing and sitting work has a positive effect on the circulatory system, brings variety into everyday life and also promotes the ability to concentrate. Taking enough time to work with technical tools reduces stress levels and contributes to good time management.