Topics such as remote working are growing in importance particularly in times of corona and digitalisation—also for us trainees. But is working from home as good as working in the office? Could it be better?
I’m sure some of you have already been party to the discussions between parents, friends and relatives. Corona is forcing us to have as little social contact as possible, and this, of course, has an effect on our working lives. For me personally, remote working has some real benefits like saving money on fuel and food and being able to sleep longer. It’s also perfect if you have to get to grips with a complicated topic as you can sit somewhere quiet a read and study in peace, which isn’t always possible in an open plan office when several people are on the phone at once. :D
But are these benefits enough to replace office-based work? In my opinion, not 100%. A quick look at the step counter on your smartphone shows that we move significantly less compared to when we are in the office. This is normally because there aren’t any coffee breaks with the colleagues to look forward to. My personal record in one day working from home is 1000 steps. Sad but true. There’s also the fact that there is no more personal contact with colleagues. You can’t replace the atmosphere, team spirit and spontaneous discussions over the phone!
In addition, important topics can be dealt with much better in a face-to-face meeting than in a web conference, because you can’t really get a feel for your conversation partner’s emotions and reactions when you can only hear their voice. Of course, you can always use the webcam (like we do in Neckarsulm), but anyone who’s sat in on a video conference with lots of participants knows how quickly the connection can suffer. That brings me nicely to my last negative point—technology. We all know the situation. You’re sitting in an important virtual meeting when suddenly the connection becomes unstable and the person speaking sounds like they are driving through a tunnel. Something that can be a real nuisance if it happens a lot. If you have meetings together in a conference room, there’s no need to worry about these kind of issues.
So, what’s better? Working from home or in the office? Of course, everyone will have their own personal preference, but I personally think that remote working is not the best long-term solution simply because I miss the contact with my colleagues which I think is essential for good collaboration. For that reason, I would say the best would be to have a balance between working from home and in the office as there are some situations in which being away from the office can be very practical.
All the best,