Where do you want to work? — Find the best workplace for you on remote
Author: Anne-Catherine Kieschnick
Estimated reading time: 7 min
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»It’s easier said than done«
It is not easy to get by in the home-office “state” in which almost every working person finds himself nowadays. This requires patience, because it is a discovery process, which can happen quite fast for some people, but for others it is still a so-called permanent state after more than half a year after COVID-19 affected all of us. Especially if you have a family and live in a small apartment, it should not be underestimated how difficult it is to work and concentrate while trying to block out all the noises around you. In this article we would like to give you some tips and tricks for a better work-flow and help you not only to find the most suitable workplace for you, but also to support you in restoring a healthy work-life balance.
Health Care | Physical and Mental Effects — Do Active Breaks
»If you’re working from home, you probably aren’t getting up and moving around as much as you were at work.—Long-term sitting can be harmful to your health, including increased blood pressure, increased risk for obesity and high blood sugar, writes Stephanie Mansour, host of “Step It Up With Steph” on PBS.« (Kathryn Vasel, 2020)
»You’ve been chained to your desk working remotely day in and day out. Schedule this mini break in the middle of the day and call it a meeting! (…) You’ve probably heard by now that sitting has been called the new smoking. With negative health effects from long-term sitting such as increased blood pressure, increased risk for obesity, high blood sugar and even cancer, too much sitting has become a cause for concern for people everywhere. In fact, research has shown that increased sitting time is linked to a higher risk of death from all causes.« (Stephanie Mansour, 2020)
This five-minute midday workout is designed to get you up out of your chair and use it to improve mobility. To get your heart rate up and stretch out your entire body.
For this workout routine, you’ll only need your desk chair as a prop.
7 Exercises in only 5 Minutes (Stephanie Mansour, 2020):
- Moving side lunge with glute tap
Repeat 10 times on each side
- Moving side lunge with shoulder dip
- Open-toe wide-leg squat with reach
Repeat this 10 times
- Chair toe taps
Repeat this 20 times with each leg for 40 taps total
- Chair lunge and lengthen
Repeat this 5 times on each side
- Hands behind the head stretch
Repeat this 5 times on each side
It is recommended to repeat this work-out daily. So that you don’t forget, you can set an alarm clock, for example, and even several if necessary!
Our health is becoming increasingly important. As we are fortunate enough to have access to new knowledge to prevent disease, we should use it intelligently rather than ignoring it out of ambition.
Pros and cons of working remotely
The advantages of working at a distance seem to be limited despite the “flexible idea”. Of course, it is possible to plan your day more skilfully and to your own advantage, but this always depends on the employer.
Let us assume that you work in marketing. This means that you have to meet deadlines and be constantly available. During a working day in the company, your focus is solely on the job. However, if you work from home, other factors come into play, such as cooking, washing clothes, childcare, walking the dog and much more.
Things that you probably do after work or at the weekend suddenly take place during a once normal working day. This is absolutely normal, because you are actually at home. It’s much more of an art than a mere form of organisation. Thus making the household and family compatible is therefore a work of art that not everyone can do.
Nevertheless, there are many people who find it easier to work from home than to sit in an office every day. Of course, every person and their way of working is different.
But the questions everyone should ask themselves in the home office are Do I feel balanced? Do I move enough? & Do I still enjoy my work?
How do I manage my work remotely? | »Unique Challenges«
If you’re not used to working from home, it can be tough to channel the same level of focus that you might have in an office setting. When you’re suddenly away from the rest of your team as a side effect, a lack of collaboration and connection can be difficult to navigate.
»Log off from remote work at the same time you typically leave the office. It’s important to build in time at night to rest and recharge so you can work sustainably.« (Marina Khidekel, 2020)
6 categories including 19 small steps to stay focused and above all mentally healthy during remote work (Thrive community, 2020)
1 Working conditions
»Establish clear working hours«
Katie Stearns, P.R. manager
»Close non-work-related tabs«
Rebecca Gebhardt, founder
»Assign time slots to your tasks«
Lauren Brownstein, philanthropy consultant
»Change out of your pajamas«
Caru Jones, leadership coach
»Tidy up first«
Marianne D., virtual assistant
»Establish a designated work area«
Ranjana Panikar Pollet, investor relations consultant and corporate wellness consultant
»Open the window«
Michaela Ottoman, marketing and communications manager
»Switch up your working space«
Eve Mayer, author and consultant
3 Take Breaks
»Step outside to reset«
Alyssa Swantkoski, executive assistant
»Take little micro-breaks«
Suzy Goodwin, podcast host and content creator
»Eat your meals in a different room«
Martha Switzer, co-founder of Sprout Wellness
»Take a real lunch break«
Tami Nealy, public relations
»Notify your team about your priorities«
Candice Tomlinson, learning solutions manager
»Schedule at least one call or meeting«
Kaleen Skersies, real estate development
»Stay connected to teammates«
Priyamvada S., founder and CEO
»Set an alarm for 25-minute work intervals«
Megan Nolan, yoga instructor and personal trainer
»Write things down«
Lauren Brownstein, philanthropy consultant
6 Health Care
»Start your day with mindfulness«
Carolyn Montrose Dub, marketing consultant
»Incorporate bursts of movement«
Natalie Bonfig, writer
Of course it is important to have a clean and tidy workplace. Moving around is also an advantage, but the most decisive thing is to set goals and above all limits. The point of practically logging off at the same time you would leave the office is very important. So is an exemplary communication among each other in the team. If you take all these points into account and give them meaning by putting them into practice, then there is nothing to stand in the way of an everyday working life on remot e.The keyword self care clearly stands out in this context.
The way to a successful workflow at home | 9 Rules (Katrin Täubig, 2019)
Create the perfect conditions for the ideal workplace.
1 Natural shades and white
Bright and calming colours serve as the basis for your home office. White promotes concentration, while in combination with warm natural tones it creates a calm room atmosphere. These are the best prerequisites for focusing on difficult tasks or letting your thoughts wander and coming up with new ideas.
2 The right desk position
To find the best possible position for your desk, keep the door in view and ensure that light falls on your desk from the side.
3 An ergonomic design
Ergonomics is the be-all and end-all of the workplace, especially if you spend several hours a day there. Invest in a good desk chair and a height-adjustable table so that you can work standing up from time to time. This in turn gives your circulation a boost.
4 Order for cables & co.
Organise your cable collection and place it outside your field of vision.
5 Shelves for files & books
The tidier your surroundings, the tidier your mind.
6 Good lighting
In addition to a good working light that illuminates the desk, you should place other light sources in your home office.
7 Seating for breaks
A comfortable armchair, preferably combined with a stool to put your feet up, or a couch should not be missing in any study.
8 Vision Board
Opposite your desk is the best place to hang a vision board on which you can visualise your ideas, goals or future dreams. It is all about raising your spirits and motivating you constantly. But the board should not stop you from working!
Don’t forget to decorate your home office with a little green. Plants improve the indoor climate and please the eye.
All 9 rules are easy to implement, making it really possible for everyone to adapt their working environment in such a way that they feel comfortable and follow the rules in order to achieve a positive and successful result.
What could a perfect working day look like in your own home?
Based on all the knowledge we now have, an ideal working day could look like this:
Set an alarm clock in the evening and get up at the same time every morning. Have breakfast and preferably do some sports before starting work. Always sit at a tidy desk at the same time of day until lunchtime. After a long break, after you have replenished your energy, continue working. A second break should be taken in the afternoon, ideally to do some gymnastics. This should stimulate the circulation and blood flow. The working day ends at a similar time every day. There are no night shifts, or even overtime, unless it is classified as an emergency. Good lighting should always be available during the working day.
What kind of Start-up guides are there to help you create an organized business plan and yet keep you away from irrelevant topics?
There are many start-ups, such as t3n, which provide detailed instructions for a business plan on their website. Both companies and employees can use this as a guide and make their daily work easier. Structure and organisation is everything!
How do we at GründerAtelier work remotely?
Our team works from several locations throughout Europe. Each individual employee has a different way of working or determines a different place or a different time. What we are trying to achieve is a healthy work-life-balance and connecting points, where we find our way together and support us to get through a regular working day. What’s important, where we actually plan plenty of time, is our Check-out call every single Friday. We are playing games to get to know each other even better and to understand who we are and who want to be. Figuring things out and solving problems together strengthens our team spirit. We care a lot about good communication and with the latest project—the Meditation Challenge (check out our blog article about: boost your mind through meditation)—we are becoming much more than just a nice team, we are becoming a family that actually cares about each other and each self-improvement, as well as the growth in the respective work area. We have never experienced working together in the office yet, which makes it easy to say that working remotely at GründerAtelier is “normal” to us. It’s not a big deal, but we might all agree on that;
We would rather work, take lunch, laugh and make fun, together in person!
It basically doesn’t matter where exactly everyone sits and works, but only how often they move around during the day and provide a balance. Taking breaks, drinking and eating enough and always staying in contact with your co-workers and employers/employees will help you get through these days of working remotely, especially if you are not a fan of it!
Movement > work while sitting!
Marina Khidekel. (2020). How to Stay Focused and Productive When Working From Home. Retrieved from:
Katrin Täubig. (2019). 9 goldene Regeln für den perfekten Arbeitsplatz zu Hause. Retrieved from:
Kathryn Vasel. (2020). Where do you want to work? Retrieved from: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/03/success/hybrid-workforce-work-transformed/index.html
Stephanie Mansour. (2020). This 5-minute midday workout will get you out of your chair. Retrieved from:
Darius Moeini. (2016). Grundgerüst fürs Startup: So erstellst du den perfekten Businessplan. Retrieved from: https://t3n.de/news/startup-businessplan-710074/