It’s been over two years since Modix had to close its office. Taking every precaution, Modix encouraged all employees to work remotely at home to stay safe while the entire world navigated uncertain times.
It was an unexpected change. The new work rhythm and coping with unforeseen challenges associated with working from home takes time and patience, but we’re proud of how our team adapted so quickly to the new work setup.
Mandy, QA Analyst at Modix, gives us a little insight into her experience of home office…
What I miss most
I miss the small talk while making a coffee or taking a walk with colleagues to grab lunch nearby. Also, being able to see colleagues in person and not just a blurry vision of them on the screen.
What are the difficulties
As my home is now my workplace, I sometimes get ‘cabin fever’. It’s become so important to get out, even if it’s just a walk to the bakery or a quick grocery errand. These were things that used to be a daily chore, but now I look forward to getting moving.
Separating home and work life has been a challenge, both physically and mentally. When I was sent into home office, I set up a little corner in the living room but did not realize how demanding it would be having my home office in the heart of my family life. There I was, peeking over my screen during family meals and noticing small things to be done in the household: the windows needed cleaning, and the cupboard could be reorganized. These were distracting thoughts and resulted in ‘homemade’ stress.
After a few months, I finally set up a proper office in a separate room. The change, mentally, was an instant relief.
Another challenge was building up work relationships. Colleagues would often have their cameras off during meetings and this caused a feeling of uncertainty, not seeing their faces. I was missing the nonverbal communication, but I am happy that turning the camera on quickly became common as people adjusted to the new digital workplace.
But there are benefits
I enjoyed seeing colleagues – those with cameras on – in their home environment with their kids or pets occasionally peeking into the screen. This improved relationships, as I was ‘invited’ into the personal life of my colleagues.
My commute has been reduced to a mere minute walk into my home office. This saves fuel and reduces emissions. No more drives in the ice, snow or dark.
I don’t waste time in the morning anymore trying to decide what outfit to wear. It’s great that trousers don’t necessarily have to match the tops when sitting in front of the computer.
I can welcome my son after school with a tasty lunch awaiting him. Checking in on my 92-old neighbor is now also possible and gives me a feeling of relief. In the summertime, it’s wonderful to take lunch outside on my garden patio, overlooking open fields.
Thinking about all these benefits, home office is a blessing. I would not want to return to the office on a regular basis, but an occasional office visit would be a nice change once the pandemic allows us to do so.
Many who could have never imagined this way of working life and who have had a taste of it, love it. But not everyone has a happy tale to tell. Of course, there are downsides that cannot be denied. Trying to hold a meeting from a kitchen table with bored children or an annoyed spouse in the background can be draining. There may be no space at home for the home office and the only quiet place may be the basement.
Covid-19 has changed our work life. We may not yet know to what extent, but it has clearly resulted in a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink our way of working and how companies are run. The new ‘normal’ brings many challenges but also benefits the individual, the company, and the environment.
Returning to the office
Our new modern office in Koblenz is ready to open its doors to colleagues who can’t wait to return to work. Our office is a place for collaboration, problem-solving, innovation and connection. And it’s not about how many days you go into an office, it’s about the purpose.
Many team members have been missing social interaction or have no proper place to work from home. Whilst others, like Mandy, have really enjoyed their home office.
The best thing is, everything is possible! Together with Cox Automotive Europe, Modix gives our employees the chance to retain the flexibility that they have enjoyed over the last two years. Modix has taken our colleagues’ wishes into consideration, allowing all employees to decide themselves what is best for their healthy and happy work-life balance.
The most important thing to remember is that work is what you do, not where you go.
Did you know?
Here at Modix, we’re part of an amazing global culture where we put our people at the very heart of what we do. We are also looking for some more brilliant minds for our international teams. Find our open vacancies here.