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Opinion: Optimizing Your Work From Home Days One Shift At A Time

The situation we are living in right now is profoundly changing our habits and routines. It is clearly taking us out of our comfort zones, and I’m convinced this is here to stay, for a while at least. Articles on how to work from home and take care of your children at the same time are flourishing in the media, on blogs and on social networks. We are no exception to the rule and have published a few for you on our site, too!
by: Charles-Louis Machuron
photo: Serge Deuces
featured: Charles-Louis Machuron

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Today I would like to tell you about how I’ve been organising my days during this period. Working remotely and from home is a habit that I have had for several years but my work environment has not drastically changed. How I organize myself, however, has.

Working from home is a habit that I’ve picked up and one in which I feel particularly efficient. My office and working tools are readily available to me at home. As much as I’m used to being alone at home during my working days, since mid-March the five of us have been at home! This has required me to make adjustments overnight.

First, I had to set up a second office so that my wife could also work from home (full time). Neither she (working at the European Investment Bank) nor I (self-employed) can benefit from the partial unemployment scheme and therefore have to work full-time. Fortunately, for the past few months she has already been working one day a week from home. As a result, we’re used to working from home together.

Second, we have three small children who need constant attention from 7am to 8pm every day. My family has always been a priority and is still during this period. We therefore decided from the outset to divide our days into “shifts” so that one of us can be with the children while the other works, quietly. A typical day with us is therefore organized as follows: from 5:30 am to 10 am it’s my shift during which I work and take care of breakfast. 10 to 2 pm it’s my wife’s shift who always starts her day with a call with her team, then from 2 to 5 pm it’s my turn again, and from 5 to 8 pm is when we all spend time together. 8 to 11 pm is what my wife and I have set aside as our free time to finish any pending work (the first two weeks of this month were rather busy- while she was closing Finance files, I was busy closing a magazine) Easy!

At first sight, our organizational paradigm is military in nature but it is necessary. The children also need to have habits and now understand how our days are organized. This “shift” based paradigm also works well if you are single or live with a partner. You are more efficient on short time slots and you are more organized. Make sure you also allocate some of these time slots to take a break though!

If this tip has been useful, I am very happy about it. If you wish to share how you organize your “work-from-home” days, do not hesitate to comment on this article on Silicon Luxembourg’s networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram).

With these words, I leave you to take my next shift.

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