I have been working from home since March 10 2020, except for 2 meetings at a customer, 4 short visits to the company office. Part of the time the company office has been locked down and for other parts of the time we have been recommended to work from home.
To be honest I have never really prioritized to hang out at the coffee machine to have chit-chats with close and remote colleagues, but of course such meetings have been part of the everyday life at the office. But for the last 8 months there have been no occasional bumping into colleagues. Now you need to decide who you want to talk to and the call/Skype/Team/Zoom them. I do it when I have a purpose with the call, but very rarely just to chat and never to a remote colleague that I don’t share tasks or project with.
When working under a tight deadline a day without small interruptions can be pleasing, because you can stay concentrated on your tasks and get things moving towards the goal. But during periods when deadlines is not looming above my head, I find that I actually miss the small breaks and disturbances. Time where I get insight into some of all the in-official news and knowledge that also makes up the working environment. I think these small breaks aid to clear the mind when changing from one task to another. Missing the small breaks between tasks began to annoy me, so instead of calling a random colleague to have an informal coffee chat – quite sure I would break their concentration and harming their performance. In the office when we met we would both have left the desk and wandered off to the coffee machine signaling ‘I have a break’, I see no such signals in the Covid life situation.
To free my mind from one task before I start the next I have started to leave my desk, go into the garden – not when it’s pouring – and find something to snap a photo of, sometimes I even create the motive in a few minutes. Below you can see some of my break projects.