Mobile working requires regular communication as well as feedback about the work situation and performance. Set aside time outside of regularly scheduled meetings to speak with your colleagues to ensure there are opportunities for informal conversations that usually take place in passing. This helps to strengthen the team and members' commitment and fosters trust.
Finding a balance between remote and traditional working is challenging for all of us. Like many things, it will not always run smoothly from the start. It is important that you reflect on your experiences and learn from mistakes.
Create an environment that promotes honest and transparent communication - both among your colleagues as well as between staff and supervisors.
Do not shy away from addressing problems directly as this is the only way to find a solution.
We recommend creating guidelines and framework conditions for working together as a team and recording these in writing. This provides security, direction, and clarity for everyone's expectations.
Be sure to schedule regular meetings to jointly reflect on cooperation within the team right from the beginning to ensure any changes are made promptly. This allows cooperation to be continuously optimized.
Learn more about our workshop on this topic here: "Organizing mobile working in your team"
Discuss with your team how everyone can best be reached. Many staff prefer to call colleagues to discuss work while others use different channels to communicate with students and external persons. Ideally, mobile working only impacts where staff are working, not how they can be reached.
Apart from the fact that you aren't in the office, external parties may not even notice where you are working from. This requires that you can be reached in a similar way as when working from the office, i.e. by email, phone with call forwarding, etc. This goes hand in hand with not being always reachable. This may sound counterintuitive, but it is no different when working at the office: If you are in a meeting or on your lunch break, you aren't able to answer the phone.
Speak with your team about this to avoid misunderstandings.
Think about which technical options are available to you, such as setting up call forwarding while still being able to "shut off" before and after work: Some phone providers, for instance, offer a second number free of charge so that private and business calls can be kept separate and calls to one number can be redirected to voicemail.
When arranging remote working, make sure to plan short periods where you can chat with your coworkers. Just like working in the office, what you share or discuss with colleagues in passing is also important. This ensures everyone is up to date and strengthens relationships.
As a team, think about whether you want to find time for informal conversations, such as over a cup of coffee, in addition to your regular meetings. Such opportunities to chat can help you better understand your colleagues' needs with regards to how mobile working is organized and implemented in your team.
This prevents alienation among your colleagues and reinforces a feeling of togetherness. Clear arrangements are also important to prevent misunderstanding and resulting disappointment and to strengthen trust.
Every team has their own preferences and formats. Look for suitable ways to meet - whether virtually, in person, or in hybrid format.
All of these will help you as a team and contribute to a shared identity among colleagues, thus also increasing everyone's motivation. This in turn contributes to individual and team success.
It is important that you have an ergonomic workspace even when working remotely.
Workspace ergonomics and media skills as well as adapted workflows and sufficient technical equipment are the foundation to ensuring you are able to carry out your work and maintain your ability to perform.
Not everyone has ideal conditions when working remotely. Be mindful when setting up your workspace. Make sure to get up and move your body regularly, ideally every hour.
Making some coffee, stretching, etc. are examples of shorter or longer breaks. You can also try out a "walk and talk" by taking phone calls while going for a walk outside.
Make sure you feel comfortable in your workspace. Make sure you have the tools you need for your different tasks. You could, for instance, complete different tasks in different places with different tools (e.g. laptop, book, scratch paper). The more comfortable you are, the better you will be able to perform.
Different offers about designing your workspace and integrating active breaks can be found on the websites of the University Sports Center (ZEH), Human Resources and Continuing Education (II PE-WB), Occupational Health and Safety Services and Environmental Protection (SDU), and Health Management (BGM). Take a look at these offers regularly.