Although we at pressrelations have already been tried and tested in working from home, being constantly between your four walls is a new challenge for our employees to overcome. We asked our colleagues and collected some tips on how to spice up your daily routine of work, household chores and childcare with exercise, culture, and fun, despite the Coronavirus.
Anyone who previously thought they were always well organized in their everyday life is currently facing unexpected challenges. Partners and children are at home all day, the household does not take care of itself and compensatory activities such as team sports or meetings with friends are no longer possible. Concentrating on work at home is harder than expected, especially when the children are screaming, your partner’s meeting next room cannot be ignored, and even the neighbors don’t really know what to do with their time. Even aside from work, the different daily routine at home is often accompanied by a loss of structure. In order to prevent this, we at pressrelations started exchanging information on work-related topics, as well as on how to cope with everyday life during the Coronavirus, in order to encourage each other and provide helpful tips.
Our internal communication from the home offices takes place via an instant messaging service in groups based on topics – for example about Coronavirus or childcare. Here, colleagues take the time to communicate about daily issues, in order to make our corporate culture as lively as possible even without working together in person. We asked our employees how they diversify and organize their everyday life.
MAINTAIN SOCIAL CONTACTS
Social distancing does not mean that we have to give up any interaction outside our direct family – fortunately, there are enough video chat providers that make our lives a lot easier these days. So, the barbecue, which has been planned for months, will take place online, while virtual Scrabble tournaments will provide the necessary fun factor. Such conferences often lead to partly funny, partly embarrassing moments – recordings of curious apartment furnishings or lightly dressed flatmates in the background can be found online in large numbers and are currently cheering up the entire online community. Video conferences serve as a creative pastime away from work, enabling us to get in touch with our loved ones and promoting social cohesion even in difficult times.
“With my basketball team, we practice virtually once a week with a glass of beer using Zoom.”Fady
SPORT AND EXERCISE
In order not to go up the walls of your own home at some point, it is advisable to keep your body moving and not literally become a couch potato. Time to remember the New Year’s resolutions that have already been forgotten and to put them into practice. You can find numerous greatly discounted or even free online fitness offers for all age groups. Whether yoga, Pilates, dance lessons or hard workouts, offers are a dime a dozen and can be easily taken advantage of from home. If necessary, a daily walk in the park around the corner can also help to get your circulation going and make the time at home more relaxing.
“My personal challenge: being able to plank for four minutes at the end of the Coronavirus crisis. I’m currently at 3:30…”Agathe
However, in addition to all the limitations and deprivations, the Corona crisis also gives us the opportunity to pause and decelerate our lives. In everyday life, we often forget to take breaks and get away from our daily duties and tasks. We now see many things with different eyes – short walks become the highlight of the day and positive events gain more weight. The nice and sunny spring days make the crisis a bit more bearable at the moment. Spending a lot of time in nature – away from busy parks, of course – can help reduce stress and counteract the feeling of isolation.
“We have been going out on weekend walks anyway. Now it’s just more often. Luckily, we can go out in Germany. The same cannot be said about Australia or Spain, for example.”Madleen
Both companies and private households are currently forced to come to terms with the situation and find solutions that are as long-term as possible. A challenge on an economic level can also be a test of patience for families. Both spouses work from home, the children neither go to school nor to the daycare center, and there is no way to avoid each other. It is therefore important to remain busy and maintain your rhythm. Now is the time to tackle larger projects, which have always been postponed until now – wipe out the cupboards, sort clothes or repair the bicycle. Those who would like to be creative could paint a large picture for the living room, make pretty flower arrangements or hang homemade wind chimes on the balcony. There are no limits to creativity. Perhaps the Coronavirus crisis can bring many new hobbies and passions to light.
“I love coloring. There are currently many offers to download free coloring books.”Selina
LOOKING AFTER AND ENTERTAINING THE KIDS
This is an important issue for all working people who now have to balance work and children at the same time. The most important thing for a regulated everyday life at home is defining rules. Children should be clearly informed when their parents have time and when they don’t. Especially now, children must learn to keep themselves busy for a while and to take independent action against boredom. The current situation will nevertheless demand a lot of composure from most parents, mixed with patience and creativity.
Regarding childcare, our colleagues have shared many creative, sometimes curious ideas:
“We do lots of handicrafts, listen to radio plays, cook together and divide the day into sections as kindergartens do. We move for days in caves made of boxes and build, for example, a mud kitchen.”Jasmin
My tips: To, “I’m bored,” you should answer ‘Well, this is how it is’. Explain to the children why Blinding Lights is an old story. Then watch “Take on me” seven times. “Let the kids make waffles by themselves and look the other way.”Judith
The children are still so little, so it helps if they know when you have 100% time for them and when that just isn’t possible because the food has to be cooked or the laundry has to be done. The best tip if the kids don’t take a nap: introduce siesta!Helen
In the morning we do a family circle and structure the day: e.g. watch an episode with the mouse, Alba Berlin Sport, go to the forest, go shopping, clean up, etc. I have also initiated a virtual kindergarten with our kindergarten group. The educators are doing their best and have set up a very good program for 40 kids.Fady
BOOKS, FILMS AND PODCASTS
Of course, you can still fall back on classical methods of passing the time films, series, books and even podcasts are now enjoyed more intensively than ever. Streaming providers lure customers with special free offers, while many bookstores have set up a delivery service. Now is the perfect time to start a series marathon or read all the Harry Potter books. The employees of pressrelations have also set out in search of new visual, audio and reading material:
“My series tip is ‘The Good Place’. In this series, the protagonist Eleanor Shellstrop lands in heaven after her death. Wrongly, because she was not necessarily what you would call a good person. Trying not to get caught and still end up in ‘The Bad Place’ she learns a lot about morality and friendship. The black humor and philosophical thoughts behind the show make it my favorite.”Julia S.
“I would like to recommend a book: The Neverending Story is a beautiful classic by Michael Ende. Especially in these difficult times, it’s a great way to dive into the world of fantasy.”Birgit
“Here’s my podcast input: Unter Zwei – the media podcast, t3n podcast, An hour of media – DLF Nova, BredowCast.”Simon P.
STAND TOGETHER – WHILE KEEPING YOUR DISTANCE
In these difficult Coronavirus times, we see that it is the small conversations, helpful tips and encouraging words that provide us with the necessary motivation and hope. The knowledge that we are not alone with our problems helps us cope better with the current everyday life and to better handle the situation. The mutual exchange, be it collegial, friendly or familial, promotes cohesion on all levels and gives perspectives for the future. Let us try to make the best out of it together!
Picture credits: Allen Taylor via Unsplash