After almost two years, the global Corona pandemic still has us firmly in its grip and is shaping both our private lives and our everyday working lives. At our headquarters in Mannheim, mobile working has long since become a part of everyday life - thanks to generous mobile working regulations that were introduced even before the pandemic and are constantly being adapted to current conditions. We spoke to colleagues at the Mannheim headquarters and asked them about their experiences and routines with mobile working.

Do you maintain certain routines when working from home?


Alisa Strohmaier, Specialist Talent Acquisition : Even when I'm working from home, I plan a short morning routine in which I take my time to drink my first coffee and get ready for the day. Only then do I open the laptop and the workday begins. I also try to schedule a lunch break at home, during which I leave my office at home.

Stephan De Maria, Manager Communications: Routines have quickly become established. It's important for me to maintain a clear structure, to keep work and private life separate, and to take breaks - not at my desk or at my laptop, that's important to me. For example, I go out on the balcony and look into the distance, feed the birds or read the newspaper - ten minutes of real break from work. I use my lunch break either to have lunch with my partner, if our schedule allows it, or to exercise. At the end of the day, I clean up my desk completely so that my home is really private again.

How do you keep in touch with your team and colleagues when you're working from home?


Max Schmiechen, Manager Group Governance: I regularly talk to my colleagues from my team on the phone or by skype - whether it's to talk shop, exchange a few personal and funny words, or just to let off a little steam. We also have a weekly team meeting where the camera is always on. We see each other at least once a week. Unfortunately, contacts across the board are relatively limited to technical coordination. Of course, depending on what type of person you are, you can get talking, but socializing suffers a lot under Corona. In the office, however, it's unfortunately very similar, because you reduce your contacts to the essentials through masks and distance regulations.

Alisa: Keeping in touch with the team and colleagues is very important when working from home, because you don't meet in person in the office, in the hallway or in the coffee kitchen. Every morning, we have a short "daily check-in" via Zoom in the Group HR team, in which we exchange information about the upcoming workday and current topics and interfaces, and otherwise I am in daily contact with my colleagues by phone and/or via chat/zoom. Since the RKW locations are spread all over the world, some of my colleagues are located at other German sites or abroad, which means that personal contact would not be possible anyway. That's why we at RKW are used to virtual collaboration in an international environment.

Do you have any tips for working effectively at home?


Julia Lais, Manager Marketing Communications: For me, having my designated room as an office is very important. I have designed the room so that I feel comfortable and enjoy being there. This helps me to work effectively and not be distracted by external factors.

Max: Routines! Work roughly the same time as you would in the office. Conscious breaks that don't take place in front of the computer (memo to myself to pay attention to this) and regular exercise. That clears the head. And the desk has to be tidy. Maybe it's just my inner Monk, but a clear head needs a clear view.

How do you switch off after a day at work?


Stephan: Literally switching off - that's important to me at the end of the day. I shut down my laptop, put it away, and stop checking my e-mails on my company smartphone unless I have something urgent to do. I also try to get out into the air as often as possible after work to create a clear separation between my workday and my free time, similar to my commute.

Alisa: By packing away my laptop + other equipment and tidying up, the workday is finished and "ticked off". Afterwards, I usually go out into the fresh air and do a round of sports to have a change of scenery.