Merkle quarantine diary - week 2

Already two weeks fully remote. What happened and how's it going? Our recap of the week

Merkle@Home: This week Katha reports how she experienced the Home Office quarantine

Day 6 - Monday, 23rd March 2020

This is the second week I've been out of the office. Again 8h alone in front of my laptop. It is always fun in our office wing and I miss the daily jokes and conversations. I would love to have a barbecue with my colleagues during the lunch break. There would have been at least 3 cakes already. And I would love to play soccer again... Whew, tough start into the week! 

Luckily the week starts with our accommodation meeting. So I see all colleagues from my office wing at least virtually. Usually we discuss location updates and plan the next activities. This time we use it to tell everyone a little bit about our projects. A nice change. We feel better informed about what everyone is doing, as if we were sitting in the same room. Maybe we should keep the format after Corona. I am already looking forward to the next Virtual Coffee tomorrow.

Office Care
Even if the office is unvisited, our plants are still watered.

Day 7 - Tuesday, 24th March 2020

Fots of the hairy home office colleagues make the rounds in chat

In the Frankfurt Chat we are still looking for the perfect setup for the home office. After last week's focus on the best environment (balcony office was very popular), this week it's all about the little things. Curved monitors and mechanical keyboards are actually quite common among colleagues*. I follow the discussion from my temporary workplace at my dining room table and reconsider my bold statement during my last apartment search: "Who needs a study, I prefer the office anyway". Another integral part of home offices are cats and dogs. The chat is flooded with SO MANY cute quadrupeds. Slowly the concern is growing in me whether I will survive so many weeks at home without something fluffy to cuddle. 

At noon there is the first Mindfulness Session for all Merkle employees. I squeeze my yoga mat onto the last free space next to my extended dining table. 30 minutes of meditation and come to rest. I love Shavasana. Afterwards I feel a little better. Namaste.

Day 8 - Wednesday, 25th March 2020

Menschenschlage wartet auf der Straße vor dem Postamt
Keep your distance in the queue in front of the post office.

While not much has actually changed at home, the cuts are quite noticeable when I go outside the door. The streets in the otherwise pulsating Sachsenhausen are as if they were empty. Meanwhile, my favourite ice cream parlour has closed (no more Giotto ice cream :( ), and I can't get fresh bread from the wood-fired oven at the market anymore. 

But there are other curiosities: At the post station we wait until the neighbouring street with 2m distance between us. I avoid every person I meet extra far. Somehow fascinating how fast our society has changed. 

More valuable than ever is our joke chat. The "Frankfurter Lachkeller" chat was founded a few years ago after too many supposedly meaningless comments were posted in the location chat. In the meantime, it has become an institution that has made a name for itself beyond location boundaries. Laughter is still the best medicine!

Day 9 - Thursday, 26th March 2020

From the setup we are as an agency super prepared for home office. The switch to remote working is technically very easy. It is more the routine we all have to get used to. Fixed break times, really folding the laptop in the evening - sometimes it's really difficult to create distance. And we all notice that 8 hours in a row looking at the screen and communicating exclusively via hangouts is pretty exhausting. It's quite different from having a different setting in the office and, above all, having meetings together on site. That's why it's really helpful that our colleagues Michael and Pirmin have put together a few tips for remote workshops and working from home. You can take a look at it here.

But working at home also has advantages. Just recently the new bistro in Frankfurt was opened. On the 5th floor with a great view of the skyline. But since then the way to the coffee machine has been much longer. Now the coffee machine is right next to me. And I have moved my dining table to the window so that I sit directly in the sun. So it can be worked :-)

Blick ins Home Office

Day 10 - Friday, 27th March 2020

Happy Friday! This is how we always welcome each other in Project Daily. We are currently working hard on the further development of Ingenuity. Because in times like these, a digital platform for exchange on future topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Smart Cities or Future of Work is more in demand than ever. As a Product Owner Consultant, I'm working with my team colleagues at Siemens on how we can make our product even better, especially in times of Corona. And so the week flies by with many concept & design discussions, technical coordination and sprint changes. 

Before I go into the weekend, I look through our intranet to see what the others have done: This week we pitched, held workshops, one project went live, ... A little bit of what happens then.

Next week I have vacation. Actually I wanted to go to Lake Garda with my family. Instead, I'm now doing all kinds of things I somehow never did before: Putting up plant shelves, reading books, trying Disney+, and maybe, but really only if there's still time, maybe I'll go jogging. My inner bastard is probably not yet in exceptional mode. A good sign :-)