Jessica Dijkhuizen: ‘I work more efficiently at home’

Jessica Dijkhuizen usually travels by train from The Hague to her workplace at Principal at WTC Schiphol. Since the corona crisis she works full-time at home. At the dinner table, together with husband and children. “I have to keep a lot of balls in the air, but work more efficiently.”

Fixed structure

“Ever since the lockdown started, I’ve been working at home every day. My husband and kids are home, too. We’ve had a fixed structure from day one. We get up at 8, get dressed, have breakfast together and at 9 we go to work and school. We also keep fixed times to take a break and to have lunch. That works very well, both for the children and for us”.

Less lost time

“I’ve worked from home before, so working from home isn’t new to me. The four of us are sitting at the dining table. If one of us has a meeting, we try to sit apart for a while. Fortunately, my work continues despite the crisis, although it has calmed down a bit in the meantime. I notice that I do work more efficiently from home. Less time is wasted on getting coffee and talking to others”.

Balls in the air

“Still, I think it’s heavy, really heavy. Work in combination with supervising the children in their schoolwork. We suddenly had to learn about scholing. In the lessons, how we can best communicate this. And keep the house clean, because the cleaning lady doesn’t come because of the coronation. Now that we’re all home all day, the house gets dirty faster. I wasn’t aware of that at first, but now I am. In the evening I’m really tired of keeping all the balls in the air.”

Longer evening together

“What I miss most? The variety. Every day now looks the same. I miss being on the road and interacting with other people. But working from home also has its pleasant sides. We spend a lot more time together as a family. At 5 p.m. the computers go off and we can cook at our leisure, we don’t have a long travel time. We are in less of a hurry and have a much longer evening together”.

Eyes open

“I haven’t figured out what I’m gonna do when we get back outside. For the time being maybe I’d rather not take the train, that’s gone through my head. But the car is not really an alternative, it will take me 1.5 hours. I think I will work at home more often than I did before. At our offices in England and the US, working from home was actually not-done. By now they experience that it is possible. And that people do work hard at home and even more efficiently. That has opened some eyes.”