After months of working remotely, many of us are now working in a hybrid environment – splitting our time between working from home and working in our offices. Switching to a hybrid work situation is challenging and stressful for all involved. Here are some of today’s top tips for staying focused and productive.
Identify tasks suited to each hybrid work location
You’ll likely find that face-to-face meetings, brainstorming sessions, establishing goals and timelines, and one-on-ones with the boss are best accomplished in the office. Research, writing, posting to social media, and sending and responding to email are best done from home.
Create a schedule
Have a team member generate a shared hybrid work calendar with everyone’s remote and in-office days, and what work they’ll be expected to do in each setting. Your boss/organization may establish specific days for in-office work, so flexibility is key for your new hybrid work setting.
Work in the cloud
That way, you and your colleagues can access everyone’s documents no matter where you’re physically working. Make sure to implement your organization's security measures to keep your documents in the cloud safe.
At home, family, pets, neighbors and personal tasks will vie for your attention. If you have a door, put a do-not-disturb sign on it. No door? Try headphones. At work, you may need to gracefully sidestep long conversations with coworkers and loud discussions happening all around you. Here, too, headphones can help when you must concentrate. Working in an empty office is another good choice.
Set aside personal time
The work-from-home component of hybrid work has given us great flexibility. It has, however, tempted many of us to spend entire days (and nights) in front of our computers. For better work-life balance, take breaks. If necessary, write them into your hybrid work schedule. Stop to have lunch, walk outside, interact with family, run quick errands.
Stay connected to coworkers
At the office, there are myriad opportunities to build solid relationships with colleagues — through meetings, lunches, coffee breaks and more. There are fewer opportunities to connect at home. Use email, Slack, and other apps to keep up with your work friends’ personal and professional lives.
Our hybrid work environments are so new that establishing best practices will take time. Exchange feedback with colleagues about which tasks, procedures and goals have been working and which need to change. Trial and error is now the norm — embrace it!