The hybrid office is no longer a dream. It’s happening right now as more offices are adopting it post pandemic. In fact, some companies have already been in hybrid mode even before the pandemic so the “some days in, some days out of the office” routine is nothing new.
But for most of us who are still trying to get used to it, hybrid work can be messy and stressful at first as you return to the office part time but still need to perform full time. It can also be inconvenient, especially if your home is not set up to be office ready – pets, parents, kids who got in the way during the WFH pandemic times will also get in the way during hybrid work. Trying to stay in work mode while at home with so many distractions is a challenge.
With a few tweaks and tips though, you can make hybrid work less stressful and even productive as you switch from home office to real office. Here are some to try.
#1 Plan your flexible schedule
One of the advantages of hybrid work is the flexibility. But it is also this very same flexibility that makes a lot of us feel a little lost, unsure of how to work out the 9-to-5 when you are at home, and also how to make that switch from home on Monday but office on Tuesday to quickly pick up on work – and not leave anything important behind. It can be rather unnerving when you are used to a slower pace while working at home but need to get into office mode ASAP the next day.
The trick is to give yourself enough time to plan. Pack what you need for the office the next day. Plan what you want to accomplish both at home and at work. Don’t stress yourself out trying to do everything at home to prove to your boss that you were really working. Pace yourself. Working at home doesn’t mean you work all day long. Treat it like any other work day and log off when it’s time. Use the digital tools – sync your in-office days with your collaborators so you and your team will get more things done in an efficient way.
#2 Check in first thing in the morning
Back at the office and not everyone is there? It can be tough trying to organize who does what when half the team is at home and the other half is in the office. This is where check-ins can come in handy. Schedule a 10-to-15 minute check-in first thing in the morning so everyone knows exactly what is on the table and who’s doing what.
#3 Save the heavy work stuff for home days
If you can, use your office days to collaborate and have meetings with your colleagues and managers. Teamwork stuff should be done when in the office so everyone is around to contribute. The heads-down writing, editing and deck preparing stuff should be done at home where you need more alone time to concentrate.
#4 Make your home office more office-like – and vice versa!
We’ve discussed over and over again how you need to make your home office more conducive for working by equipping it with a proper office chair and high-speed connection. But the same goes for your office too. We’ve gotten so used to working from home that suddenly transitioning into what the office used to be like pre-pandemic won’t be as easy. There are some easy ways to do this – wear comfortable shoes, pack your favourite breakfast to work, take a proper lunch break. Ask yourself this question: What do you like about working from home? Then try to emulate that in the office.
Share with us your tips on how to make hybrid work a success at Twitter @graduan.