How to make the most of a hybrid work schedule
Since the beginning of the pandemic and following the effects of Covid-19, remote work has quickly established itself as the new norm among many organizations. Nearly everyone was forced to create a somewhat functional workspace at home, some with great enthusiasm, others rather reluctantly. In most cases, scarce were those equipped with the proper tools, both literally and figuratively.
As employees are now confronted with a progressive return to the office, this return to “normal” can present itself as an unpleasant chore for many businesses. After months of establishing a new routine, modifying one’s lifestyle once again can be intimidating.
Working from home has a few pros that are hard to ignore. It can allow employees to save on commute time and expenses. For many, remote work is also a chance to maintain a better work-life balance. Who doesn’t dream of being able to start a load of laundry between two team meetings?
Working remotely can also reduce distractions, increase schedule and time management flexibility, and reduce stress, thus increasing creativity and productivity.
Working in the office also has its list of advantages. Getting out of the house to travel to the office contributes to better mental health. Connecting with colleagues in person also helps build a better company culture, allows us to entertain a more active social life, and helps with the integration of new employees.
In the case of many projects or team collaborations, working on-site is also ideal for developing and discussing ideas.
Therefore, a hybrid work combination can seem like an attractive option that allows employees to combine flexibility and balance with stimulation and convenience. Still, some staff and companies remain skeptical about the idea.
Here are 5 tips that could convince you to take the leap toward a work schedule that combines the advantages of remote and on-site work.
1. Plan ahead
More than ever, planning your schedule ahead of time can be the little extra effort that makes all the difference in your work-life balance. Working from home can make the comfort of your bed and the convenience of a home office a little too attractive in the morning, which can lead you to neglect your commute to the office for a day of work.
Planning which days of the week you plan to work on-site and noting them in your calendar is a good first step, but take this habit a little further. Plan your meals, get your equipment ready, and focus on the reasons to pay your colleagues a visit a few times a week. Give yourself the best possible tools to make your life as easy as possible!
If, on the other hand, you dread the days you have to stay home to work, take the time to appreciate the peace of mind that comes with working remotely. Enjoy this time to improve your time and task management, for example. Make the most out of your lunch break by going on a walk around your neighborhood or completing errands you’d been procrastinating on.
In any case, make the most of this new lifestyle by planning your days ahead and maximizing every opportunity, both professionally and personally.
2. Organize your tasks differently
If you approach your remote work schedule and office work schedule with the same strategy, you’ll quickly realize that your motivation and productivity might decrease.
The truth is that specific tasks are a better fit for remote work, while others are more appropriate for an office environment.
Whether it’s research, reading, team meetings, or brainstorming sessions, consider how your work mode affects your daily tasks. It may be easier for you to focus at work. In that case, you can make sure to keep your analysis or reading duties for your remote workdays.
On the other hand, team meetings or work sessions involving multiple people can be heavy and tiring when hosted on Zoom or Google Meet. It can therefore be more interesting to plan those sessions when you and your colleagues meet up in the office.
Coordinating your on-site workdays with your team members or department can also make a huge difference in your motivation and productivity. After all, it’s often easier and more effective to ask someone a question face-to-face rather than through a short chat message! A smiling emoji doesn’t always have the expected impact.
3. Check in with others… and yourself!
When it comes to well-being and feedback, checking in with yourself and your colleagues is more important than ever.
When working from home, it’s easy to neglect rest time or well-deserved breaks. If needed, make sure to add short breaks to your schedule to make sure you don’t strain yourself in front of your screen.
It can also be a challenge to get a clear idea of how your performance is perceived by other team members or your supervisor. Maintaining open, honest communication to check in on your team’s satisfaction regarding your productivity, and vice-versa, helps ensure a healthy work environment even from a distance. This also helps avoid misunderstandings that could worsen when visiting the office.
Alternatively, if your schedule doesn’t line up with your colleagues, it’s also possible you’ll rarely or never cross paths with them at the office. This is where it’s crucial to take a moment to check in with them. It’s easy to forget that everyone is in the same both! If you’re having a hard time managing this change in your lifestyle, your team members may be going through similar challenges. It’s the perfect occasion to lend them an open ear and embrace the open ear they provide in return. You can share your tips and tricks to deal with this new routine!
4. Make the most out of your workspace
Two days at home, three days at the office, one day at home, one day at the office… This often unstable back and forth is a challenge in many ways, notably when it comes to maintaining your workspace(s).
Whether at home or the office, regular travel between two locations can quickly lead to neglecting one space or the other, if not both!
Paying particular attention to these two distinct, equally important spaces can make a world of difference between effective and disorganized work. Make sure to invest as much effort in the organization and maintenance of your home workspace as you do at the office. And don’t forget to take into consideration that these two spaces can be very different yet just as conducive to focus and productivity!
For example, maximize the comfort and freedom provided by your home space. Take the opportunity to listen to music without headphones, adjust the thermostat to the perfect temperature, or walk around in sweatpants. Sing at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy!
On the other hand, enjoy the more dynamic, stimulating atmosphere provided by a shared work area. Working alongside your colleagues can help you stay focused on the task at hand and keep you more motivated. At Crakmedia, working in the office also means enjoying an endless supply of free coffee, tea, fruits, and snacks! Take a second to recognize and appreciate the unique, distinct advantages offered by your two workspaces.
It’s the best of both worlds!
5. Stay flexible
In our blog article on the 5 things employees are looking for in 2022, we talk about this famous “flexibility” that seems to be on everyone’s lips these days. However, when we think of hybrid work, staying flexible can be both a challenge and a huge advantage!
Showing flexibility can require some effort, but in the case of a work schedule that alternates between home and the office, it can be a handy tool to add to your belt. Think of the weather, for example! In case of a storm, you can allow yourself to stay home. If it’s a particularly beautiful day outside, you can choose to get out of the house and travel to the office or even stay home so you can work on your porch or balcony!
Hybrid work allows you to make the most out of your flexibility no matter your preferences. And if, on the contrary, you prefer a strict, unchanging schedule, you can build your routine on a completely rigid base!
Schedule, commute, and task management flexibility are just as crucial for your professional well-being as they are for your organization’s success over the next few months. So keep in mind that this new work mode might require constant adjustments, but it also might bring a whole lot of previously unexplored advantages.
Are you ready to rethink your day-to-day routine, both professionally and personally?