It’s a new year, and whether you’re in a new position, finally back in the office part-time after COVID, or just getting back to work after the holidays, hybrid working can take some getting used to. Start the year strong with some of our best tips for hybrid working in 2023.
1. Set a Schedule and Keep It
Going back and forth between the home and office can be disorienting. Even experienced hybrid workers can sometimes struggle to stick to a plan. Let’s face it – we’re all creatures of habit. Making a schedule and defining it early on (especially if there isn’t much guidance from your employer) is critical.
Not everyone is perfectly suited for remote work, and that’s okay. Improvements to your productivity will come in time, as long as you’re dedicated to improving. If your employer has expectations for a set number of in-office and out-of-office days, find the schedule that works best for you while still adhering to their standards. This can be a challenge with more rigid constraints, but if you’re willing to make a change, it can stick.
Once you’ve got your schedule nailed down, it’s important to avoid deviating from it. There are obviously circumstances that are unavoidable, like illness or inclement weather, but your productivity and mental health rely on you keeping an effective schedule. You don’t have to do the exact same thing every day to keep a schedule, either. Nobody is suggesting you micromanage your work life and home life, but a good schedule is undoubtedly a healthy way to work in this hybrid landscape.
2. Separate Work from Home While You’re Home
When looking for tips for working remotely, work-life balance is bound to come up a lot. Admittedly, finding this balance is sometimes easier said than done, but maintaining a good work-life balance while working from home is critical for your mental health.
When personal space has to serve a second purpose for remote work, it can sometimes become difficult to differentiate this shared space. For some people, that means checking work emails or reading reports when they’re not scheduled to work. For others, it means finding yourself focusing a little too intently on the page-turner you’ve been reading and accidentally taking a 2-hour lunch. To avoid overworking, it’s a good idea to set your work hours and be strict about them. Of course, many people are working overtime or checking in after hours with overseas contacts, so sometimes we need to be a little flexible. But don’t always stack your work time. Don’t forget to take breaks, and try to get exercise on your breaks, even if it’s a few minutes on a stationary bike.
If you’re finding yourself distracted from work by everything else, you may need to change some things about your home office. Our biggest distractions are the things that give us comfort, like a smartphone or a good book. Get the TV out of the room if you can. Shut the window if the street noise gets too loud. Working from home is a great privilege that not everyone gets, but it’s not always easy to remember that.
3. Expect Different Things from Different Environments
This is a big one. No matter what you are used to, whether it’s working in an office full time or working from home full time, hybrid work puts you in both worlds at once. Your productivity can vary drastically between working in an office or working at home – it depends partly on your personality. Maybe you prefer to be at home and laser-focused on your tasks. Being in the office might throw more distractions your way. Expect more impromptu meetings to take place in person, and don’t stress about getting caught in a conversation in the hallway. Your productivity is important, but so is making connections at work.
4. Travel Light
With hybrid work, making sure that you have everything with you as you trek into the office and back to your personal space is an adjustment. Let’s face it: when we’re working a hybrid schedule, we’re traveling for work. It can be a massive headache to forget your laptop charger or docking station in the office. Sometimes, you can feel stranded when you’re at home. Making sure you have a good inventory of everything you need with you at all times might sound excessive, but being prepared might just save you the stress of leaving things behind. In the event that you do lose something, it’s smart to have location services enabled. Whether it’s a smartphone or a laptop, most come with a find my device feature in the event that something comes up missing. Tracking tags for your keys, wallet, and other equipment and accessories can be a lifesaver when you’re constantly on the go.
But it’s not only physical things you’re going to need to keep track of. Make sure you’re using the cloud for your work. Even if you’re taking your work laptop with you, cloud backups are incredibly important. This is the safest and most secure way to back up work files and other important digital information. Many employers use a service like Dropbox or One Drive, so make sure you’re up to date on what’s available, how it works, and how to maintain access. Your work is important, so don’t let it get lost in the shuffle.
5. Stay Social
Remote work doesn’t have a great reputation when it comes to maintaining healthy relationships with your coworkers. Hybrid work fares a bit better, but networking as a hybrid worker can still be a unique challenge. Fortunately, there are a variety of things that make staying close to your work friends and colleagues simple, even if it’s half online.
You’ve no doubt talked through weekend plans via Slack or Teams at some point, and if you haven’t, now’s a great time to start. Having friends among your colleagues is greatly beneficial for your mental health at work, and that is good for your productivity too. Having someone to talk to who is also dealing with the unique hybrid work schedule is great for finding solutions and just airing common frustrations as you make sense of your commute or lack thereof. Remaining in contact with your supervisor or managers can be tricky when working remotely as well, but many workplaces have adapted well to this. Discuss your concerns with your manager if you feel like your communication needs aren’t being met while doing hybrid work. Your morale matters, both as an individual and as a part of your team, so don’t neglect your social life at work.
We hope these tips help as you begin to or continue navigating your hybrid work life. If you’re missing the office or just the feeling of being around other productive people while you work, Center 615 can help. We offer a coworking space with plentiful options and affordable rates, meeting rooms, and even private offices made with hybrid workers in mind. If you’re interested in checking out all the Center 615 has to offer your hybrid work, schedule a tour today.