8 Tips for Hybrid Working
The pandemic accelerated the work-from-home shift, but our new normal will include many options for remote work.
Ultimately, a lot of companies will lean toward a hybrid system, that includes both some remote and some in-person work environments.
Working remotely or in a hybrid setup offers many benefits, but it can also be challenging for individuals and organizations.
Today, we’ll share some of the top tips for hybrid working.
Start the Morning Out Right
Whether you’re a full-time remote worker or a hybrid one, how you start your day can have a big impact on productivity. Create a morning routine you can stick to whether you are heading to the office or working from home. The routine should be based on your priorities, habits, and interests, but it should set you up to start work focused.
When working from home, it’s easy to get stuck on tasks for hours on end. Take set, scheduled breaks no matter where you are working from. Employers should also encourage employees to take breaks, and respect any schedule breaks because it ensures happier, more productive employees in the long run.
Remote Work Policies
When companies immediately had to implement remote work during the pandemic, many were understandably unprepared. Now is the time to develop clear remote and hybrid work policies. Detail remote work policies and procedures. Outline expectations. Remote workers should also partake in this process, and in turn share their needs and expectations of the company.
Create a dedicated workspace at your home. If you have an extra room, turn it into your office. Even if you do not have a full room, you can create a corner office in another room.
Companies can help employees create a productive workspace by providing them with loaned equipment. Employees should ask if they need something for their work-from-home setup. Ideally, companies should provide the same desk setup for remote employees as they do for those who work in the office. Just make sure to create a clear company device policy!
Cybersecurity is an understandable concern with hybrid working. Just as you need a cybersecurity protocol for the office, you should have one for remote and hybrid workers. Create a cybersecurity policy that addresses all facets of hybrid working. The policy should cover the roles and responsibilities of employees, like the requirement to use secure passwords on all devices used for work, including home WiFi.
Include additional home office guidelines for the cybersecurity policy. Train your team on remote work cybersecurity best practices and ensure everyone on the team knows how to mitigate cybersecurity risks, even in an at-home office.
One of the biggest fears many have about working remotely is the lack of social interaction with colleagues. Some fear that not being in the office puts them at a disadvantage for promotions and positive reviews.
However, working from home should not be a detriment to employees. Ensure that colleagues socialize and develop rapport, no matter where they work from. Some ways to do this include:
- Team messages
- Organizational meetups/ events
- Including remote workers in meetings via Zoom
- Virtual office after work or during lunch
- Challenges/ games
With remote and hybrid work, getting the information you need is not always as easy as popping your head into someone’s cubicle. Communication can be a challenge, and teams should address it head-on.
For one, managers and team leads should be clear on how and when they can be reached. Outline which form of communication to use and when they can expect a response. All team members should do the same.
Set clear expectations and check-in points for projects. After meetings, send a follow-up recap of the basic points and any action steps. Measure project progress visibly. Take these kinds of extra steps to ensure cohesive communication.
Set Work Boundaries
Working from home allows you to enjoy flexibility, but this can become draining when it overtakes your life. Set clear work-life boundaries. Determine when you will “leave the office” and unplug, no matter if the office is in your home or outside the home.
Here are some additional tips for setting work boundaries:
- Set chat and messaging apps for work to “away” and “do not disturb” when you are off the clock.
- Schedule your work email to turn off after a certain time.
- Set boundaries for when you accept meetings. Once in a while, you may have to get up early or stay late for a meeting in another time zone, but try to limit it.
- Communicate your boundaries to your team so they know when you are available.
- Take a set lunch break, and NO working during the break!
Hybrid working is changing the office landscape, but it can be for the better. Use the tips above to ensure productive, balanced hybrid work for your company.