During the COVID-19 pandemic, almost half of employees worked remotely full-time. About 48% of employees are expected to continue working remotely at least partially. This switch in the work environment has led to an increase in the hybrid work model.
However, some employers may wonder how to keep their employees productive. Let’s take a look at some of the best hybrid work ideas to maximize productivity in your hybrid work environment.
What Is Hybrid Work?
Hybrid work involves a mix of both in-person and remote work. Most of the time, an individual works some days in the office and some days remotely. Other individuals either may or may not be on a different schedule of in-person and remote work.
This range of options can be altered to fit different work environments. Some workplaces may need employees at the office most of the week. Other workplaces may only need employees in for a weekly checkup. Exactly how much time is spent where is up to specific companies.
Hybrid work offers flexibility and the benefits of a work-from-home environment. It also allows the chance for collaboration and connection that occurs in a traditional office. However, a hybrid work environment also comes with its own challenges.
Managers may find it more difficult to stay on top of projects and their employees. Other individuals may feel like they miss out on impromptu discussions and socialization. Careful planning and communication can solve many of these problems.
Set up Your Hybrid Working Environment
In hybrid work, you essentially end up with two work environments. It’s important that both of them are set up in a way that facilitates productivity.
Even if your home office is the kitchen table or a coffee table, marking sure it is ergonomically functional can make a huge difference. Removing distractions can also be key to focusing well.
Having a separate space when possible can help with some of these issues. A separate space can create a mental divide that avoids work from creeping into your personal life. It can also eliminate distractions and emphasize work comfort.
Your traditional office may also start to shift in its purpose. It may become a space for collaboration and socialization. If so, take this into account when designing your workspace.
Make sure to always have the tools you need in both workspaces as well. Hauling equipment from one place to another increases the chance that you will not have some tools available when you need them.
The cloud enables hybrid work to happen, allowing employees to be connected and able to efficiently collaborate from anywhere they are.
Rituals and Habits
Sometimes keeping rituals and habits can help you be productive in hybrid work environments. They provide a way to create a way to get you in a focused mindset that is relatively similar between your two workplaces.
There are ways to simulate rituals and habits that you may do when working in the office, that you can translate into at-home work.
For example, you could go for a walk in the morning as a replacement for your morning commute. Or you set up lunch dates with someone else to keep a social lunch break as part of your workday.
Setting and keeping boundaries is an important part of working remotely, but becomes even more important in a hybrid work model. Work can creep into your personal life. It’s also possible to end up with additional work if others are not aware of the work you are already doing.
Coworkers may not know what your schedule is, which could lead to confusion and loss of productivity. When scheduling, it may even be helpful to coordinate in-office days with coworkers you work with regularly to better overlap work.
Open communication between coworkers and employers can make any style of work easier. It helps solve problems and address issues that both employees and employers may have. This is where some hybrid work models run into trouble.
Traditional work models have everyone together most days of the week. Not having this may end up disrupting lines of communication. Making sure this does not happen is key to running an effective hybrid work model.
There are a few ways in which managers can go about doing this. Managers should be aware of when their employees are in the office or at home and what their workload is. This can help them provide support when needed.
Your team should create transparent goals and systems to meet these goals. Having regular check-in updates as a team can help make this easier. You can set roles and responsibilities to ensure everyone knows what they need to do.
In addition, information should be accessible for those who need it. Having effective communications solutions, such as cloud services and file-sharing can make virtual and asynchronous work easier.
Be Open to Change
While the “where and when” of traditional office work is changing, the need to keep doing what we always have been doing hasn’t. That means employees need to be able to stay connected, engaged, providing exceptional customer service, and winning new business.
Switching to hybrid work can be a big change in itself. Because of this, it may take some time to figure out what works best. It’s important that you occasionally take stock of your environment and see what is working and what is not.
For example, your workplace may need to add additional voice or video services that could make communication easier. As an employer, facilitate conversations between coworkers, managers, and employees to find changes like these that could be helpful.
It is also important that all of these changes are communicated to everyone. If a change is made and everyone is not aware, it can lead to problems down the road.
Maximize Productivity in Your Hybrid Work Environment
Hybrid work can help create a better balance in the workplace while offering benefits to both employees and employers. As this type of work becomes more popular, it’s important to take steps to foster productivity in the workplace.
Business phones, video conferencing, chat, contact center, email, content and file sharing are tools that keep us all connected, collaborative, supportive, and responsive, and enable productivity to happen from wherever.
Contact us at Beacon Telecom for a complimentary consultation to get your communications software and services up to speed today.