2020 saw the workplace as we know it undergo a complete transformation, with employees around the world having to work remotely. The current unpredictable nature of the workplace has resulted in an increase in popularity of the hybrid work style, which involves some employees working in the office, others working remotely and some utilising a combination of both. This approach allows for employees to utilise their strengths, allows for greater flexibility and lower costs, and also allows for talent to be hired across the globe and for employees to work in their preferred location. However, this new work model also brings to the surface many uncertainties and concerns for employees in regards to organisation, trust, and missed opportunities. So how can you manage a hybrid work style?
One of the key challenges with working at home or both at home and in the office is making sure you stay organised. It is firstly important to create a schedule each week in relation to your responsibilities to help manage your workload and ensure tasks are completed on time. When working from home it is essential to follow a similar routine to that at the office such as starting and finishing your workday at the same time and making sure you do not do any household tasks when you are on the clock. It is also imperative to develop a comfortable workspace at home that will encourage productivity and mimic that of an office environment. This can be done by finding a space in your house that is free from distractions and having a desk space that has all the relevant supplies such as stationary and a filing system and is always kept tidy. Some additional tips for staying organised include:
- Finding a suitable planner to keep track of deadlines and daily tasks
- Making sure you take proper breaks from your work day
- Setting yourself the same amount of time to complete a task as you would at work (so you aren’t distracted by Netflix!)
- Focusing on one task at a time to complete them to a higher quality
- Still dressing for work each day because you never know when an online meeting will come up
If you are an employee working exclusively in the office but your work has adopted a hybrid model, the best tool to manage this model is to ensure you have up-to-date contact information for those individuals working remotely and are aware of their role and responsibilities. This means you can maintain communication with them and are able to direct customers and clients to the correct people and/ or departments to ensure the business runs smoothly.
Another central consideration when working from home in the hybrid style is ensuring there is a strong sense of trust between your employer and yourself. Trust in the workplace can be hard to build when working from home as managers often worry that their employees are not working as they would if they were in an office. The following points can assist you in building trust with your superiors:
It is extremely important to have clear lines of communication with your boss to ensure they know what you are doing with your time and how you are handling your responsibilities. This could include sending end of day emails to them that outline:
- What tasks you have completed that day
- What you are currently working on
- If there were any tasks you were unable to complete
This ensures transparency and allows your boss to keep track of your progress.
Set clear expectations
It is highly important to set clear goals and expectations with your superior as to what is expected from you. This allows you to be aware of your responsibilities and tasks and ensures that both parties are held accountable.
Additionally, missing opportunities that are only possible in an office environment is an issue that can arise when individuals work in a hybrid work style. These can include:
- Not having opportunity for training and development
- Not being able to collaborate with colleagues
- Feeling disconnected from your team
When managing this issue it is firstly important to communicate your concerns with your superior to ensure that you feel supported in your job and receive all the necessary training. In regards to collaboration, it is important to continuously communicate with the people at your workplace, to not only allow you to still feel like part of the team but to also ensure the highest level of productivity is achieved. If there is not a way you can easily contact employees or if there are not regular online meetings you can attend, bring this up with your superior and discuss different ways that you would be able to further collaborate with your team.
This advice might help you to stay organised and feel comfortable in the hybrid work model, encourage your superiors to trust you and will allow you to still feel like you are a part of the team.
Written by Holly Gregory, Marketing Assistant CIRCLE|Recruitment & HR.
Important Note: These articles have been prepared for general circulation and are circulated for general informational purposes only; these articles should not be regarded as business or investment advice. The articles represent the views of the writers and are subject to change without notice. Additionally, while every care has been taken in the preparation of the articles no representation or warranty as to accuracy or completeness of any statement is given. An individual or organisation should, before any business or investment decision is made, consider the appropriateness of the information in this document, and seek professional advice, having regard to objectives, situation and needs. This document is solely for the use of the party to whom it is provided.