After a long stretch of time, many employers have sent notices to all of their workers and employees stating that many will be expected to return to their offices for in-person work. That’s right, over the next few weeks we will begin to see the roads pile up, parking lots full, and a few more people at your train station. Personally, after working from home for nearly a year and a half I have found the transition into going back into the office a lot different than expected. While many are starting off with a hybrid approach, therefore keeping a mix of working from home and commuting to the office, we will begin to see offices full at some point again.
While a part of me enjoys working in the comfort of my own home, there is an excitement of seeing the co-workers that I know and love at the office and getting back into the old swing of things (I’m sick of hearing the phrase “new normal”). As I begin to take on this transition between working at home and in the office, I wanted to share with you some of the top tips and ways that make it less of a hassle. Most of these were found on social, talking with close friends and family, or through different blogs and boards on the internet. If you like what you see or want to share a simply better tip with our readers, feel free to do so by connecting with us on social using #SharpHome on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
What is Hybrid Working?
For those of you that aren’t familiar, you are probably wondering what we mean when we use the word “hybrid”. To simplify it, it is a common mixture of in-person and synchronous/asynchronous virtual collaboration. Over the past few years, this concept has been gaining popularity, however, most recently we have seen it rapidly applied to many industries including business, education, and more. For example, if a corporation were to take on this approach it could fall along the lines of allowing employees to work remotely for 3 days, and come into the office for 2 days equating 5 in total. For education, if you have a class that meets two days a week, hybrid may mean you meet 1 day in person and the other day virtually.
Tip 1: Digitize Everything
The nature of hybrid and remote working means that you are always on the go, and the only requirement could be having access to Wi-Fi. If you can, now may be a great time to begin to utilize digital databases and keep everything online or in a cloud-based system so you could access it at any time. For example, if you utilize a virtual notepad you will have access to the notes and not be upset if you happen to leave it at the office or forgot to put it in your bag. This is something I abide by, and it gives me the flexibility to work on the go with everything I need.
Tip #2: Re-Plan Your Morning Routine
While many may be excited to practice a morning routine they have done many times in the past, keep in mind that over a year has gone by and things may not be the same. If you take public transportation, you may want to take a look at the schedule and times as options may have changed or been limited. If you have been working remotely for the past months, think about things that you have enjoyed and incorporate them into your new hybrid work life. Do you have a favorite snack that you’ve tried or started eating breakfast? Make sure to keep that up!
Tip #3: Maximise Your Time in the Office
By now, you realize which type of communication that you like with your co-workers and how you work best. Given the many methods out there, both video conferences or in-person collaboration, you may want to have a discussion with your workgroup or team to decide which you like best. If you are a fan of in-person you may want to shift meeting times to days that you and a majority of the team are in the office. Bottom line is that you will most likely need to have a video conferencing element to the meeting, so planning ahead will make the meeting most productive.
Tip #4: Be Mindful of Others Comfortabilities
Going into this new transition and reverting back to times pre COVID-19, it is easy to jump into old practices and go in for the traditional handshake or hug. While it may be exciting to see everyone for the first time, not through a computer screen, please be mindful and understand that some may not be as comfortable or open to physical greeting just yet. It may be a good time to be understanding and not be offended if someone rejects a handshake. While in “old life” it may have been seen as insulting, now it is seen as more of a safety precaution.
Tip #5: Get The Proper Equipment
This last and final tip that I found from Calendar.com will be one of the most valuable. Working from home, we have taken our whole office set-up and re-arranged it at home. Now that your workplace will be transferred into two, it may be time to go online or contact your office manager to see if you have or need any additional equipment. Think about what you have been using at your home set-up? A double monitor or a docking station? Taking 5-10 minutes in your workday to go through your deck and realize what you need could be the answer to great productivity throughout future workdays.