5 Tips For Managing a Hybrid Work Model
Post pandemic, a hybrid work model is very common. While for many this is a daunting new world of organization and independence, the ability to work from the office some days and to stay home others may be the one good thing to come out of the pandemic. With the right tools and tips, staying on top of your work and maintaining an appropriate work-life balance is possible. Here are our top five tips for managing a hybrid work model.
1: Make a Schedule, Include Breaks
With the flexibility of location and hours allowed by a hybrid work model, neither time nor space seem to separate your life from your work. Create a schedule for yourself, in advance, to bring a sense of structure to your day and to help you separate and discipline your work time from your free time.
While certain scheduled meetings and peak busy hours are unavoidable times for dedicated work, working from home can often allow for some flexibility. Allow yourself to enjoy this perk by slightly adjusting your hours to fit your life, if possible. If you love sleeping in, allow yourself an extra few minutes on the days you work from home. If you have to pick up your kids from school, schedule the time to do so. Maybe take your dog for a midday walk or make yourself a fresh hot lunch. If you’re an avid baker, bake a fresh loaf of bread pausing your work for a couple of minutes to tend to it every hour or so. Not only will you have had a full workday but through a series of short breaks, you will also have accomplished tasks that would otherwise be weekend-only activities. For some end-of-the-day fun and a chance to get outside and socialize, check out some of these fun ideas to stay entertained at home.
2: Create a Routine
In the old days, hours could pass between your alarm going off and sitting down at your desk. You’d wake up, maybe go for a run, get ready, eat, commute to work and maybe pick up some coffee on the way, walk in, and chat with your coworkers before finally sitting down. Working from home is certainly faster and easier, but the loss of this routine can make starting your day very challenging. And without the motivation of being seen around the office, even changing out of sweats can seem like a chore. While you may be able to sleep in for a few extra minutes, allow yourself some time to stick to a modified morning routine, complete with all of the morning traditions that made you feel happy, healthy, and ready to start the day.
Once you’ve sat down and started, continue the routine with habits to keep you away from the chocolate cupboard and the unnecessary distractions of your phone. Don’t forget to schedule in breaks and to set a decisive end to your work day if possible. Holding yourself accountable to stay productive or to remember to put work aside at the end of the day can be tough, having a set routine can help make these challenges into easy, unconscious actions.
3: Designate Spaces
Designating working and relaxing spaces in your home is a great way to set aside distractions and maintain the separation between work and life that working full time at the office used to provide. Even if you don’t have space for a full home office, a designated desk or table tucked away into a quiet part of your home can help you to get into the right headspace and separate yourself from distraction. On your self-scheduled breaks, get up from your workspace and go grab a bite from the kitchen, relax in your living room, or get outside for a breath of fresh air. Now you’ll be spending so much time at home, consider redecorating some of your spaces to freshen them up and adjust them to the current needs of your life. Purchase a comfortable chair to work from, consider a sit-stand desk, and find the best couches for relaxing at the end of a long workday.
4: Keep in Contact with Coworkers
Keeping in contact with your coworkers is a great way to stay social, commiserate, share tips, and maintain friendships for the days you are in the office. The danger of working from home for any period is feeling isolated and missing the important information that is shared in passing in the office. Chatting with your work friends, or even meeting up with them at a local coffee shop or park to work on presentations or share ideas, is a great way to keep working from home.
5: Get out of the House
Working from home doesn’t mean that you have to stay home 24/7. Allowing yourself breaks such as walking around your neighborhood or keeping up the tradition of going out for coffee can actually boost both your productivity and happiness. For a fun outing remember that you could work anywhere with wifi or cell service, even the beach!
For more tips and ideas for working from home, check out PCMag. Don’t forget to share this article and comment your own tips for managing a hybrid work model below.