Hybrid work is here to stay and this has been a focus of ours for quite some time now. It’s not something new anymore and people are familiar on what are the benefits. However, time management is a topic that researchers have been exploring way back before the pandemic. Now, there’s a new angle on how to be productive and have a neat schedule in a hybrid work environment in order to make the most out of your time.
Below, we present several tips on how to better prepare your day and create an atmosphere where you can get things done. After all, a hybrid work model should be tailored to your needs and enable employees to be more efficient with their time.
Let’s dive in!
Although there is likely some flexibility to your scheduling, you should try to set particular “in-office” days and “remote” days. This will help you create a routine that you can stick to. The specific days that you select for each category are up to you, but you will likely want to design them around whatever is most efficient for getting work done and for your commute.
Also, don’t forget that you can change these days around if it becomes necessary to do so, but you should try to keep your schedule as consistent as you possibly can for the most part.
There are some tools such as OfficeRnD Hybrid which gives you the visibility and the ease of deciding when to come to the office and when it’s better to stay at home. For example, in order to be more productive in your meetings, you may want to collaborate in-person. Knowing who’s in and who’d stay at home will help you plan your attendance and better manage your time.
To keep yourself focused and on track, it’s important to set up a “to-do” list for yourself each day. This will help you prioritize your work as well and sort it depending on your calendar and hybrid schedule. Plus, knocking each of them off the list will give you a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Don’t forget to check and see if there are any meetings that you need to attend in person. It might be necessary to shuffle your days around to some extent to ensure that you are in the office for the most important meetings and conferences. Building relationships with your team members will optimize your time and will support your hybrid teams’ clear communication.
A lot of the conversations around remote and hybrid work have been focused on the detrimental effects of having too many virtual meetings (e.g., Zoom fatigue or burnout) and less time for physical interactions.
A good desk booking solution is a good way to achieve that. Employees can book desks and see if their peers are in the office. They have the freedom to create their own hybrid schedule, which promotes collaboration and teamwork, as well as boosts employee experience in the workplace.
In-person collaboration is actually a huge factor when choosing between remote work and office day. For example, this Gallup study states that “38% of fully remote workers would prefer hybrid work. In other words, although fully remote employees enjoy their flexibility, four in 10 would give up some of that time at home to have in-person office experiences”.
Did you know that you might be losing a significant chunk of your day to simple distractions? According to The Wall Street Journal, it can take up to 23 minutes to get yourself back on track after you become distracted or switch tasks. That is a gigantic amount of wasted time that you will never get back. Fortunately, there is a solution to this, and that’s time-blocking.
Simply blocking slots in your calendar to do the so-called “deep work” will help you schedule better and spend time on the work that matters. It will allow you to maintain clear expectations on when you should be bothered or not and will eliminate the distraction of having meetings. Hybrid team members can benefit from it by combining it with more office meetings with their colleagues and making time for important tasks when they work remotely.
One of the critical elements related to time management in a hybrid work environment is to set up your home office just right. This means setting it to look and feel very similar to your desk at work.
You want to remain mentally set in an office-like environment so you don’t start to break from the norms that an office culture expects.
In other words, don’t let the setting in your home prompt you to feel like you can slack off or compromise your productivity.
When you set up your office at home, try to include the kind of elements that you would find at the office. Invest in a comfortable chair and an ergonomic keyboard so that your body doesn’t experience too much strain as you work throughout the day. This way you don’t have to adjust to a different environment every time you get ready to do your job which is very important for remote workers.
Using some work management tools is important. However, using too many of them does NOT increase your productivity, and it may actually detract from it. Not every workflow platform is useful, especially when you have too many of them. Instead of trying to find an app-based solution to every problem, consider the following strategies:
Ideally, your team of employees will have a handle on managing their own time with excessive guidance from their managers. However, the hybrid model thrives when each team member sees the big picture. When setting a hybrid work environment it’s important to have clear guidelines and workplace policies are the way to go. We’ve covered all the things you need to know about hybrid workplace policies in this ebook.
In addition, having a defined set of hybrid work KPIs helps a lot too.
Companies should set clear expectations for their employees when it comes to organizing their time. Time management and workplace planning are the key to staying organized. First, be aware if any policies are taking place in your team (e.g. if you’re expected to work remotely X number of days per week/month). Second, set a work schedule that best works for you. Using a pre-made template would be a mistake. Arrange your meetings on particular days (on-site or in Microsoft teams/Slack). This way you could know in advance what are your priorities for the week (hint – make a slot for deep work and no-meetings days).
The needs of every company are a little different, but hybrid schedules are generally organized around consistently having employees in the office on certain days and working from home on other days. The specific days of the week that employees are at each location depend on the needs of the business and the scheduling of meetings. Employees working in a hybrid world can better organize their schedules by team members discussing what works best for them. This predictability will help you organize your hours thus boosting your performance.
Team members should effectively collaborate on their shared projects. You can start by each member of the team communicating their schedule in weekly syncs. And plan their visits to the office accordingly. Keep your team engaged with each other to perform well in a hybrid work environment. A way to do that is to implement activity-based working to overcome any challenges that might appear.
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