Finally the pandemic restrictions have eased around the world. Businesses are returning to the office and most are moving towards a hybrid working model. Employees want to retain the flexibility of working from home. But many are keen to get back to the office to interact with their colleagues. In theory, the hybrid working model provides the best of both worlds. But successful hybrid working won’t just happen. It needs to be planned.
Here are 3 tips to get you started in a hybrid working model.
This is a good time to reflect and reset. Due to the sudden onset of the pandemic in 2020, people adjusted quickly to home working. Hybrid working will involve permanent home working, albeit part-time. So, it is important to review the following:
- Do I need a better routine working from home?
- Can I optimise my workstation and equipment?
- What distractions cause me to lose time and focus?
This review can help people optimise their home working environment. For tips on how to be productive working from home working, check our Blog.
To get the most benefit from hybrid working, consider how to split the work between home and office. Tasks that require a high level of focus are more suited to a quiet home environment. Time in the office enables group work such as problem-solving, innovation or coaching. So make a weekly plan and consider what is the best focus for each day. You can access our Hybrid Weekly Planner from our Resources page.
Consider the time and location dependency of the work. Is there a requirement to support others at set times? Is there a need to access office-based files or systems? Which tasks are independent of time and location?
Each employee can plan for:
- Time dependent tasks that must be done during core hours
- Location dependent tasks that require access to files or systems in the office
- Collaborative tasks that require interaction in the office
- Solo Tasks that can be done individually, independent of location or time
If a team gets together to plan their schedules, they can create a rota to cover all responsibilities and to overlap as required.
Successful hybrid working is enabled when each person takes responsibility for delivering in their role. This will build trust in the model and ensure that it is retained. It can help any remove residual stigma about remote working. It helps shift assessment of performance away from presenteeism towards outcomes and achievements.
Both employees and managers have a part to play. Productivity is improved when:
- Employers provide clarity about what needs to be delivered. This helps people work independently at home.
- Employees seek clarity if not clear about expectations. They report on progress and discuss any issues that arose
Open communication is beneficial in any working environment. But it is particularly important in a hybrid working model.
Hybrid working offers benefits for both the business and the employees. There is a collective responsibility for making it work. It may take time for the new model to settle down.
It is new territory, so it is best to take an iterative approach. Encourage people to adopt a continuous improvement mindset by:
- trying the model
- reviewing it
- modifying it and
- improving it
With these 3 tips for successful hybrid working businesses can achieve both productivity and flexibility in their businesses.
At beproductive.ie we have lots of productivity team workshops and webinars. Our Hybrid Working webinar will be available from September 2021 onwards. If would like to book a session, contact our Productivity Consultant Moira Dunne.
For further tips on productivity, you can access the beproductive.ie blog here.