With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the face of the entire world has changed. Almost every sector started functioning digitally & from home, at least during the initial stage of the pandemic. But soon it was realised that work from home cannot be a permanent solution. Thus, enters hybrid working in the picture.
Hybrid working basically means a blend of home & workplace. Initially, it was expected that the WFH policy wouldn't last long & things would go back to normal pretty soon. But the pandemic has duped us, it’s lasting longer than expected. This led to a significant rise in the remote work culture. But as different vaccines have hit the market now & mass vaccination drives are being carried out by the government, employers are considering a hybrid mode of working.
For workers who have spent the last one year working from home, the shift to this new way of working is gaining permanence. According to a recent research conducted by Adecco, a majority of employees (77%) want a hybrid work model. Another research by CIPD shows that compared to just 28% in June last year, a third of employers now say that working from home amidst the pandemic has boosted our overall productivity. These studies show that hybrid working is the new reality.
So, the question is how do we continue being productive while enjoying the benefits of getting together in-person again.
Being a coworking space where people from different organizations work together, 2gethr is well familiar with the concept of hybrid working. Thus, we, at 2gethr, thought it would be useful to share some ideas on how to boost your productivity in a hybrid working environment.
- Work is important but so is your health & wellbeing
With the ongoing health crisis, the first and foremost thing which should be paid attention to is our wellbeing. There is no need for any research to prove that a happy & healthy workforce is more productive & performs better. People are more committed & engrossed in their work when they feel their best. In the long run, hybrid working may support wellbeing by reducing the time spent in commuting from home to office. Since the hybrid model of working is more flexible than the traditional model, the schedule of the employees will also be more flexible. But it has to be ensured that the flexibility is maintained without affecting productivity.
Employers should offer employee assistance programmes and organize sessions with mental health leaders to help employees adjust to the drastic changes in the working system & uplift their mental health.
- Plan your days
Planning and theming your days will help you maximize your time in both office & home. If given the opportunity to choose which days you spend where, think carefully about your productive rhythm throughout the week. We all refer to “Monday blues” & are always exhausted before “Monday” even arrives, but with hybrid working this may not be so. In this system, even your Monday can be your Saturday. But different companies are likely to have different standards and requirements for their hybrid workforce & these standards may change from time to time. To use your remote time and your in-office time efficiently you need to figure out not just when & where you work best, but which of your job duties are best completed in the office vs. at home. It might help you if you write out a list of your work tasks so you can figure out what are the things you need to get done within the day, week or month.
- Let’s be tech savvy
Technology is an important factor in any field of work. In a hybrid workplace it strengthens the communication between teams by providing them access to each other. If there isn’t proper communication between remote employees & those working in the office, the workplace productivity will plunge as employees won’t be able to work together effectively.
With the constant mobility between workplace & home, the reliance on Cloud should be increased as it not only saves cost but is also secure & sustainable. A strong WiFi network in both places will empower employees through its high connection speed & interoperability and will also enable people to work from different corners. Meeting rooms should evolve from just physical spaces by the addition of video conferencing equipment so that those absent can also attend the meetings from home. AI is another new trend that could boost productivity for a hybrid workforce with capabilities like meeting transcription & live captioning. AI could also process audio & data points to feed information to sales teams to enable quicker & more effective lenient calls.
- Let’s not forget each other’s faces
It’s essential to maintain proper communication especially when managing teams remotely. Miscommunication is an easy trap to fall into. This problem can be avoided by regularly communicating & scheduling meetings on a daily or weekly basis. This will provide clarity to the employees about their roles & responsibilities. To avoid confusion, their working schedules as when they should be in the office & when to work remotely should also be discussed. It will also provide a chance for human connection & will help you set priorities & expectations, share progress reports, celebrate achievements & bring to light any issue which is a matter of concern for the team or the company.
- Coworking - the new cool
Coworking is the newest & coolest trend in both freelance & mainstream working professionals. If working from home becomes too monotonous, you can always turn to coworking spaces for a change. Working around professionals who are unique & talented can boost productivity to a great extent. Studies show that between 75% to 90% of coworkers feel more engaged & less lonely which coworking makes possible. Coworking gives you just the right amount of everything you need to function productively.
2gethr is one such place located in Bangalore where you can enjoy all the benefits of coworking & continue being a part of the hybrid working system.
- Focus on achievement
For people who are not freelancers, teamwork is quite essential. As you can’t know what your remote team members are doing every minute of the workday, monitoring productivity can be difficult. Spending more hours in the office doesn’t imply productivity. Focus more on the final result. In hybrid working, the amount of work done at the end of the day should be the priority rather than how much time is spent on doing tasks. Each person has their own speed and way of working & are motivated by not the same thing. Create a culture so that you can meet your team members regularly to share the workload, update goals & together review your team's progress.
- Take small breaks & get the work-life balance right
While working from home one might feel pressured to work overtime to prove that they are working hard & are completing their tasks. We have all felt the struggle to balance personal life & work while working remotely. In hybrid working, when you are working in an office make sure to take small coffee breaks & stretch occasionally otherwise it might impact your health as well. Working at a stretch for hours does not ensure productivity. Thus, even if you’re remotely, make sure to take occasional breaks. Many studies also show that taking regular breaks between work not only recharges but also boosts your productivity.
As we all prepare ourselves for the next phase in the evolution of the working world, it’s equally important for us to develop skills and habits which will help us in performing our best. With the right support and procedures from employers, employees can work productively & remain engaged no matter where they work from.