If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you work remotely at least part of the time. Working from home has many benefits, chief among them being flexibility and control over your own schedule. But if you’re like most hybrid remote workers, you probably also enjoy the occasional face-to-face interaction with your coworkers. That’s why hybrid remote working can be so great – it allows you to have the best of both worlds!
At Pace PR, we’ve embraced the hybrid remote work schedule. After being entirely remote for more than a year, we’ve finally returned to our NYC office one day a week. Check out some of our best tips for making this form of new normal work for you.
Ensure your home office has the basics
The first step is to make sure you’re set up for success. That means having a dedicated workspace at home, with all the necessary tools and supplies. You’ll also need a reliable internet connection – hybrid remote working can be tricky if your bandwidth is limited.
If you haven’t already done so, invest in a quality chair and monitor, and even a standing desk so you can switch between sitting and standing throughout the workday. Working from home has many positives, but one of the disadvantages can be the lack of exercise and movement.
Maximize your time and take breaks throughout the day
Once you’re set up, it’s time to start scheduling your workdays. Try to use the same hours each day for hybrid remote working, and stick to those hours as closely as possible. This will help you get into a routine and make the most of your time.
And don’t forget to take breaks! Working from home can be isolating, so make sure you take time to eat your breakfast and lunch away from your computer screen, and even get out for a brisk walk or grab a cup of coffee from a local café.
Communicate often and be mindful of time zones
Make sure you’re keeping your coworkers in the loop, especially if you need to work outside of your normal hours. Use whatever tools you prefer – chat apps, video conferencing, or good old-fashioned email. Whatever works for you and your team, just make sure you’re using it consistently.
It’s not uncommon to have co-workers in different time zones. If you’re a few hours ahead or behind of your teammates, it can get tricky to schedule meetings and touch bases. Ensure you’re factoring in their time zone and schedule internal meetings or client calls during their normal work hours.
What are the benefits of a hybrid remote work schedule?
If you haven’t gone back to the office yet, consider some the benefits of being in person at the office:
1) Socialize and brainstorm with your team – The water cooler talk is a real thing, and it’s important for hybrid remote workers to get their fix of in-person interaction every so often. You never know when you’ll need help on a project or task. Being in person allows you to share ideas and get valuable feedback and assistance on your workload.
2) Provide necessary experience and in person training for new team members – When you’re working remotely, it can be tough to train new hires. They need to see how you work and learn from your processes. A lot of time may be wasted explaining the processes or tasks multiple times, as they are having difficulty understanding or seeing the whole picture through a computer screen. Being in the office allows for face-to-face training and a better understanding of how you operate.
3) Less Zoom burnout and feelings of loneliness – It’s inevitable that you’ll feel burned out if all you’re doing is Zooming or Skyping with your team. You need to see their facial expressions and body language to gauge their reaction and engagement. Spending a day in the office will help refresh your memory of what it’s like to actually talk to someone in person.
On the flip side, consider some of the advantages of offering a WFH lifestyle:
1) It’s a time saver for commuters – It’s hard to miss saying “if I don’t leave now, I’m going to be late.” And there’s nothing like that bumper-to-bumper traffic at 5pm on the highway. For many work from home employees, they express gratefulness in being able to reduce the amount of time that would have been spent in their car or other mode of transportation, and being able to get dinner on the table at a decent time and spend time with their loved ones without being drained from the commute.
2) Greater work-life balance – For many WFH employees, they’ve experienced a huge lift in the balance of their home life and work life. If you’re a parent, you’re able to handle dropping your kids off at school at a time that would have otherwise been spent getting ready for work and commuting to the office.
3) Save money – It goes without saying, but commuting is expensive. Between gas, tolls and buying food for breakfast and lunch if you weren’t able to grab something before heading out, the cost certainly adds up. Working from home allows employees to save a little more of their paycheck and put those funds towards more important things.
Make remote hybrid working your new normal
You may find that working from home a couple days a week is exactly what you need to be more focused and efficient. And if you’re feeling lonely or burned out, head on into the office for some face time with your team. Follow these tips, and hybrid remote working can be a great way to balance flexibility and productivity for your entire team!