Hybrid Work: 4 Ways To Thrive in this environment
In today’s ever-changing work environment, the one thing that remains constant is that hybrid work is likely going to be the new normal for many of us. It is no surprise that employees are embracing hybrid work as it allows for so much more flexibility and autonomy.
According to SHRM, 60% of HR leaders said that they are planning for a hybrid work future. For companies and employees who have pioneered hybrid work for years, this change is nothing new. But for a vast majority of employees and companies committing to a hybrid work model will be a big learning curve.
It can be difficult to stand out when working completely remotely or even in a hybrid model where you don’t see your direct superiors on a regular basis. In our LinkedIn Learning e-course, Building Your Visibility Online As A Remote Leader, you will learn how to build valuable relationships with senior leaders from afar. Being visible while working hybrid will be key to your success.
If your company is one of the many out there that is listening to employees and implementing one of the many different hybrid working models, there are a few things for you to consider as you enter into this new work landscape.
1. Level-Up Your Communications Skills
Communication will be your best friend when it comes to successful hybrid work. Those who have great communications skills are poised to stand out and those who don’t may fall behind. That’s because muddled messages can create much more confusion than before.
This is why making sure that your communication skills are constantly improving is so important.
In our Art of Communication e-course, you will learn how to execute your speaking and interpersonal communications at your highest level. This course will help you clearly communicate while working hybrid.
There are several things to consider:
- How do your direct superiors expect you to communicate? Hopefully, your direct superiors have put a communications strategy in place for you and your co-workers. If a weekly zoom meeting is how you will be communicating, be sure you come prepared and on time. Use that time to bring up any issues or questions. Be sure to always showcase that virtual executive presence too. Our LinkedIn Learning e-course, Executive Presence on Video Calls, can help you maintain your executive presence.
- How will you be communicating with your co-workers? If you are working on specific projects, do you all have a place for those share documents? Make sure everyone is on the same page, whether it be Dropbox or Trello – decide together and stick with it. Be sure everyone has easy access and know where to go.
- What’s your preferred method of communication? Do you like emails or slack? Do you find direct messages the easiest or jumping on a phone call? Part of making sure that your communication is clear and effective is communicating your preferred methods to your co-workers. For example, if your co-worker has an urgent request, you will want them to be able to reach you as soon as possible. So it would be wise to have a clear plan in place.
For urgent matters call me, for questions Slack me, and for everything else just email me. That way you know what to expect when receiving the different forms of communication.
The more you can clearly and effectively communicate the easier and more successful your hybrid working life will be.
2. Set Your Schedule
Depending upon which hybrid work model your organization chooses, your schedule can change on a daily or weekly basis. You may go into the office once a week, every other week, or not at all. In order to set yourself up for success, you are going to want to set your schedule.
This schedule is not the hours in which you are working, but more a schedule of what you will be working on each day. Time management is key.
For example, let’s say you need to write several reports that are always due on Wednesdays each week. It may be wise to set aside Mondays and Tuesdays for writing those reports. That way you always know that on those days you will be working on the reports. You will always have them done before the deadline on Wednesday. Of course during the workday different tasks can be thrown at you at any time, but if you have regular projects or regular tasks, keeping those items on a schedule will allow for other work to fall into place without missing an important deadline.
Once you are in a rhythm and feel confident with your daily schedule of work you can then determine your hourly schedule. Depending on the type of hybrid model you are working within, you may want to look at this from a weekly or biweekly perspective.
For example, let’s say that in the next two weeks you have several projects that are finishing up. You also know that there will be a couple of big meetings to discuss the next quarter’s projects. In the next two weeks, you will have a lot of work that isn’t part of your normal schedule. In order to accommodate for it all and still get your regular tasks completed, you will want to map out your hours.
Mapping out your hours can be as detailed as you need them to be. Perhaps you know that your regular tasks take approximately 4-5 hours, but you aren’t sure how long the meetings and project endings will take. That’s okay! Look at your calendar and write down by the hour what you should be working on. Hang the calendar up in your workspace. That way you will keep yourself on track and know exactly what your next task is.
3. Give Yourself Breaks
Part of setting your schedule is giving yourself breaks. Before the hybrid working model came into popularity, almost everyone worked in an office. When you work in an office you’re able to interact with your co-workers and take lunches away from the office. These breaks are still important for you and for your work!
It is really important that you know yourself. In other words, you have to know how you operate and when a break is necessary.
Remember, your company wants your BEST work.
Going back to the examples above, if you block off Mondays and Tuesdays for writing your reports, you may want to consider giving yourself a break in between reports. This break could be switching gears and taking on another task or this break could be going for a 5-10 minute walk.
You’ll want to avoid the pitfall of overworking yourself because you didn’t give yourself enough boundaries. In an age where there is always work to be done, remember that the best work is done by a person who is refreshed.
Another way to give yourself a break is to break up the type of work you are doing each day. Instead of writing reports for eight hours straight, consider writing the reports for 90 minutes, switching gears, and coming back to the reports after an hour or two. When you do this you will engage different parts of your brain and keep yourself from mentally checking out.
4. Keep Organized
It goes without saying that organization should be a top priority for you while you are in a hybrid working situation. Not only will you need to prepare yourself to go back and forth between the office and home, but depending on your situation, you may also be working anywhere in the world!
💡We recommend the e-course “Enhance Productivity In A Hybrid Working Model” to help you be more productive while working remotely.
So how do you stay organized?
- Write things down. Whether you write your to-do list on paper or write it on your computer, you are far more likely to remember something if you write it down. This is especially true if you are trying to remember something that is not part of your normal routine.
- Prepare. Will you be going into the office this week? If so do you need to bring certain files with you? Whatever you will need to perform your work, make sure you have it in the same place so you don’t forget.
- Stick to your schedule. Depending on where you work and if you have dependents at home, distractions are bound to come up. An easy way to avoid distractions is to simply stick to the schedule that you’ve already created for yourself.
- Create goals. A lot of your hybrid work will be done alone. This means that you will be responsible for your own motivation.
Unlike when you were in the office, you won’t have co-workers around to keep you motivated and on task. So, create goals for yourself.
- For example, before the day begins tell yourself that you are going to get x,y, and z done. The more you tell yourself that the more likely you will follow through. You can also give yourself time frames of what needs to be done by a specific time.
- Ask a co-worker to keep you accountable. Most of us have an office friend that we rely on. Consider asking your co-worker to check in with you during the day to make sure you’re staying on task.
Keeping yourself organized may feel overwhelming, but once you have your system in place it will help you focus on the tasks that need to get done.
For most people navigating hybrid work is exciting. Flexibility, autonomy, and work-life balance are things employees have been wanting more of for years. The key is to set yourself up for success so that the transition to a hybrid working model puts you and your career in the best light possible.
Do you want to shine while working in a hybrid model? Join our private communications group where you can work with our Soulcast Media team on your communications every month!
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