5 Tips for Employees Who Want to Thrive in Hybrid Work

With return-to-office (RTO) in full swing, employers and employees are discovering that the perks of remote work can work hand in hand with the benefits of being in the office. This transition to hybrid ways of working is one of the major global changes in the employment sector and is preferred by more than half (51%) of U.S. employees polled by Gallup.

Many industries are also adopting hybrid arrangements to simultaneously drive employee productivity and save overhead costs. It’s largely prominent among tech, software, and social media companies like Twitter, SAP, and Hubspot. But other industries like manufacturing, banking, and transportation also let their employees decide where and how they work.

Although hybrid work combines the advantages of remote and in-office work, it still has unique challenges that require adaptation and adjustment. So here are five tips for employees who want to thrive and get the best of both worlds in hybrid work.

1. Plan your day or week ahead

It can be hard to stay consistent with your schedule as you bounce back and forth between your home and office. Fortunately, both of these downsides can be remedied by identifying your tasks in advance and practicing time blocking.

Time blocking is a strategy for breaking down your workday or week into bite-sized timeslots so that you can focus on one task at a time without any interruptions. The Anatomy of Work Index reports that 71% of workers have experienced burnout at least once. Time blocking reminds you to not only complete important tasks but also set aside time for short breaks throughout the day to avoid burnout.

2. Set boundaries between work and home

Like fully remote work, hybrid arrangements can easily blur the lines between your work and personal life. Recent data from Microsoft shows a 42% increase in people communicating via work chats beyond office hours, between 5 PM and midnight.

Working later and longer hours can result in disruptions in hybrid workers’ sleeping habits, which can harm productivity and personal health. Setting work-life boundaries is, therefore crucial, and this goes beyond turning off your work-related notifications and devices after your shift. Make sure to set a regular time for waking up and going to bed, and communicate your working schedule to your coworkers so they know when you can be contacted.

3. Stand out during virtual meetings

Thriving in a hybrid work environment also means remaining visible despite fewer face-to-face interactions. While employers themselves are making an effort to increase workplace visibility through common offices, you can work on gaining recognition in hybrid work by standing out during virtual meetings.

Whether it’s a one-on-one meeting with your manager or a Zoom call with the team, make your presence known by regularly contributing valuable input and feedback. Be confident and proactive in sharing your ideas, and ensure you’re engaging your coworkers through personal and professional conversations.

4. Stay connected

To cultivate a hybrid environment where you and your coworkers can collectively thrive, it’s important to stay connected and maintain open lines of communication. When you’re working remotely, stay active in work chat platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams to make sure you’re still engaging with your team even if you aren’t in the office. Meanwhile, office days can be opportunities to engage your coworkers interpersonally and chat about matters outside of work, such as personal interests and hobbies.

5. Utilize the cloud

Cloud-based platforms like Google Drive ensure easy and on-demand access to work-related documents wherever and whenever you work. This can minimize project delays and inefficiencies and encourage collaboration even when the team works from multiple locations.

To maintain data security and privacy when regularly accessing company data, cybersecurity practices for hybrid work are crucial. These practices include attending company cybersecurity awareness and training, only using personally owned devices, and connecting to VPN-enabled secure networks.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to hybrid work, so remember to experiment with what works for you and your team. It won’t be an entirely perfect and painless process, so you can also seek advice from managers and coworkers on how you can improve your performance in hybrid work.

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