A recent study found that 27% of employees would prefer to work remotely full time, and 62% would prefer to work in a hybrid arrangement. Many businesses have listened to employee feedback and have spent the last few months planning how a hybrid work model can be introduced. The move to hybrid aims to offer all the benefits of working in the office and working from home, such as collaboration, ease of communication and a stronger organisational culture. It is also possible to significantly increase productivity whilst hybrid working, this can also lead to a better work-life balance and increased employee satisfaction. We have compiled a list of 4 ways to increase productivity whilst hybrid working below.
Learn how to run an effective hybrid meeting
After 18 months of online meetings, most employees have found an effective and productive way to run meetings. Starting to work from the office will require a change in the way meetings are run, especially when some members are in the office and others are working from home.
Two methods of running an effective hybrid meeting are having all members using Teams, or office workers all using a single computer, talking to remote workers on Teams. The former enables the experience to be the same for all attendees and may be a better solution for some businesses. The latter can aid in collaboration, however it is important to ensure that remote workers are included and the audio and video equipment used are sufficient. It will take some time to adjust to the new method of meetings, but from trial and error businesses will find the most effective way to run hybrid meetings to increase productivity.
Stick to your hours both at work and at home
For some employees, whilst working from home they find it easier to close their laptop at the end of a day and finish on time, whereas others struggle to set clear boundaries between work time and home time. Similarly, some employees find it difficult to leave the office on time, especially when there is more work to do. Spending more time working may seem like it would increase the amount of work completed, however, in the long run this leads to a poor work-life balance and puts employees at the risk of burnout which will greatly decrease productivity.
It is important that regardless of where employees are working, they stick to their start and finish times. When working at home a way to ensure this is to set and alarm for when it is time to finish work, and turn off all work related notifications on mobile phones. In the office if there are multiple employees that finish at the same time colleagues should encourage each other to leave at the same time to ensure no one is forming an unhealthy habit of prioritising work over home life.
For many that have become acclimatised to working from home with few distractions, going back to the office may be difficult to manage the distractions. This can decrease productivity and make work more stressful and leave employees feeling less motivated. In the office a great way to decrease distractions is by setting aside time that will be focus time and let colleagues know that during these times you should not be disturbed. It is also beneficial to set aside time dedicated to checking and replying to emails, rather than replying to all emails as soon as they arrive.
When working from home it is typically easier to avoid distractions, however having meetings too often can cause distractions that decrease productivity and can lead to an unhealthy work-life balance. In Microsoft MyAnalytics it is possible to view how much of a week is dedicated to meetings and automatically set times in your calendar that is dedicated to focusing without distractions.
Use the office for collaboration and keep up communication at home
One of the more prominent struggles with working from home has been how to effectively collaborate on projects. Having effective collaboration can drive innovation, efficiency and productivity and is significantly easier to do in person. For this reason, it is important to, where possible, take advantage of working in an office for collaboration on tasks and using other employees’ knowledge and skills to drive productivity and business growth.
Similarly, it is important to maintain communication when working from home and include those who may be remote only. One way to ensure this is to hold short meetings with all members of a department throughout the week to keep all employees in the loop. Effective communication increases productivity as it enables employees to better understand each other and increases morale. As the workplace is fundamentally changing employees and businesses need to consider what changes need to be made to ensure the move to hybrid is seamless and all the benefits of the model are realised.
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