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How to make hybrid working work

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As the world starts to reopen, a question for many is whether to return to the office or not. With some companies looking at hybrid working, I wanted to share my experience of working in and out of an office. Does it give you the best of both worlds?

In 2014 I left regular employment and started my own consultancy business providing accounting services to SME’s. I worked for a handful of companies and based myself either in their offices or at home. To me, this was the ultimate flexibility. And I loved it.

I was in control of my day, trusted to work to the best of my ability, complete tasks by the agreed deadline, and deliver services that my clients needed. On one side, I enjoyed the productivity of working from home, knowing that I could shut the world out for several hours and complete a piece of work interruption-free. While on the other, I had the benefits of human interaction in the office. I felt like I was part of the team. I felt like I was contributing to the overall performance of the company. A feeling I struggled with when working fully remote.

Being fully remote can sometimes make you feel like you are outside of the core of the business. On occasions, I felt like I was behind on decisions being made by those in the office. You can feel like you missed important information or that team member are doing things behind your back, a sense of not being fully aware of all the facts. It’s vital employers make sure remote workers are included and made to feel valued in meetings and the decision-making process. They still need to feel like they belong.

So having worked in an office, fully remote, and in a hybrid model at various points in my working life, these are my five top tips for making the hybrid model work.

  • Be clear on your timetable. Agree when you are working in the office and when you will be at home with your employer. Make sure this is communicated to your team to aid scheduling. You can be flexible and move days/time around if needed. However, if you have agreed to a hybrid work model it’s ok not to be in the office 24/7.
  • Stay organized – make sure you have access to what you need when working at home and working in the office. I’ve been there, leaving behind something in the office that you need at home the next day!
  • Plan your week. Which tasks can be done efficiently from home, and which ones in the office? Make sure you are productive wherever you are based. If things aren’t working, your employer is likely to request a return to the office full time.
  • Don’t neglect the need for in-person contact. Feeling a connection is a core human need that impacts our well-being. Think about the social and emotional benefits of being with your work colleagues and meeting your individual needs.
  • Employers – don’t forget those remote. They are still a vital part of the team. Make sure you keep them in mind when making decisions that impact them. (Read our article on team building and remote teams here.

Whichever solution you decide is right for your business, make sure you keep an open mind, review regularly, and make changes if things aren’t working. Remember, what works well for one person doesn’t mean it will work well for everyone. You’re both individuals and team members so make it work for all of you.

Please note the information presented on this website is provided as a general guide and is not a substitute for legal or tax advice. For specific advice, be sure to consult with a qualified professional.

Author: Sarah Cundle
This article was first published on July 20 2022
Last updated on May 15 2023