Hybrid working has become the norm for many employees now as a result of the pandemic.
For many, this was the first taste of remote working and an improved work life balance, saving time and money on commuting and allowing more time spent with family or on hobbies.
Research suggests that half of UK employees would quit their roles if there wasn’t some sort of flexible working meaning many businesses have had to listen to the market and adapt accordingly.
It’s fantastic that so many organisations have pledged to offer more flexibility however, it means that on the days staff are based in the office, productivity is key.
Whether you are required to work a set number of days a week in the office like staff of Goldman Sachs, or simply one or two days a month like Tui staff, here are some ways to help maximise those office days.
1. Plan ahead
Getting the most out of your office days will likely require a bit of pre-planning. Think about what you want to achieve, are there particular people you need to catch up with? Is there a specific project you need to be focusing on or do you need to arrange childcare while you’re there? Thinking about these things ahead of time will help you make the required previsions so that you can focus solely on what you need to once you get to your place of work.
2. Co-ordinate with key team members
Working on-site is the perfect opportunity to catch up and collaborate with key members of your team. Where possible, try to co-ordinate your days in the office with the people you are required to work most closely with so you can get their input on important issues. Tech solutions such as an open diary or a workplace booking system can help with this and take the administrative hassle away.
3. Catch up with colleagues
One major draw back to remote working is the fact that we miss out on the social elements of being surrounded by colleagues. On your days in the office try and be as visible as possible, grab lunch with a colleague and take time to catch up on non-work life. This is key to relationship building and will help strengthen your connections with people. the last 18 months has been isolating for many people so making an effort to catch up is beneficial in many ways and can help boost their wellbeing too.
4. Utilise office space
Depending on what you’re aiming to achieve on your office day, there are many ways that you can maximise having a larger workspace. If you’re looking to work on a project as a team booking a room or break out space can be a great way to get your creative juices flowing. If you lack a quiet work environment when working at home it may be that you can make the most of a quieter space so you can get your head down and focus on a particular piece of work. Planning what you want to achieve in advance will help you identify what you need when you’re onsite.
5. Hold collaborative meetings
We’ve all become better at scheduling our time in the virtual world and long, drawn out meetings are becoming less acceptable however, some meetings simply work better when everyone is physically present, particularly when it comes to generating ideas, connecting with people and building trust, whether it’s with a client or a colleague. Where possible, use your office time to hold collaborative and productive meetings that would be more challenging to host virtually.
If hybrid working is going to be successful in any organisation there needs to be clear expectations of all staff members. Building and maintaining strong connections and relationships between colleagues and clients will be an important factor in collaborating whether that’s virtually or in person and a key part of this will centre around those days on-site.
What are your top tips for maximising your office days?