Working in a virtual workplace has many benefits, but it can also make it more difficult to build rapport with your colleagues.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance in a hybrid workplace
While hybrid work provides an incredible number of benefits, it is important to take intentional steps towards protecting your work-life balance.
Over the past 12 months, hybrid work has become a trending topic. News articles, LinkedIn posts, and conversations with family and friends reveal that people have begun to think differently about when and where they work. And, with good reason.
In a hybrid workplace, you have the flexibility to split your work time between the office, your home, or even a coffee shop. This new way of working can be great for boosting productivity and decreasing stress levels.
However, hybrid work can present its own set of challenges, particularly when it comes to maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Here are a few tips for maintaining a healthy work-life balance in a hybrid workplace:
Set clear boundaries
One of the most challenging things for people to balance in a hybrid workplace is having a separation from home and work. When you work from home, it can be easy to blur the lines between work and personal time.
Many time we can find ourself checking emails well after work has ended or squeezing in a couple extra hours before bed. To combat this, it's essential to set clear boundaries for yourself.
First, establish what hours you will work. Then, stick to this schedule as much as possible. Your company or manager may set this, but if not, make sure to communicate your expectations to others. This also applies to your friends and family. Let them know what your work hours are and ask them not to disturb you during those times.
If possible, designate a specific work area in your home so you can easily leave work behind when the workday is over. Once outside of this area or your designated work areas, don't check your work email or take phone calls. If you are a manager, remember to lead by example.
Take breaks during the day
Whether you are working in the office or from home it is important to schedule breaks throughout the day. Taking a break can allow you to move your body, refresh your mind, and get some much-needed fresh air. They have also been shown to increase productivity and creativity.
On the days you work from home, try to step away from your work area during your break. This will help you to avoid getting too comfortable and make it easier to focus when you return to work.
While working from the office, use your break time to socialize with colleagues or take a short walk to rejuvenate both the body and the mind. Both of these activities can improve your mood and work performance.
Go on vacation
It's more important than ever to take some time for yourself and recharge your batteries. However, now that most employees have the option to work from home it can be hard to disconnect from work completely.
Studies have shown that checking your email while on vacation can actually increase stress levels and decrease productivity. As this completely defeats the purpose of taking time off, it's important to take proactive steps towards disconnecting entirely. This may mean leaving your laptop at home while you travel, or temporarily deleting any work apps from your phone.
When you give yourself a true break from work, you come back feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your responsibilities with new energy. It's important to remember that vacations are an essential part of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Plan your week ahead of time
Planning your work schedule ahead of time can not only help you set clear expectations for the week, but it also opens up opportunities to collaborate with your colleagues. Make it a priority to set aside some time at the end of each week to schedule your in-office and remote days depending on your upcoming work and home responsibilities.
For instance, if you are in charge of school pickup on Thursday's, it may be easier to plan on working from home that day. And if you have a team meeting scheduled on Tuesday, this could be a great opportunity to let your co-workers know ahead of time that you will be heading into the office that day.
Tools like Tactic make this easy by giving teams the ability to reserve a workspace for the day and see who else is going to be in the office. If you are a manager, make sure there is a clear understanding of when and how often employees are expected to be in the office. It's easier to stay productive and get work done when everyone is on the same page.
Check-in with your team
As a manager, one of the most important things you can do is check in with your employees regularly. You can do this in a number of ways, but one of the most effective is through regular one-on-ones.
Checking in gives employees an opportunity to voice any concerns or issues they may be having, and it also gives managers a chance to provide feedback and guidance. In addition, checking in can help build relationships between managers and employees, making it more likely that employees will feel comfortable coming to their managers with issues in the future.
When done regularly, one-on-ones can be an invaluable tool for keeping employees happy and making sure they are maintaining a good work-life balance.
With the lines between our work and personal lives blurring, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is more important than ever. Try implementing some of the tips we've shared and see if they help you find more equilibrium in your life.
If you still find yourself struggling, don't hesitate to reach out for help. Talk to your supervisor or HR department about what resources might be available to you. Putting in a bit of effort now can go a long way towards ensuring that you stay happy and productive both at work and at home.