A lot of people suddenly found themselves working from home as part of a pandemic effort to keep employees protected. Right when we got the hang of that, our workplaces are moving to a hybrid work environment where some days are working from home and some days are commuting to the office.
Here’s some tips to manage – a lot of the insights collected from the many real estate agents we work with, who are very experienced managing a hybrid of working from their office plus their home office (and everywhere between).
Plan work based on location
There is some work that makes more sense when you’re in the office, and then there’s everything else. Whenever possible, separate your workload by planning the activities that really need to be done in the office for the time when you will be there. Real estate agents are pros at getting activities done based upon location, so take a page from their playbook.
Plan your commute
Consider your commute carefully. There maybe things on your to-do list that your drive will allow a perfect opportunity to accomplish – such as dropping off clothing at the cleaners (don’t forget – you may need to do that again!)
Also consider making a short checklist that you can use every day of items you may need to transfer from home to the office and back. This can help you make sure you don’t forget any item. Whenever possible, pack a briefcase, bag, or backpack the day before so that you leave nothing at home.
The best way to not forget something important at home is to go paperless as much as possible.
Some industries or companies still rely upon paper files more than others, and if that’s the case there won’t be much you can do to keep from having to haul files back and forth. But, if you’re able to go paperless and have not yet, now is the best time to do so. Technology can be super helpful in a hybrid work situation.
Use your calendar
We are creatures of habit, and having days with very different work activities can be draining unless you plan carefully.
The energy at the office can also be different at home with all of the people you will be able to network with, so if you have flexibility with what you do each day, block out themes for the different days. For example, on the days you work at home, you may want to do activities that need more focus, and keep days you’re in the office for in-person meetings and those things that require collaboration.
On the days you work from home, not having a commute – not to mention not needing to dress nicer or have a lunch prepared – give you extra free time in your day. Use that time wisely for things that bring you joy and feed your brain. Block out those times on your calendar to insure you get that time for yourself.
Planning that extra time for yourself also helps you maintain a consistent routine. Keeping the same bedtime and working up at the same time every day will help you maintain a healthy routine.
Connect and communicate
Since you’ll only be at the office a couple of times a day, be sure to take advantage of that time to get involved and proactively manage the relationships with your coworkers. Make sure you add any company activities as meetings on your calendar for the days you will be in the office, and coordinate some lunch dates with coworkers.
Take advantage of your in-office days to walk down the hall and talk to a coworker in person instead of simply sending an email. Also consider that overcommunication can often help reduce any confusion that may arise from a constantly shifting schedule.
Copy your home and office setup
One way to reduce your brain’s confusion when working from multiple locations is to make the two environments as similar as possible.
When you can, keep the two locations organized in the same way. If you keep certain supplies in a certain drawer at work, do the same at home. If your stapler is to the left of your phone at home, put it to the left of your phone at work. As much as you can mirror your actual desk and surrounding environment, you’ll want to do so since consistency and familiarity helps you focus.
This may also mean you want to consider a home with a dedicated spot for an office – in which case we encourage you to connect with your favorite real estate agent!
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