Given what the average office worker has gone through in recent months, it is hardly surprising that the idea of making further changes to the way we work is going to take some adjustment. Obviously, for some, returning to the office full time without any of the distractions of home life has been something they have been looking forward to greatly. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who have found that they like working from home even if they didn’t expect to. In many cases, they feel they are more productive and enjoy better work-life balance than they did before the pandemic struck.
Nevertheless, it is becoming increasingly common for employers to ask their office staff to come into the office at least a couple of days a week. This is the so-called hybrid office model of working whereby numbers in the head office are kept within certain limits while employees are still expected to have a place at home they can work from.
This presents challenges for both employers and home workers. Richard Davison of office movers Volition Removals comments “We’ve seen several businesses through the pandemic considering what they would do with surplus office kit. Now they’re coming out, there is perhaps an understanding that 100% remote working isn’t always the best solution for staff development. The challenge for the business is that the hybrid model can actually mean they need more office equipment as they need to facilitate both the home and the office environment.”
As for employees, who have enjoyed their time working from home here are a few can you make the transition work for you?
Consider Your Commute
One of the biggest expenses office workers face is connected to their commute to and from their place of work. If you don’t need one anymore, then you shouldn’t shell out for a weekly or monthly rail pass. Why not talk to your employer about shifting your hours of work on the days you come in so that you can work from home for an hour or so and then turn up for face-to-face meetings after the rush hour, most cases you’ll arrive less stressed?
If you drive, then why not consider park and ride schemes instead of battling all the way in? Remember, too, that sharing a car with a colleague will cut down on travel costs. Don’t forget to tell your car insurance firm that you are driving fewer miles as a result of hybrid working. It could mean you end up with lower premiums, after all.
Maximise Your Time in the Office
One of the big plus points about working in the office, as opposed to home, is that you can get the sort of eye contact with others you simply can’t over a Teams meeting or a Zoom call. Therefore, you should conduct as many admin tasks as you can from home and spend your time in the office with colleagues. It is not about being sociable – although that helps – but about doing the things you cannot do so well at home.
Bear in mind that you can use your office days to start work collaboratively with colleagues but complete it later at home before comparing notes next time you are in. Remember, too, that days spent in the office are ideal for printing reports and photocopying documents so that you are utilising the resources available to you rather than your own!
Make Your Home Office a Hybrid Space
If you threw together a home office during lockdown but will now only be using it a few times a week at most, now is the time to convert it back. Of course, most people will want a multifunctional space in their home that they can use for work as well as other purposes. Typically, a spare bedroom is the ideal one to use as a hybrid home office. However, you could also convert a reception room, if you have one, into a longer term solution.
If your employer is set on the hybrid model long-term, then you might even want to consider moving to a bigger property with more space rather than feeling excessively squeezed in. Bear in mind that if you are only expected in the office once or twice a week, moving further away, and potentially getting more for your money, could be a shrewd investment.