According to Onrec, new 2020 research has found that about 55% of all employers believe that their employees will transition to a hybrid role (part remote, part office) within the next few months. The reason for this is because the hybrid model concept is a way for people to not only cultivate a better work-life balance, but also keeps them safe during such uncertain times. After all, not all industries are capable of running entirely remotely, and this is a fundamental way to remediate. Not to mention that this is a way for business owners to cut amenity costs down as well, allowing them more flexibility to keep their business afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
However, as excellent as this concept is, and is even transitioning to become the new norm in the workforce, hybrid roles are something that is mentally easy to manage right out of the gates. Employees and business owners such as yourself have to learn to adapt to this new lifestyle, a lifestyle that can break your focus, concentration and hinder your job performance if you are not careful. Because we want to see you succeed in your hybrid role, here are some excellent tips that will help you discover the ideal work-life balance and maintain the focus your business and team needs to grow within this ever-evolving digital age.
For starters, you are going to want to dedicate a workspace in your home that is away from things that can distract you and break your focus. If you already have a home office, great! If not, restructure a room or corner of a room to become your new work station when you are working from home. Make sure you choose a place that is quiet and allows you to focus without being pulled away and contains good lighting so you can do virtual calls with quality imaging. If you choose to decorate it up a bit, choose creative inducing, bright colors that will help you feel livelier and more awake, such as yellows, blues, and greens. Any low-wavelength colors like that can improve efficiency and focus, according to Entreprenuer.com.
It is hard to stay focused when you are uncomfortable. With that being said, part of the healthy hybrid work lifestyle is about ensuring you have the proper home/office set up to give your body the right comfort it needs to stay focused. This includes investing in things like a quality ergonomic chair, practicing good posture, getting a good keyboard that reduces the risk of wrist injuries, and wearing anti-blue light glasses to lower your exposure to those sleep disturbing UV rays. Lack of sleep means poor focus during the day, so don’t underestimate how your screen could be affecting your performance. In general, these may be initial investments upfront, but you are taking the time to invest in your health and wellbeing, and that is going to set you up for a much better and comfortable working environment to stay focused in.
There is seemingly nothing more frustrating than needing to get critical tasks done but are halted due to technology or connection issues. This can make you late on deadlines, get you stressed/anxious, and can make you rush through your duties, which risks errors being made. Along with this, working diligently and being interrupted with technical issues is a leading focus killer too. So, if you are getting started with hybrid working, make sure all of your technology, connections, and speeds are ready to handle it all.
Fun Fact: Did you know that only 65% of Americans have internet speeds that are fast enough to support workable video calls? Furthermore, the remaining 35% have such poor connection that it limits them from being able to perform effective telecommuting.
One of the simplest and probably the easiest thing you can do is print out your job description and pin it up at your workstation or home computer desk to reference. This is not to say that you will forget your role while working from home, but it is a way for you to refocus your mind and get back on track with your priorities. Call it visual stimulation if you wish, but just having this in front of you can work wonders at keeping you on track with your work.
Delegating is a powerful way for you to kill two birds with one stone. If you have a team who is more than capable of doing certain things, think about delegating it to them if they have extra time and are willing to do more. Coinciding with this, learn to say no to taking on more tasks that fall outside of your scope of work. If you already have enough to deal with, it is okay to say no, so you are not overworking yourself and hurting your family time as a result. Remember, just because you don’t have a set clock in and out time when at home, it does not mean you are obligated to work over hours or take on more, which can hurt your focus and performance towards the things you are already trying to take care of.
Making a strict schedule and sticking with it is a perfect way to stay on track and form a healthy work-life balance. Schedule in working hours and migrate to your work area so you will not be distracted by home life. But that’s not all; make sure you schedule in home life and personal time too. Set aside some time during the day to exercise, meditate, have lunch or anything else that helps you regain your focus and reduce fatigue. And make sure that when your working duration is up, you turn the computer off and spend it with your family. This is what is going to support you in living an ideal life and ensuring that you are not draining yourself on any side of the spectrum.
Tip: Make sure to pencil in scheduled breaks as well. Whether it be frequent 10 to 15-minute breaks of 1-2 longer ones, taking time to recharge is vital to your focus and productivity both in the office and at home.
In the end, I don’t want you to think that conforming to a hybrid role is something that should be feared or not valuable. The reality is that this is a wonderful way to keep you and your employees as safe as possible, offer more flexibility, and can promote much more productivity and happiness as a result. People like their freedoms, and being able to offer that is something that will make your business that much safer and more attractive to potential future employees as well.
But there is a catch; this concept only works if you understand how to live within this type of environment. Not only you, but your employees as well need to understand how to remain focused and stay diligent with their tasks to avoid not dropping the ball. Overall, this might take some getting used to, but if you are willing to work on yourself to keep your focus, and support your employees on their journeys as well by setting clear expectations, then you should have nothing to worry about.