If you're feeling stressed and tired after working in the office for a short period, It's not a problem.
Hybrid work, which entails remote work and working from the office, isn't easy. However, there are solutions to lessen the stress.
In the wake of companies requiring employees to return to work, employees across the country find the change a hassle, inconvenient, and, in some instances, useless. However, work experts suggest that with just a few changes, employees could be able to make the transition less stressful and more efficient. They could help make their mornings less stressful, reap more benefits from their work environment, and reduce the stress they feel at work.
A majority of offices will implement the hybrid policy of work next year, according to the research of market research company Forrester. Tech companies like Google and Apple have already been redirected to work in that hybrid way.
"Everyone is struggling with this right now," said Stew Friedman, an emeritus professor of management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. "This is a hard problem; you are not the only one."
Sara Perry, an associate professor of management at Baylor University who studies employee stress and remote work, explained that a large portion of the tension that comes with working from home is often due to employees' lack of freedom of choice. Perry states that research indicates that employees are looking for flexibility and the ability to work most comfortably.
"A lot of resistance comes from policies that don't give [workers] a voice or preference," she added. "Autonomy is one of the most important things to consider."
While most experts say that employers should work towards establishing an appropriate policy for both workers and productivity, however, employees can do things to improve their lives regardless of the policies they are given. Here are five top tips to get the most value from a hybrid workplace.
One of the most significant benefits workers realized when working from home during the epidemic was that their schedules were more flexible. They didn't need to think far ahead because their kitchen, possessions, and tools were all easily accessible. Although returning to work might feel like a nightmare, the experts advise that planning will help reduce everyday stress.
Pack the items you'll need to work with or prepare your lunch when you travel. Tsedal Neeley, a Harvard Business School professor and the author of "Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere," advised thinking about it like taking an hour-long trip somewhere.
"We used to take this for granted in the pre-covid world," she explained. "But today, even if it's only for two or three days, you can easily forget things."
Perry states that one common mistake office workers make taking regular breaks. Perry suggested that workers plan their breaks, so they don't miss them. Workers can create reminders on their calendars to remind them when they need to take a break from work. While they take breaks, they must be doing something to accomplish nonwork objectives.
Instead of throwing the laundry in the washer when they work at home, those working at the office could take a moment to meditate, make a few unrelated calls, or even make an appointment to reduce the burden when they get home.
"At home, we can do things to maximize our time," she added. "Is there something we can do at work similar to balancing our work and personal life?"
Schedule and optimize your remote work for better results
Working from home isn't always a good idea when workers move to perform the same tasks you do in your home. According to experts, workers will reap more value from their hybrid configurations when they can sync their office day with their coworkers and segregate the tasks they complete based on the place they work from.
"Coordinate times when you can be present in your work environment with others," said Pamela Hinds, co-director of Stanford's Center on Work, Technology, and Organization. "Schedule 10-to-15-minute check-ins without an agenda."
When it's feasible, employees should put aside jobs they can perform from home on days when they work in the comfort of their homes. Hinds added. So, workers can use more time at work to communicate, collaborate and interact with managers and colleagues, while most of their work from the office is reserved for remote work.
Neeley agrees, suggesting workers think about doing as much "shoulder-to-shoulder" work in an office, then use remote work days to help balance out the social activities of the office.
"First, we had Zoom fatigue; now we have hybrid fatigue," she explained. "Spend your time at home to balance out that fatigue."
Experts have said that workers should also decrease their expectations about what is done during office hours because they are likely to perform different tasks.
As opposed to working completely remotely, employees should anticipate greater time taken by spontaneous gatherings and discussions mentioned. They will have more chances to grab a cup of coffee or lunch rather than be at their desks.
It is also important to remember that employees might require more time between tasks. Instead of moving from one Zoom session to another in one click, they might need to completely relocate buildings and rooms or travel to a different location. They might meet an employee they must swiftly exchange data with between meetings. Experts have said that these tasks take more time but also offer distinct opportunities to work remotely.
"There will be a lot more nonwork and transitional experiences than in the remote life," Neeley stated. "You must account for that as you set your daily goals."
The epidemic has altered workers' attitudes toward work, usually giving them the freedom to be more at ease and flexible about the way they work. While working from home could alter some aspects of that, that doesn't mean employees shouldn't be able to bring some of their newfound comforts into the workplace, Perry said.
"What do you like about working from home?" she asked. "Could you have proxies at the office?"
This could mean walking in more comfy shoes setting up walking sessions with colleagues or adding some exercise to your day. Are there meals that employees can prepare or snacks they can take with them to aid them in achieving their fitness objectives?
The workers have likely also discovered ways to set up optimal work environments when working from home. Could this be replicated in the office so that employees can reduce the baggage they must carry between work and home? Work notes and to-do lists must be saved electronically and, if feasible, stored on the cloud. The fewer paperwork workers must carry around, the less chance they'll be able to forget things.
Hinds said it is also helpful to know that there are other experiences you can't get at home while working. Thus, they should employ this mindset to maximize their work time.
"It might be helpful for people to think, 'What are all the great things about going into the office?' "she added. "How can I ensure those things happen when I go in?"
Certain workers might be more flexible than others; however, all workers can reconsider how they approach things and make minor adjustments. Sometimes, it's necessary to negotiate with those in your life, whether at your home or work. It could be as simple as explaining to your boss how modifications -- like working out time -- could help you be more productive. This could also include negotiating the time you spend at home in silence for periods where you can concentrate.
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