3 Ways To Increase Productivity When Working In A Hybrid Work Environment

By Deanna deBara Posted May 26, 2022

 

If you’re new to a hybrid work environment, there are definite steps you’ll want to take to boost your productivity.


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Hybrid work environments are on the rise. According to recent data from Gallup, about half of the full-time workforce in the United States has the ability to do their jobs remotely—and of those remote-capable workers, 53 percent of them are expected to work in a hybrid work model in 2022 and beyond. 

Hybrid is also the work environment that the majority of remote-capable workers prefer. According to Gallup’s data, 59 percent of workers said they preferred a hybrid work environment—compared to 32 percent who prefer to work exclusively remote and 9 percent who prefer to work fully on-site.

But while many people are excited to split their time between working remotely and working in an office, if you’re new to a hybrid work environment, there are definite steps you’ll want to take to boost your productivity and get things done—whether you’re working from home or tackling projects on-site.

But what, exactly, are those steps? Let’s take a look at three ways to increase productivity when working in a hybrid work environment:

Set yourself (and your workstations) up for success

When you work in a hybrid environment, by definition, you’re splitting your work and time between two (or more!) locations. And when you’re working across multiple locations, that also means you’re going to be doing work at multiple workstations.

So, if you want to maximize productivity, one of the first things you’ll want to do? Set yourself up for success—and make sure each of your workstations is designed in a way that empowers you to do your best work.

For example, if you’re going to be splitting your time equally between your home office and your company headquarters, you’re going to want to make sure to organize each station and stock it with the equipment and supplies you need to effectively do your job (like a computer charger at each station, notebooks and pens, or an ergonomic desk chair). That way, when you sit down to work, you’ll have everything you need to get things done—regardless of where you’re working.

Or let’s say, in order to do your job, you need access to a variety of programs and software. If you’re going to be working on two separate computers (like a desktop at your office and a laptop at home), you’ll want to make sure to organize all of your passwords and log-in information to ensure that you have access to what you need, when you need it—whether you’re accessing those programs or software from the office or from home.

The point is, your workstation plays a major role in how effectively you’re able to power through work—and so, if you want to be more productive when working in a hybrid environment, make sure to invest some time in setting up all of your workstations in a way that supports that productivity.

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…and get on the same page

When you’re working in a hybrid environment, chances are, not everyone on your team is going to be working in the same way; for example, some team members might spend more time in the office while others spend more time working remotely—while others might choose to put in the bulk of their remote hours during the day while others prefer to work in the evening.

This misalignment in schedules can lead to productivity issues, particularly when you’re collaborating on a project—which is why, if you want to maximize productivity when working in a hybrid work environment, it’s critical for you and your team to get on the same page.

Schedule a meeting with your team to review everyone’s schedules and figure out a strategy for how to best get work done. For example, is there a certain day each week that everyone on the team can commit to being in the office? That way, if there’s something that makes more sense to work on face-to-face, you know that there’s at least one day where you can count on everyone coming together in person. Or let’s say a few of your co-workers are working a different schedule than you (for example, a parent with young children who takes a few hours off after their kids get home from school—and then tackles those work hours in the evening, after their kids are in bed). What’s the protocol if you need to get in touch with them with an urgent, project-related question—or vice versa?

Taking the time to set expectations and get on the same page with your team can help you overcome some of the scheduling-related productivity challenges that can crop up in a hybrid work environment—and help you all to be more productive, no matter where or when you’re working.

Eliminate distractions—both in and out of the office

Distractions are the enemy of productivity. According to a study from UC Irvine, when people are interrupted, it takes, on average, almost 24 minutes for them to get to their original level of focus—which means that every time you’re distracted, it will take you almost a half-hour to get back into the swing of getting things done.

But the truth is, in a hybrid work environment, distractions are everywhere. 

And those distractions add up. According to a recent survey from The Economist, 28 percent of time in knowledge work is lost to distractions every year—no matter where people are working. For example, according to the survey, 34 percent named face-to-face interruptions as their biggest distractions, while 23 percent cited general office distractions, like chatty co-workers and ringing phones—distractions you’re likely to encounter when working on-site. But workers also struggled with distractions when working from home, including the temptation to “relax” (28 percent), household chores (25 percent), and demands from family, roommates, or pets (22 percent).

So, if you want to maximize productivity in a hybrid work environment, you need to find ways to minimize (or, ideally, to eliminate distractions)—both when you’re working in the office and when you’re working from home.

Commit to documenting every time you’re distracted for an entire week—then review your distraction inventory and develop a plan to minimize and/or eliminate those distractions, both at the office and when you’re working from home.

For example, if you find that you get distracted by your Netflix queue when you’re working in your home office—and end up watching TV during work hours—commit to removing the television from your office space. If you find that you’re constantly distracted by the office noise at your company headquarters (like colleagues’ conversations or ringing phones), ask your supervisor if you can transfer to a quieter office—or invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Or maybe your dog barks at you to go for a walk every hour, on the hour when you’re working from home, making it hard to power through more focused work—in which case, you might consider hiring a dog walker.

Bottom line? Too many distractions make it impossible to get things done, whether you’re working at the office or working remotely. So, if you want to increase productivity when working in a hybrid work environment, it’s important to identify what’s distracting you—and develop a plan for dealing with those distractions.

Use these tips to get more done—no matter where you’re working

You want to be your most productive self—whether you’re working on-site or working remotely. And with these tips, you have everything you need to get more done when working in a hybrid work environment—and skyrocket your productivity in the process.

Deanna deBara

Deanna deBara is an entrepreneur, speaker, and freelance writer who specializes in business and productivity topics. When she's not busy writing, she enjoys hiking and exploring the Pacific Northwest with her husband and dog. See more of her work and learn more about her services at deannadebara.com.

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