6 ways to improve efficiency and productivity in a hybrid work environment
In a hybrid work environment, employees are given the ability to work productively wherever they’re located. It’s a work setup that promotes flexibility, inclusiveness, and well-being.
But if not conducted adequately, hybrid work can be non-beneficial to a company.
So, we have compiled a list of 6 ways to improve efficiency and productivity in a hybrid work environment.
Set up a dedicated workspace
Remote work creates opportunities for independence and self-motivation. And a study from 2021 shows that 69.4% of employees in emerging markets, and 64.4% of employees in developed markets, prefer a hybrid work environment.
But sometimes employees can struggle with discipline and focus.
Setting up a designated workspace in one’s home can combat this. Your brain learns to compartmentalize, which is necessary with remote work where lines between home and work life can become blurred.
Limit distractions in the form of other people, pets, and social media accessibility. Ensure you create a dedicated, isolated workspace that can be abandoned if/when necessary.
Make sure you are stocked up with all necessary documents, stationery, and work items right at your desk. And have all your passwords and login information easily accessible.
Managers can make desk ergonomics easier by providing remote workers with a stipend for essential remote office furniture such as high-speed internet and dual monitors.
The goal of the development of technology is to make humans’ lives easier and more efficient. So, why not work with it?
The advancement of technology has made hybrid work environments possible. And there are existing hybrid and remote work software and tools that aid with project management, training, analytics, performance management, and more.
For example, instead of needing to go into the office to organize a meeting with a visitor or guest, there are visitor management systems that automate this process from any location. Hosts and guests can share and receive SMS/email notifications, reminders, pre-registration QR codes, induction links, etc., anywhere they are.
Intelligent and innovative automation allows for more time spent on meaningful work.
Establish clear communication protocols
Since employees will most likely be scattered in various locations during the working day – at home, at the office, in a coffee shop, or in a coworking environment – communication can be a concern.
Remote workers may sometimes miss out on critical office conversations. Or feel they have been excluded from the sharing of certain important information.
A manager can set up clear communication channels, such as weekly hybrid meetings and feedback or review tools. Consistent meetings can be a place for gaining alignment of priorities and expectations, addressing concerns, celebrating achievements, and fostering human connection and a sense of belonging.
Listening skills are vital in these cases to make employees feel that their opinions are contributing to company growth.
Communication tools such as Slack allow for a remote open-door policy and easy access to management assistance. And apps that encourage work calendar sharing to promote visibility, transparency, and trust. Thus, making miscommunications and conflicts easier to resolve.
Leverage collaboration tools
Various collaboration and productivity tools on the market are widely popular. Task managers such as Asana, Jira, Monday, and ClickUp help to make sure team and employee schedules align.
And this schedule alignment is vital for a hybrid work environment where employees are working in different time zones and locations, for example.
Through collaboration software, employees can see projects that are assigned to them, who their team members are, and the schedules of each of their team members. This streamlining is paramount to productivity.
Productivity tracking apps are also useful in monitoring and tracking employees and their activities. Certain tools allow for email analytics, time tracking, task and project management, and activity tracking.
Set clear expectations and goals
All team members, but especially remote team members, need to be fully aware of the expectations set on them.
This is where consistent meetings and check-ins to ensure everyone is clear in direction and on the same page are incredibly useful. These check-ins can happen as frequently as once a day, wherein managers can give feedback on areas of improvement, for example.
This consistency fosters accountability, transparency, and trust.
But before these meetings, a list of terms needs to be compiled and shared with (or made available to) everyone involved. They can check this list when they have confusion or concerns. Terms should include defined work times, due dates, behavioral and performance standards, and codes of conduct.
Goal setting is vital, especially for those working remotely. Rather than being too general and broad, employees should aim to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound) goals. This type of goal setting improves productivity and makes success more likely.
Prioritize tasks and manage time effectively
Time management is essential for productivity, achieving goals, focus, streamlined decision-making, building a positive reputation, confidence, energy for free time, high quality of work, etc.
Time management is defined as the process of planning your tasks based on the time you have to work. It involves prioritizing to finish tasks on time. Effective time management and routine setting are great skills to use to cope with anxiety and its impact on your professional and personal life.
Create checklists. One checklist in the morning for your daily activities. And one checklist in the evening to plan for the next day.
Set timers based on the time limits you’ve set to complete certain tasks. Maintain an organized calendar. And prioritize tasks based on importance and urgency.
And remember that taking scheduled breaks between tasks is an important part of your day, especially when working in a home office.