Handling Hybrid Work: The New Normal

Handling Hybrid Work: The New Normal

Recently, I had to (GULP) actually go into the office. I was definitely excited to see colleagues and even meet new people, but the idea of commuting and then sitting in a room all day with 20 people - DAUNTING! I’ve grown accustomed to sitting at my home desk and just getting to work.

In our meeting, we talked about getting used to this new normal of working from home and coming into the office. For the first time, we were all able to connect in a way that you just can’t when you’re working from home. We witnessed body language, cadence of speech, and nuances in our co-workers that perhaps we didn’t see before. Our camaraderie was natural and I can actually say I formed new connections I hadn’t had before.

Some say hybrid work makes them more productive, but it can also foster a lack of personal connection with your co-workers. The absence of facetime to connect with your manager or the people you might be managing, could be a roadblock to future growth.

“It's so important for companies to provide thoughtful remote-first management and leadership training,” said Upwork’s Chief People Officer Zoe Harte. “Everyone needs to be working from the same remote work playbook - this will help folks get comfortable with the tools, routines, tricks, and processes for leading a successful remote team.”

It’s also important to have your own playbook ensuring you’re getting in front of the people who can help you succeed and expand your skill set.

Harte offered some advice on this topic: “Regularly make the time and effort to connect with people outside of your field. Talk to the head of engineering, meet with your Investment Relations executive, set up some time with your local sales rep. Get to know what their business priorities are and what work-related problems keep them up at night. It’ll give you a different lens into the work that you’re doing and will open up a conversation about how you might be able to stretch your skillset to support them.”

Another challenge people find in hybrid work is developing Work-Life boundaries. Some studies say 66% of full-time employees in the U.S. have a hard time achieving this balance. And often blame their bosses.

Experts say trying to achieve a 50/50 balance is nearly impossible and you shouldn’t set yourself up for failure.

“We can alleviate some of that pressure by being self-aware and present, and creating systems and boundaries that enable a separation between work and life wherever possible,” says Harte. “It will never be perfect, but we can and should always strive for progress.”

One trick many people use is to block off time on your calendar. You could use that time to step out to grab lunch, walk your dog, or even get in a quick workout.

It’s important to remember: be kind to yourself and your colleagues, you never know what someone else is going through. And always remember to be your authentic self.