Let’s talk about your new everyday normal.
65% of public sector organisations say hybrid working – a mix of remote and office-based work – will be here to stay after Covid-19.
But if this is to be your new every day, there are plenty of challenges to overcome as lockdowns begin to lift and we transition into a hybrid way of working.
When both you and your partner work from home, it can be useful to plan out some time with the children.
Sit down with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and talk about each other’s work priorities and on what days or times one of you focuses on work, while the other parent is with the children. This will mean that your children will feel less ‘neglected’ and both of you can continue to work, sharing the childcare & reducing resentment which can damage relationships.
It is important to ensure your work-life balance is maintained. Once your workday is done, shut down your PC and enjoy the evening. Plan something fun, like a family game night, a cooking together evening, or a film night with popcorn.
‘Think ‘Me’ Time – time for yourself that’s fun and relaxing.
‘We Time’ – time doing some nice with your partner.
‘Our Time’ – time to do something together as a family
Communication builds bridges not walls between you are your employer. It avoids misunderstandings. So, ask to have a 10 minute 1-2-1 with your boss to express what you want or need to make remote or hybrid work as positive and productive as possible for your family and for your company.
Sit down with a coffee and jot down some simple bullet points so you don’t get flustered, lose your thread or feel overwhelmed. This will give you confidence and clarity.
Keep enforcing boundaries and keep setting expectations. Explore what flexitime really looks and sounds like within your organisation.
Keep the human in hybrid – build trust, transparency & flexibility into your communications with your work colleagues.
Deciding if remote work can work is ultimately up to each individual. Working from anywhere besides an office can be lonely. It’s also frustrating when there are no colleagues to reach out to for running ideas past, or even just to fix the printer, or to natter about last night’s TV. For some, having a physical office space fosters focus and/or fuels emotional connectedness. While many parents appreciate working from home, it’s not always seen as a benefit.
For those who can’t turn off being a parent during the day, or the paid job off at night, having an office where work should happen regulates where work does happen.
Ditch the guilt – be fully present where you are:
If you are playing Ludo with the kids on the carpet don’t beat yourself up about the report, you should be writing or vice versa: if you are writing the report in the office don’t feel guilty about not playing hide and seek with the kids at home – it’s a negative loop that will do nothing for your sense of balance or wellbeing.
If your employer has given you the opportunity to propose your own flexible work schedule, take advantage of it. Work out an arrangement that could help you balance your professional and personal life.
For example, you can design a schedule that allows you to report for work and knock off in time to attend to your children. Take these factors into consideration as you decide on your own working scheme.
Discuss the new work setup with the rest of the family and let them know how this will change your home routine.
If you are not the only working individual in the household, make sure to realign your work schedules into a new routine.
Being in a physical workplace makes it easier to adhere to work hours. But when you’re working from home, make sure to stick to that same schedule. Not only does this ensure continuity in your schedule, it also allows you to plan other things to do outside of your working hours – to keep a balance.
As we all learn to adjust to a new hybrid setup as well as a new-normal workplace, take the chance to communicate openly with your employer. Do you have other special concerns that need to be tackled? Let them know immediately so you can work out a solution that addresses your needs while maintaining productivity at work.
Being open about your concerns and maintaining a healthy work-life balance are key to making a hybrid setup work. While readjusting to a new work scheme can be stressful, these tips can help you ease back into office life and focus on balancing your family life too.