Top tips for successful hybrid working
We have complied some top tips to help you work more efficiently, effectively and with a healthy work life balance:
- Ensure you are clear on the Hybrid working policy. This includes a section on responsibilities for all colleagues. It is also essential that you are aware of any team/department decisions relating to hybrid working, and work to these.
- Inclusion is pivotal to the University of Exeter. Please take responsibility for bringing everyone into the conversation whether they are in the office or at home. Make sure thought is given to the most effective way to hold an event or meeting so that everyone can contribute equally.
- The correct technology for your role will be defined by IT. it is crucial that you feel confident using this technology. There are many support systems in the University and we have signposted several here for you; Digital Hub, IT helpdesk, IT web pages.
- When starting hybrid working it is important to think about any reasonable adjustments you may need and the environment you will be working in at home, think about noise, distractions, storage and lighting. If you cannot have a dedicated space to work from home then hybrid working might not be the best option. You will need to carry out a relevant DSE assessment when setting up your work station and regularly repeat this if anything changes.
- Communication of your working pattern to colleagues and customers is key. There are many methods that can be used:
- Verbally communicate your working hours with your clients and customers
- Add your working hours to your Microsoft calendar so that colleagues know when you are available for meetings
- Add your working hours to your University email signature (link)
- Change your status in MS teams
- Add details to your voicemail (if you have one)
- If your working pattern includes hours outside of those often considered typical office hours, consider including a note to this effect in your auto-signature with a reminder that a reply is not expected until the recipient’s working times.
- Effective boundaries are key to avoid work drift and maintain a work life balance. It is important to maintain a sense of home. Measures such as
- Having a defined space for working (see set up section above).
- Set working hours
- Take regular breaks
- Vary ‘jobs’ to ensure you have screen breaks.
- Hybrid working can be a great opportunity to build strong working teams. It is important to get to know colleagues, ensure there are inclusive opportunities for all team members to be involved and retain a sense of team. Seek opportunities to connect informally as well as formally. Make time for those ‘kitchen chats’ both in the office and at home. Some teams may benefit from remote coworking. This is where several members of a team will be on a Teams call but not for a specific meeting. It is just on so that casual conversation can flow while your teams are working or questions can be asked as they come up. This can be especially useful with new employees in the team.
- Plan for effectiveness and productivity. Some forms of work will lend themselves better to being at home or being in the office. Consider where and when you are most effective and productive. Remember to experiment, reflect and assess this. Your manager and teammates may be able to offer insights into what works for them.
- Communication methods need to be flexible when working in a hybrid way. Try to choose the most appropriate method for the specific task and audience. A mixture of communication methods are important. Consider how to make your communication inclusive to all your customers/colleagues.
Avoid feeling isolated on home work days - use team chat to stay connected.
- On office days make the most of being in person with team mates.
- Use commute time saved for wellbeing activities.