The coronavirus pandemic forced many people and businesses to switch to a remote working model and adapt to this disrupting situation, and hence, generated a new preferred method of working.
How to mix remote working with office time to increase productivity
This meant a beneficial change for some people as they noticed their job could be done from home, and their productivity increased. Many businesses have also realized that their operations can be translated in the digital form and that the productivity of the company wasn’t too affected – in some respect, this was still a struggle due to the health crisis happening worldwide.
Now that things are slowly going back to normal and restrictions are not as severe as they were a year ago, people are able to come back to the office, considering they respect the required health measures.
For some businesses that have given up using physical space, not much has changed. However, for other companies, office time is still essential. However, not necessarily 8 hours per day, 5 days per week. Therefore, the question arises: how can a business mix remote work with office time effectively?
No matter if you prefer a remote working approach entirely or your business is more productive when in the office, communication is a vital aspect of any company, and you shouldn’t underestimate its importance.
In case you decide to mix remote working with office time, it is crucial you make a clear note of your priorities in terms of tasks. Based on this, you can allocate the time needed for each of them, as well as if it can be resolved with a video call or you need to meet in person.
As you probably have seen during the lockdown restrictions, video-conference tools such as Zoom or Skype can facilitate communication a great deal. Therefore, for the days when you and your team are working from home, you can still use these tools to keep in touch or ask any necessary questions without going through the trouble of emailing back and forth.
On the contrary, if there is a more pressing problem that needs urgent solving or you are working on a complex project, office time might be imperative.
What you could do in this case, if your business doesn’t have office space anymore, is to rent a conference room in a building for a limited period of time. This will help you with your urgent task while also saving money, as you don’t have to pay rent monthly.
If the business uses the hybrid approach, then it is essential you allow for flexibility. If an employee cannot work from home for any reason, then it is vital you listen to them and allow them to come to the office. Similarly, if they prefer remote working from time to time, communicate with them to find the best solution that fits them and enables them to be productive.
Digital tools are lifesaving
Apart from video-conference tools that facilitate communication, other digital ones can also support productivity. For instance, file sharing tools such as Google Drive are incredibly helpful in sending important documents and sharing them with the rest of the team. With this, you won’t have to send a lot of emails and get vital information lost between the high number of emails.
This way, you avoid any misunderstandings and confusion, as this type of digital tool supports all types of files, from Word, Excel, or PowerPoint to PDFs or even images and videos. Not to mention that you have enough memory on the cloud so your work laptop won’t be overcrowded, and you won’t need a space to archive all documents.
Besides, the fact that such tools support PDF is advantageous, given that this type of file is reliable and offers compatibility with any kind of device or version. So, if you need to send a lengthy document containing images, you can rest assured that the layout will not be affected, and no vital information will be lost. Also, in case you need to edit, merge or split PDF files, don’t worry – there are digital tools online that you can use to do this.
Hence, if your company has decided to use the hybrid approach, such digital tools can increase productivity, regardless if you work from home or are in the office. By using them, you save time when you need to access a specific document or when you need to make some changes.
Stick to a schedule of tasks
In order to have a clear idea of everyone’s tasks and their progress, it is imperative to organize a schedule with every urgent duty and allocate it to the right person. Apart from this, if you still have an office place, it is crucial you create a timetable or strategic plan with how everyone is working at a given time. This way, everyone will be able to see who is working from home and when. Additionally, keeping a record of this will help you create a rota so that everyone works similarly.
When you combine remote working with office time, it is vital you stick to these timetables to know who is working on what task and avoid employees doing the same thing or leaving something important out.
Plan social gatherings and stick to traditions
No matter how you conduct your business, apart from open communication between you and your team, planning social gatherings is also essential. After a long period of lockdowns and restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, social interaction is highly needed to fortify the team.
While taking into consideration any health restrictions that are still in place, it is crucial you don’t forget about your traditions as a team. Whether it is going out for drinks on Fridays, playing board games at a colleagues’ home, or doing other team-building activities, social gatherings are beneficial as they strengthen work relationships.
So, when you combine remote working with office time, you can also create a mix of going out and planning a virtual gathering on any of the video-conference tools, depending on everyone’s personal time and schedule.