Working from home offers employees flexibility and convenience that traditional office setups simply can’t match. So it’s not surprising that 97% of employees say they want a fully remote or hybrid work environment post-pandemic, according to a 2021 survey by FlexJobs.
However, it takes careful planning, coordination, and some trial-and-error to create a remote work environment that helps you maximize your hours. More importantly, you must equip your work-from-home office with the right tools to transition to a hybrid work model as seamlessly as possible. These tips and tricks will help you set your new work environment up for success. This way, you can stress less, work better, and focus on being your best professional self.
Expert tip: Evernote Expert Sara B. Genrich says, “Digital and cloud-based storage is an imperative when you operate in dual workspaces.”
Reignite your sense of purpose
The COVID-19 pandemic sparked a change in perspective among professionals globally. For many employees, having a job that they enjoy and aligns with their values now takes precedence over simply the figure on their paycheck at the end of every month. After all, considering that the average person spends more than 90,000 hours of their life working, it’s no wonder that many professionals find their sense of purpose to be largely defined by their work.
The good news is there are ways for both employees and employers to prioritize this purpose-driven approach in a hybrid work environment.
- Find similarities between company values and personal principles. Seeing how your personal goals align with what you do for your company can cultivate a sense of belonging. It can help you see the tasks at hand as stepping stones to further your own professional and personal goals.
- Reflect on how your work affects a larger whole. Try to imagine yourself as a building block of your company. Reflecting on how your work affects fellow employees, the company as a whole, and the company’s customers can allow you to discover or reignite your passion for your job.
- Clearly define your company’s purpose. It’s difficult for employees to be passionate about something that’s unclear. Make sure to define your company’s purpose and specify the values that serve as your anchor. This allows employees to fully grasp what they are working toward.
- Encourage regular employee input. Keep employees connected by actively involving them in creating company-wide initiatives. This helps them see their impact as individuals and the role they play in the company.
Leverage productivity tools
Just as traditional office spaces need to be fitted with the right equipment, so too does a hybrid work environment. Since this approach to work involves a dispersed workforce, you need digital solutions to facilitate close collaboration among employees across different locations and time zones.
Here are some productivity tools to consider as you build your hybrid workplace:
- Document Management Solutions: Digital databases such as Google Drive and Dropbox give teams a secure space to share and store important company files. This way, office-based and remote employees can access the information they need as effortlessly as possible.
- Conferencing Platforms: Software like Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams keep everyone in the loop. These often support channels such as private messaging, group messaging, and video conferencing to make virtual communication more convenient.
- Note-Taking Apps: Tools like Evernote help team members take detailed notes during meetings and while working on tasks. You can keep important information in one place, and easily retrieve notes as needed.
Power tip: Evernote can connect to Google Drive, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and other popular software solutions so you can access information without constantly switching between apps. This makes taking notes and sharing them with your team easier than ever. Evernote can also connect with Google Calendar, so managing your personal and work schedules is seamless.
Focus on results, not hours
One major benefit of being able to work from home is the flexibility employees have in creating their individual work schedules. However, the inevitable challenge arises: How does a company track productivity? The answer lies in being results-driven.
To create a hybrid work environment that focuses on results rather than tracked time, consider the following strategies:
- Set daily deliverables. List the tasks you intend to finish before starting work. This allows you to add structure to your day while maintaining the flexibility of working remotely.
- Keep specific metrics in mind. For team leaders and managers, it’s also important to define the metrics you will use to measure productivity. This way, employees know what is expected of them, instead of blindly going online day-by-day.
- Schedule regular check-ins. Managers can promote transparency and accountability with frequent check-in meetings. This keeps teams in sync and allows managers to check on progress without constantly messaging employees.
Power tip: Use Tasks in Evernote to declutter work queues with to-do lists that you can view alongside your notes. You can even set recurring due dates and reminders for each task to always stay on top of your priorities.
Flexibility is the new zen
Hybrid staffing benefits employees and employers alike. Workers can skip long commutes and accomplish tasks from the comfort of their homes. Meanwhile, employers reap the benefits of improved productivity and higher morale. However, as great as a hybrid work environment may be, too much flexibility can lead to procrastination, unnecessary overtime, or communication issues. With this in mind, it makes sense why 6 in 10 employees want more structure in hybrid work arrangements. This might include anything from setting protocols for team coordination, clarifying guidelines for remote work, or creating standardized workflows and chains of command. Whatever shape they take, these guardrails can help employees work autonomously without putting a damper on creativity and collaboration.
Power tip: The freedom of remote work can sometimes be overwhelming. Streamline processes and keep relevant information front-and-center with Home in Evernote. Customize your Home with widgets for notes, tasks, and a variety of shortcuts, depending on your work and personal priorities.
The right tools will bring the right results
The explosion of remote work across the globe may have started as a band-aid solution to the health concerns posed by COVID-19. However, as employees and employers have acclimated to this model and seen its benefits, it’s evident that hybrid work is here to stay. To keep up with the ‘new normal,’ you need to find tools to optimize your hybrid workflow. Beyond having a reliable computer, stable internet connection, and a dedicated workspace, you must also make use of digital solutions that will help you organize your day-to-day. This way, you can keep track of professional goals alongside your personal tasks and make the most out of your work environment.