We Asked, You Answered: How Do You Best Manage Two Different Offices in the Hybrid Workplace?
Now that many association professionals have started working a hybrid schedule, they are managing two workspaces: one at home and one at the office. Readers offered a slew of tips on how to efficiently work from two offices and always have what you need within reach.
When we posed this question about tips for hybrid work, we weren’t sure if people would have spent enough time doing it to have advice. In fact, one of our respondents said, “We need help with this.”
Well, good news: Help is on the way. Association professionals had a ton of advice on how to do hybrid right, offering examples of how they’re making it work for them. Suggestions centered on storing files in the cloud and keeping a list of the physical things you need to move back and forth (like your laptop). Also, many recommend having the same set up at your work and home office—docking stations, external keyboards, headphones, and even your comfort items. (I’m taking this seriously and plan to purchase a second T’Challa bobblehead for my other desk.)
Read on for more tips.
Nicole Banks, CAE
Director of Membership, American Welding Society
I have desks set up at home and in the office, complete with an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse. All I have to move is my laptop. I’ve also switched to fewer printed documents, so I keep files in the cloud. For print items I need frequently, I keep them in a binder that I can pack up with my laptop.
Engagement Ambassador, Prestige AV & Creative Services
I modified a hanging file folder to fit inside a tote bag; it’s my file drawer with handles. Now project files live in the tote, easily moving locations until it’s time to file them away after the project is complete.
Chapter Executive, Financial Planning Association
I use my email to build my task list. If there is something that needs to be done at one particular office versus the other, I label it as such, and then snooze it to show up when I know I will be building my to-do list for that day.
Director of Marketing & Communications, American Association for Public Opinion Research
The practical answer is using technology to manage my calendars. I never worry about leaving a paper calendar in the wrong place. I also make sure my desk in the office is stocked with the comfort items I have at my desk at home. This includes a few of my favorite snacks, fidgets, favorite pens, seat cushion, and, of course, my preferred masks. It’s worth doubling up for peace of mind.
Valerie J. Cammiso, CAE
Vice President of Membership & Marketing, Medical Society of the State of New York
I merged my personal and my professional calendars so that I never miss an appointment or deadline. I also carry a bag back and forth with the materials I need. I use one notebook for everything, whereas I used to use different notebooks for different projects. That way, I only need to carry the one back and forth, and I’m never without what I need.
Jennifer Alluisi, CAE
Account Executive and Director of Educational Programs, Custom Management Group
We use laptop computers so those are easy to move back and forth between home and work. I bring my computer (and planner) home every evening, even if I’m planning to be in the office the next day. If anyone in my house gets sick or the weather is unexpectedly bad, I can easily shift to working from home instead. Otherwise, I just have duplicates of everything: one mouse and keyboard at work and one at home; one set of the pens I prefer at work and one at home; one extra monitor at home so I can have two screens like I do at work. Our data and documents can be accessed remotely. Our phone system also has an app that we can put on our mobile devices so that we can seamlessly take phone calls from our desk phones at the office or our mobile phones at home, and voicemails are emailed to us.
Tara Barker, CAE
Volunteer Relations Manager, Institute of Management Accountants
Changing your mindset to know that the workspace is now fluid and no one place is the ultimate work area. That means having a “go-to bag” ready to carry your laptop, charger, water bottle, papers, etc.
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