Building Your Hybrid Workplace Toolkit, Day 4: Schedule Strategically
Restructure your workday to maximize your productivity both in the office and at home.
This is Day 4 of our five-day hybrid workplace toolkit series. Day 1 was about building a travel kit; Day 2 was about reviewing the timing for your commute; Day 3 covered keeping your focus no matter where you work. Stay tuned for one additional exercise.
Depending on your hybrid work situation, you may not have a ton of say over when you’ll work in the office and when you’ll be remote. But if you have some level of autonomy in your scheduling, you can plan your days to take full advantage of the hybrid work experience.
Today’s tip: Schedule strategically, so that you’re making office visits count and are doing the deep-focus work in the environment where you feel most tuned in.
How to Schedule Strategically in a Hybrid Setting
Think about the meetings and projects that would benefit from in-person collaboration. Start by identifying the purpose and importance of each task. If you have meetings that require problem-solving, decision-making, and reviewing tangible objects, try to hold them in person, suggests time-management coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders. If you have multiple meetings like this, do what you can to schedule them in clusters to maximize your in-office time.
Another element to consider is your personality: If you’re introverted, you might want to avoid back-to-back days in the office so you can recharge your batteries. Try to space out your collaborative meetings, holding one on a Tuesday and the other on a Thursday, for example.
As for virtual gatherings, less in-depth meetings such as quick check-ins and status updates can probably be left to video conferencing calls, letting you touch base briefly before getting back to the deep work you do on your own. When deciding whether to meet in person or virtually, ask yourself if the meeting could really just be an email. Not sure about the answer? A flowchart can help you decide.
For work that doesn’t involve collaboration at each step, ask yourself, “In what environment do I do my best work?” Of course, it’ll depend on your preferences, but workplace productivity specialist Ellen Faye suggests doing focused work at home. This means anything that requires sustained attention, such as creating financial reports or writing. Then, in-person work can step in for problem solving, innovation, and brainstorming.
In addition to where you do your best work, think about when you do it. Identifying your most productive part of the day will be helpful if you’re scheduling hybrid half-days. For example, say you’re at your best when undisturbed in the mornings. You can work remotely for the first half of the day and try to schedule collaborative meetings in the afternoon when you’re in the office.
Why You Should Schedule Strategically During Hybrid Work
You now have two environments to work in, each with pros and cons. With planning, you can maximize the benefits of both in-person and remote work to be as happy and productive as you can be in a hybrid workplace.
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