How to find your perfect mix of WFH and office time
Published on 28th July, 2021 at 05:35 pm
If you are mixing working from home (WFH) and office time, but struggling to find the perfect balance, here are things to consider that can help you split your time effectively.
Is a hybrid model of WFH and office time the future of work?
Over the past year, many people have adapted from life in an office to WFH in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. What many companies probably didn’t predict is how much this change would be embraced by so many, with WFH offering more flexibility and requiring no commute. But with offices starting to reopen – bringing with them human interaction and in-person collaboration – many people are looking to mix WFH and office time to get the best of both worlds.
“Working from home provides more freedom to employees to manage their own time and work in a way that suits them,” says director of Stand Tall Consulting, Nike Wadds. “However, face-to-face interaction is still critically important, particularly for establishing relationships and team culture in the workplace.” According to a recent global survey, 46% of senior office employees feel that a blend of WFH and office time increases productivity, creativity and motivation.
How do I know what mix of WFH and office time is right for me?
Are you are looking for ways to combine WFH and office time in a way that maximises your output and your personal wellbeing? Here are some questions to ask yourself when it comes to splitting up your time effectively.
Question #1: When and where am I most productive?
“Everyone is different when it comes to how they manage to be most productive,” says Wadds. “Some employees need to work in an office environment to stay focused. Others may find that they are far more productive working from home with no distractions, and thrive in a flexible working environment, particularly those who are self-motivated and can work independently.” Be realistic as to the type of workplace set-up you need to perform at your best, and use that as your main base. Whichever you choose, help yourself be more productive by keeping your workspace tidy, being organised, tracking your hours and staying on top of your admin.
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Question #2: How would splitting my time impact my role?
No man, or woman, is an island, and this couldn’t be truer than in the working world. Apart from those who are self-employed, most of us work for someone and often in a team. Co-workers depend on each other for work to get done. This is something you should keep in mind when deciding when you want to be at home or the office. “Ask yourself: are you able to fulfil your role effectively working from home? How would you realistically split your role between home and office? Some roles are easier to fulfil remotely from home, while others would pose significant challenges and require workarounds. If yours is one of them, ask yourself if the challenges outweigh the benefit to you and your organisation,” advises Wadds.
Question #3: How much support do I need to be able to do my job effectively?
Are you someone who needs the support and guidance of your colleagues to fulfil your role? Or are you seasoned in your field and can work independently? This will need to be considered when deciding on your WFH and office time split. “Some employees, particularly junior employees, rely on face-to-face support and on-the-job training to learn, progress and be more effective in their role,” explains Wadds. “Many individuals rely on team members and regular interaction to get their job done. If this is the case, working in an office environment, or at least spending most of your time in the office, would be a better scenario.”
Question #4: How much do I enjoy being at home versus being at the office?
How you split your time between home and the office should also take your personality into consideration. Would working from home make you happy? “Some employees need the interaction with peers for their wellbeing. Others, particularly those with a tendency towards introversion, are likely to enjoy working from home more,” explains Wadds. “Working from home also provides you with more time to engage in wellbeing activities, such as going for a run or walking the dog, as you won’t be spending time on commuting. You may also be able to manage your time at home in such a way that you can incorporate activities you enjoy within your working day. It’s important to get the balance right.”
Struggling to find the right balance between work and home life? Find out why it’s important to switch off, plus tips for doing just that, here.
Implementing a WFH and office time plan
Once you have weighed up the pros and cons and have decided how to split your WFH and office time, you’ll need the support of your superior. “Segment your role and determine which activities you could do more effectively from home, and how much time could be allocated to working from home to maximise your productivity,” suggests Wadds. “You will also need to provide benefits for your employer, and solutions to potential challenges.”
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You may not get the balance right the first time around, so allow some room for trial and error. “You won’t know with absolute certainty how working from home will work for you and your employer until you’ve tried it,” says Wadds. But get it right and it could be the ticket to more freedom and flexibility.
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