It is no longer a question of either-or when it comes to office work and working from home. For many, there are a number of concerns associated with the hybrid jobs of the future.
The future calls for a hybrid workplace, where one part of the work is done online from a location outside the office, and the other part from the office. It provides an opportunity to create the framework for arranging the working day so that it fits right in with oneself.
A survey conducted in the spring of 2021 by HR Norway - a Norwegian independent member organisation for HR, management, and working life - shows that 86% are positive about a combination of work from home and work from the office.
At the same time, the figure also indicates that we are not the only ones with a wide range of considerations about how the working day in the hybrid workplace will be the best possible.
Social at a distance
A focus point is the social aspect of office work with shared lunch and chatting at the coffee machine. Of course, this is also one of the concerns that arise when we talk about the workplace of the future.
The study from HR Norway shows that many are concerned about social isolation, challenges with building a good corporate culture, and issues with collaboration across locations.
Online check-in meetings and collaboration using technical online solutions such as interactive whiteboards are some of the things that can help create a sense of office community.
Steen Erik Navrbjerg from the Employment Relations Research Center at the University of Copenhagen emphasises in an article in the Danish newspaper Berlingske that the flexible workplace requires solutions that make it easier to collaborate online. That way, we avoid annoyances in the form of bad sound, unstable internet connections, and screen sharing that does not work.
We do not bother to spend time-solving technical problems, we would rather be able to immerse ourselves in the tasks.
To be efficient in the hybrid workplace
What do you achieve during a working day at home? Maybe: answering emails, ticking a few things off the to do list, and doing laundry?
Procrastination such as vacuuming and doing laundry are some of the things that are easy to get started with when the dining table forms the framework for the day’s work.
However, the recent extended period of working from home has shown that it is not actually productivity that we need to worry about. For PFA pension, the Danish analysis and consulting company Kantar Gallup has examined the productivity of employees in Danish companies. It has shown that productivity has not decreased, in fact, on the contrary, it has increased.
There are fewer disturbances in the home office from, for example, colleagues who just need to hear about something. There is therefore more time for contemplation and thus also to work more efficiently.
Steen Erik Navrbjerg says in this connection in the article in Berlingske that the better employees and managers know each other in advance, the easier it is to succeed with remote work.
When your boss knows you and your way of working, he or she also knows that you probably have to solve the tasks without necessarily having to follow up all the time.
Maybe you have check-in meetings where you follow up on yesterday's or the week's tasks and from there you can set new goals.
The classic working day with control of tasks and from 8 to 4 in the office will be replaced in the hybrid workplaces of the future with confidence in one's own and colleagues' abilities.
How to work well from the hybrid workplace
When we work from new places, we can quickly miss the coffee machine and the height-adjustable desk from the office. In addition, it may be challenging to find peace in the changing surroundings and ensure a good working position at the many different tables that make up the desk in the flexible office space.
It could be that it has become a habit just to open the laptop at the dining table or sit with the computer in your lap in the good chair at the café. Maybe it seems a little awkward every day to lug extra equipment around to sit correctly and avoid sore shoulders and a stiff neck.
However, it does not have to be as cumbersome as it sounds. Jarle Marheim, an ergonomics specialist, advises you always to sit well when you work. He states that you achieve the best balance between the flexible and excellent working position when you make it a habit always to sit ergonomically correct.
You can get a lot of equipment to make your flexible space more ergonomic, but you do not have to make considerable investments to ensure a good workstation. With a basic equipment package consisting of a flexible set-up, you can easily make your space ergonomically sound in the office, dining table, or café.
Maybe you already have a lot of remote work behind you, and perhaps you already know how to get the most out of your workday from the home office. Perhaps you find the challenges of the hybrid workplace unmanageable.
No matter what considerations you make about the hybrid workplace of the future, the benefit is the same: that the flexible workplace can be adapted so that it can accommodate the best working day for you.