Hybrid Work: The best of both worlds

Tyler Manning, is the Director of Solution Delivery at Kloudspot, a company that is powering the future of work by bringing balance to the “work from anywhere” equation. In a freewheeling post, he tells us about finding the perfect balance between working in office and from home – and in the bargain, getting the best of both worlds.

I want to talk quickly about hybrid work, specifically the benefits of being in different places for different activities, and the benefits I personally get from the change in scenery.

What I like about going into the office

Interaction

The biggest benefit of going to the office can’t be anything other than being around my colleagues. There are several reasons for this, but overall, the connection, collaboration, and social interacts are far superior in the office. I don’t think you can create a genuine solid working relationship with someone if you never meet them in person. It feels so two-dimensional to only know people via a teleconferencing window.

Key Takeaway:

Physical space will still be important. Organizations need to think about reshaping physical spaces to meet the changing needs of every team.

Energy

Going into the office can be energizing. When I only work from home for months on end and have no in-person contact with anyone I work with, I start to get burned out, feel disconnected, and generally more irritable. I find that going into the office re-charges my batteries, gets me excited about the people and projects I’m working on and connects me back to what I’m doing. For me personally, being in the office a week a month is more than enough for me to recharge those batteries and helps me to stay motivated and disciplined in my work.

Key Takeaway:

We’re social. We like innovating, learning and problem-solving together.

Tyler Manning in the office

Connection

This last one is like the first, but I feel it’s a big enough bonus of being in the office I should include it as a separate entry on this list. In-real-life collaboration is simply more productive, more engaging, and just more fun in the office. When everyone is in the same room, writing on the same whiteboard, it feels like we can iterate on ideas at lightning speed. And best of all we don’t even have to worry about accidentally talking over one another (seriously – looking at you are teleconferencing folks – how is this not solved yet?).

Key Takeaway:

We can seize the hybrid moment to reinvent work and offer meaningful and intentional environments that prioritize collaboration, communication and connection.

What I like about working from home

Productivity

As I said before, I go into the office on average a week a month. For me personally, the output of this is a list of tasks a mile long that I need to crank through. If I was to try and get it all done in the office, it would take me six months. When I get to work from home, I can easily get into an undisturbed flow mode, and crank through my tasks much quicker. Focused individual tasks that would normally take me a week in office, I feel like I can get done in a day or less. The productivity of doing this type of work at home is just off the charts.

Key Takeaway:

Knowledge workers who work in a hybrid environment are able to significantly improve productivity through a greater ability to focus.

Tyler Manning working from home

Flexibility

When I work from home, I enjoy the flexibility I have time-splicing my day. What I mean by this is the flexibility to instantly context-switch from “work” to “home,” or vice-versa. We’ve all had the feeling of mid-day doldrums, where after hours of non-stop work it feels like we can’t focus anymore. We start to go blurry-eyed, and it feels like we can’t squeeze anything more productive out of the day.

When I used to work in an office every day, I felt as though I got nothing productive done after about 2 pm. Now that I have had the opportunity to work from home, I have discovered that the flexibility afforded to me helps solve this issue. The solution for me is simple, “don’t focus only on work flat out for more than 4-6 consecutive hours.”

When I have flexibility, I feel more able to take the breaks needed to recharge, and then get back to work full bore. I can take a walk, cook a home cooked meal, do some housework that’s been on my mind, and then jump back into work like nothing ever happened. This is different from breaks taken in an office, because when you take a break at the office, you’re still at the office. You still feel like you’re in work mode. At home, when you turn off work for just a short 30-minute break, you can fully disengage and put yourself in “home” mode. This has not only boosted my productivity, it’s also helped me keep my sanity, and not burn out as frequently.

Key Takeaway:

Workers want the flexibility to manage their week, while still feeling connected to their organization.

Freedom to choose

Lastly, when working remotely, that means I can work from anywhere. Again, for me personally, if I work from my house for too long, I start to feel boxed in, and like I’m lacking social interaction. When I work remotely, I can visit a friend in another state, and work from there. Even though I’m still working the entire time, and being just as productive as I would normally be working from my house, just the fact that I’m in another environment, around friends – this recharges my batteries, and I get all the benefits of taking a full vacation, without ever having to take a day off work.

Key Takeaway:

The vast majority of global knowledge workers now expect to have flexibility in both where and when they work.

Conclusion: The best of both worlds

A recent workplace survey from Gensler found that the majority of U.S. workers prefer a hybrid solution that includes a combination of time in the office and work from home. The hybrid model has the potential to offer workers the perfect blend of virtual and physical spaces to work, collaborate, connect and build social capital.

Kloudspot can help organizations use the insights from data and technology to create a seamless office that bridges the physical and virtual worlds to maximize productivity, and make the most of your business.

 

We’ve got more details on how to implement and evolve your hybrid work plans with Kloudspot.

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