For many people, working from home is a dream come true. It means more flexibility in your schedule, fewer distractions while you power through projects, and less overall stress in life thanks to the peace and quiet of solitude. However, there are benefits to working in an office and being surrounded by coworkers, including the process of collaborative brainstorming, the rivalries that fuel you to perform, and the simple pleasure of socialization. If you’ve been in either of these environments exclusively, and are now transitioning to having a hybrid work environment, there is a lot to consider to making sure you balance these two worlds.
Work from Home Balance Face-to-Face Interaction
There really is no substitute for face-to-face conversations and, when you work in an office filled with peers, this happens all the time. Whether you’re in the conference room for a big meeting or you bump into a coworker by the coffee machine, you’re always talking to people at work. But when you’re at home, you have to proactively reach out to achieve meaningful contact with coworkers or clients. Thanks to video conferencing and screen sharing software, it’s easier to get the same experience when you’re home. To make this as effective as possible, make sure your home Internet speed can stream that much data. Make sure to regularly conduct Internet speed tests before planning a teleconference session, as it’s frustrating, embarrassing, and ineffective to have to deal with technical difficulties while trying to be professional.
Important Resources for Work from Home Balance
Your chair (or couch) at home may be more comfortable than the one you have at the office, but what about the rest of the equipment you use? If you’re going to be working from both locations throughout the week, check with your manager to see if you can have a company laptop to use. This way, all of your information is stored in one place and you don’t have to use your personal items for professional purposes. Also, if you can, plan to print things when you’re in the office so you can use the high-quality printer in your copy room. This way you don’t use the ink you buy on your own dime for company purposes and you’ll likely get a higher quality product on the office printer anyway.
In most offices, even a diehard workaholic can’t spend time at the office after business hours, and that’s probably a good thing. It’s important to maintain a good balance between your work and personal life. If you’re working from home, make sure you set a schedule for yourself so you don’t have a 15-hour workday or a 5-hour workday either. You also don’t want to be working at all hours, nor do you want to spend the majority of your day watching TV or doing laundry. It can be a larger challenge to get motivated when you’re working from home, so make sure you set a time you have to start on work materials. Stay consistent with your hours and when it’s time to be done with work, be done. Regardless of your work habits, as long as you have the motivation to get the job done, you’ll be better able to find a strong work-life balance.
Work from Home Balance Interruptions and Interactions
While meetings are great for getting ideas off the ground, many studies support the often-groaned sentiment that they’re not very productive. And while chatting in the halls or over cubicle walls can be fun, it’s also not the way to get work done. When you are working from home, especially when you are working on a complex project that will require a protracted period of time and effort, peace and quiet are simply better than the hum of an office. If you are someone who thrives with more action around you, consider a coffee shop; no one will directly interrupt you as a coworker might.
There are a lot of benefits that come with working both from home and in an office throughout the week, so if you’re taking on a hybrid role, you’ll enjoy the benefits of both. Make sure you keep your world balanced, so you get to enjoy all the benefits to the fullest.
Author bio: Sarah Pike is an online writing instructor and freelance editor. She’s a fan of productivity apps, binge-watching RomComs, and finding the best coffee shop in any city she visits. You can find her on Twitter at @sarahzpike.