You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

8 Time Management Hacks for Hybrid Workers Globally, hybrid work has become the new norm for many workers recently. In fact, a Gallup survey found that eight out of ten chief human resources officers (CHROs) from Fortune...

By John Hall

entrepreneur daily

This story originally appeared on Calendar

Globally, hybrid work has become the new norm for many workers recently. In fact, a Gallup survey found that eight out of ten chief human resources officers (CHROs) from Fortune 500 companies have no plans to decrease remote work flexibility in the next year. Additionally, nine out of ten remote-capable employees prefer hybrid work, with the majority preferring some flexibility in their work schedules.

And this makes sense. A hybrid world offers numerous benefits, including flexibility and productivity. Furthermore, it helps to balance the flexibility of working from home and the collaborative nature of working in an office.

However, it can be challenging to manage your time when you work from home and the office. Therefore, in this post, we’ll share a few tips and tricks for time management that could help you, as a hybrid worker, be more efficient and productive.

1. Think self-management, not time management.

“Instead of time management, I often like to broaden it up to self-management,” says Michael Parke, Assistant Professor of Management at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. “We had a lot of structure in terms of going to work,” including commutes and specific working hours.

“Then the pandemic changed that for so many people, where you have to find a new structure at home, a different office. You have different distractions,” like kids or streaming services, he adds. “I think it really radically shifted how people figured out how to be disciplined, how to do their work, and how to allocate their time in a different space, in a different way, once we shifted a lot to remote work.”

It is vital to prioritize self-management over time management in the new era of hybrid work.

Think of it this way. When we focus solely on squeezing the most tasks into a fixed timeframe, time management can be limiting. In self-management, we manage our entire inner world for better well-being and productivity.

So, what’s self-management all about? Some key things to remember:

Emotional regulation.

To do this, we must understand and manage our emotions effectively. The key is identifying triggers, practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques, and consciously choosing how to respond rather than react.

Goal setting and motivation.

Maintaining progress requires setting clear, attainable goals and cultivating intrinsic motivation. Our values must align with our goals, find ways to make the process enjoyable, and celebrate smaller victories along the way.

Self-awareness.

To make informed choices and overcome challenges, we must be aware of our strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies. As part of this process, we must reflect on our behavior patterns, identify limiting beliefs, and practice self-compassion.

Prioritization and focus.

To avoid overwhelm and achieve our goals, we must know what truly matters and allocate our time and energy accordingly. You can do this by saying no to non-essential tasks, setting boundaries, and establishing routines.

Habit formation and discipline.

For long-term success, developing positive habits and sticking to them is crucial. We can achieve this goal by identifying key habits, developing strategies for consistency, and celebrating progress while learning from setbacks.

Boundaries and self-care.

We’ll discuss this in more depth shortly, but setting healthy boundaries with ourselves and others is crucial for preventing burnout. The key is saying no to unreasonable demands, taking breaks when needed, and prioritizing activities that nourish our mind, body, and spirit.

Ultimately, focusing on self-management shifts our perspective from simply managing time to empowering ourselves. As we grow, we’re better equipped to overcome challenges, reach our goals, and live fulfilling lives.

2. Set hybrid work ground rules.

As a hybrid worker, setting boundaries is essential for managing time effectively. By setting clear guidelines, you can ensure that you know when to work and when to rest. Furthermore, you should communicate your boundaries to your family, friends, and colleagues.

For example, it may make sense for you to work from home on Mondays and Tuesdays and to go into the office on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Alternatively, you might only work between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

As soon as you have established your boundaries, you should adhere to them as much as possible. It can be difficult, especially if you have been more flexible in the past. Nevertheless, setting boundaries is crucial to maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Regardless of how each person sets boundaries, here are a few tips for doing so:

  • Create a dedicated workspace in your home. This could be in your spare room, office nook, or even in your living room. It will be easier to get into work mode if you have a dedicated workspace.
  • Set regular working hours. Even if you work from home, stay within these hours. By doing this, you can avoid working and spend more time with your family and friends.
  • Take breaks throughout the day. Every 30 minutes or so, get up and move around. Maintaining focus and productivity can be achieved by taking breaks, such as stretching and walking.
  • Don’t check work email or messages outside of your working hours. As a result, you can unwind and disconnect from your work.

3. Create a consistent schedule.

Besides setting boundaries, you should also create a daily schedule. As a result, you can maximize your time and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Ideally, you should schedule time for both work and personal tasks. Also, schedule in breaks throughout the day, and be realistic about how much you can accomplish in a day.

If you aren’t sure how to create a schedule that works for you, several online tools and templates are available. If you can’t find a scheduling method that works for you, you can experiment until you do.

To help you create a schedule, here are a few tips:

  • Plan your day in advance. Plan out your schedule for the week every week at the beginning of the week. Doing this will ensure you’re allocating enough time for all your commitments and tasks.
  • Use a calendar or planner. Calendars and planners are available in many forms, both digital and paper. You can use one of these to keep track of your appointments, deadlines, and to-dos.
  • Be flexible. There are times when things don’t go according to plan. As the day progresses, be prepared to adjust your schedule as necessary. Personally, this is why I schedule blank spaces in my calendar.

4. Minimize distractions.

Working from home presents several challenges, including staying focused. Social media, housework, and household chores like laundry are just a few distractions.

Again, this is why you should create a dedicated workspace in your home to minimize distractions. Ideally, this is a place where you can focus on your work without being interrupted.

You should also turn off your notifications and silence your phone when working remotely. A website blocker or a time management app might help if you’re easily distracted.

5. Communicate like a champion.

A clear and consistent communication strategy is essential for success in any workplace, especially one where you work remotely. In other words, ensure that your team and coworkers understand your schedule and availability and actively seek clarification when necessary.

Additionally, address potential issues or concerns as early as possible to avoid misunderstandings. For example, specify when employees must be online while working remotely.

Keep these other tips in mind as well.

  • Keep your family informed about your working hours. Tell your family members or roommates when you will work from home so they do not interrupt you. Maintaining a routine can also help you prioritize relationships and balance your work-life.
  • Inform colleagues of your availability. To collaborate effectively, you must communicate which days you will be in the office or online. Use calendar meeting invites to block out dedicated work and meeting times when working from home. If you will be attending meetings and having essential discussions in person, let your colleagues know in advance.
  • Utilize communication and collaboration tools. You can also communicate your work status using productivity tools and communication apps such as Slack or Microsoft Teams. To streamline the response process and ensure colleagues know who to contact when you’re out of the office, consider setting up automatic email replies for times when you’re absent.
  • Schedule meetings in the afternoon. By scheduling meetings in the afternoon, you can focus on your most critical tasks in the morning. Moreover, remote colleagues in different time zones can find it easier to coordinate and find convenient times for them to connect.

6. Get the most out of your office days.

Planning strategically and practicing mindfulness are key to making the most of your time in the office. Here are a few key strategies to keep in mind:

Become familiar with your productivity cycles.

What is the secret to mastering a hybrid work schedule? Understanding your productivity cycles and using them effectively. You feel most alert, focused, and energized at these times, often called “biological prime times.”

However, understanding these productivity cycles goes beyond productivity hacks. It’s a great way to optimize your workdays. You should schedule your most mentally demanding, essential tasks during these times. As a result, you can focus on the most effective use of your time rather than trying to pack more work into your day.

Organize your office days consistently and reduce distractions.

Decide what days are your ideal office days and stick to it. Don’t forget to schedule time for collaboration, meetings, and important tasks. By setting expectations, you’ll ensure a smooth workflow with your colleagues.

Also, you can minimize distractions by avoiding unnecessary tasks and using productivity tools. If you dedicate uninterrupted time to work deep, you will be able to complete complex projects and be more productive.

Collaborate on your most important tasks during office hours.

During your office hours, you can conduct brainstorming sessions, team meetings, and collaborative projects that are more effective with face-to-face communication. Collaborating, generating ideas, and making decisions in real-time are all possible while being physically present.

Create a hybrid work schedule that suits your needs.

Personalize your hybrid work schedule according to your personal preferences. Find your best balance by experimenting with different office and remote days. Keep an eye on your schedule to ensure you maximize productivity and well-being.

7. Create a mirror image of your working environment.

When working remotely, create a similar work environment for getting into a professional flow quickly. For instance, if you have a monitor at your office desk, you should set that up similarly at home. Doing so saves yourself time and effort adjusting to a new work setting each day.

In addition to ergonomic solutions, you can make the most of your time by developing good habits and being disciplined around your schedule.

Furthermore, here are some tips to create a more productive working environment at home:

  • Organize and declutter your workspace. Focus, productivity, and creativity are all enhanced by an organized and clutter-free workspace. Make your workspace comfortable and inspiring by removing unnecessary items, organizing your files, and personalizing them.
  • Maintain an ergonomic setup to maximize comfort and productivity. For enhanced comfort and productivity, pay attention to ergonomics. You should adjust your chair and desk and monitor height to maintain a neutral posture. A comfortable workspace can lead to better focus, reduced stress, and a greater sense of well-being.
  • Streamline your work with technology and productivity tools. Enhance efficiency and keep track of tasks with project management software, communication tools, and collaboration platforms. Also, Keep your tasks organized with notifications and calendar reminders. Reminders can help you stay on top of long-term tasks and to-do lists. Additionally, consider automating repetitive or time-consuming tasks with tools. Slack’s State of Work Report found that 77% of employees would be more productive if routine tasks could be automated.

8. Take care of yourself.

When it comes to your health, hybrid work is a double-edged sword.

A FlexJobs survey found that 96% of workers believe a remote or hybrid work arrangement would be best for their mental health. Additionally, hybrid workers exercise more, sleep longer, and eat better, according to a study by IWG.

At the same time, burnout has increased thanks to the always-on culture.

Looking after yourself physically and mentally is essential when you work from home. At the minimum, this involves eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly — which I’m sure you’re been told a million times before.

Additionally, make time for relaxation and stress relief a priority. Spending time with loved ones, listening to music, or reading could be some ways to accomplish this.

The bottom line is that taking care of yourself will help you avoid burnout and improve your overall health.

Conclusion

You can manage your time effectively by following these tips as a hybrid worker. The key is to find what works for you and be flexible.

The good news is that you can create a work-from-anywhere lifestyle that is both productive and enjoyable.

FAQs

Precisely what is hybrid work?

A hybrid work model is one where employees are expected to attend the office at least one day per week while also being permitted to work from home occasionally.

Depending on the hybrid work model, employees may choose their own schedule, or an organization or team may orchestrate or schedule days in the office. There are times when hybrid work refers to a space, for example, a hybrid workplace, which is one in which in-person and remote employees can interact successfully.

What are the benefits of hybrid work?

  • Increased productivity. Employees working from home and at the office are more productive.
  • Improved work-life balance. The possibility of hybrid work can help employees better balance their working and personal lives.
  • Reduced commuting time and costs. Employees can save time and money by working remotely.
  • Greater employee satisfaction. Employee engagement and satisfaction can be increased through hybrid work.
  • Wider talent pool. To attract more talent, companies should offer hybrid work options.

What are the challenges of hybrid work?

  • Communication and collaboration. Communication and collaboration can be more difficult when you’re not working together in the same place.
  • Loneliness and isolation. When employees work remotely, they may feel lonely or isolated.
  • Distractions. Staying focused and productive can be challenging if you work from home.
  • Blurring of boundaries. When you work from home, switching off can be challenging.
  • Unequal access to resources. Employees who work remotely may not have the same access to equipment and technology.

How many days should I work in the office?

The answer to this question will depend on your specific job, role, and company policy. In some companies, minimums and maximums are set, while managers or teams decide in others.

Can I choose which days I work from home?

Once again, it depends on the company policy and the manager’s discretion. Some companies may schedule Meetings or projects on specific days, while others may allow more flexibility.

When I’m working remotely, what can I do to stay connected with my colleagues?

Use video conferencing, instant messaging, and project management tools to facilitate communication. Further, keep in touch with your manager and team members regularly.

How can I maintain a healthy work-life balance when working from home?

Establish clear boundaries between work and personal time, set aside a dedicated workspace, and maintain a regular schedule. Throughout the day, take breaks and avoid working beyond “business hours.”

Image Credit: Vlada Karpovich; Pexels

The post 8 Time Management Hacks for Hybrid Workers appeared first on Calendar.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

James Clear Explains Why the 'Two Minute Rule' Is the Key to Long-Term Habit Building

The hardest step is usually the first one, he says. So make it short.

Side Hustle

He Took His Side Hustle Full-Time After Being Laid Off From Meta in 2023 — Now He Earns About $200,000 a Year: 'Sweet, Sweet Irony'

When Scott Goodfriend moved from Los Angeles to New York City, he became "obsessed" with the city's culinary offerings — and saw a business opportunity.

Business News

Microsoft's New AI Can Make Photographs Sing and Talk — and It Already Has the Mona Lisa Lip-Syncing

The VASA-1 AI model was not trained on the Mona Lisa but could animate it anyway.

Living

Get Your Business a One-Year Sam's Club Membership for Just $14

Shop for office essentials, lunch for the team, appliances, electronics, and more.

Science & Technology

AI Will Radically Transform the Workplace — Here's How HR Teams Can Prepare for It

HR intrapreneurs are emerging as key drivers of AI reskilling, thoughtful organizational restructuring and ethical integration, shaping an inclusive future where technology enhances both efficiency and employee development.