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How To Retain Professionalism as Hybrid Employees

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Hybrid Employees|How To Retain Professionalism as Hybrid EmployeesThe world of work has been irrevocably changed, and we’re unlikely to ever see a return to full-time office life ever again. But with every adaptation comes a new set of challenges, and when you’re moving from office to home during the week, the lines between your personal and working life can become blurred. It’s important to retain the right level of professionalism when you’re working, but that can be hard to do when you’re working from home.

So how do you ensure that your interactions with colleagues and clients are as professional as they would be if you were in the office?

Use the right channels of communication

When you’re in the office, you can pop by someone’s desk or catch them on the way to a meeting to discuss that task or project. But when you’re all working remotely, it’s easy to let the channels of communication fall by the wayside.

Since remote working often means flexible hours and asynchronous communication, ask your colleagues how they’d like to be communicated with, so you can be sure you’re reaching them on channels they’ll check regularly. It ensures that everyone can be reached easily, but that boundaries are in place to avoid feeling like you have to be connected on every platform 24/7.

Foster inclusivity

Building a fairer workplace is the responsibility of everyone involved, but it can be complicated when you’re working as part of a hybrid team. Inclusivity is the key to driving employee performance and making everyone feel valued and part of the team, so you need to be sure that you’re not treating remote employees as lesser than those working in the office.

Rules are important to ensure that everyone is working on a level playing field and to create a fair team environment. So every member of the team needs to be clear on what’s permitted and what isn’t, so there’s not one set of rules for one group and another for everyone else, and has the opportunity to weigh in and offer opinions before decisions are made.


Check in regularly

Make sure that your colleagues know that you’re on hand to answer questions or queries when they need you to, or even that you’re available to discuss a project or brainstorm ideas when a fresh perspective is needed.

It’s easy to feel as though you’re in your own little bubble when you’re working remotely, but you need to be accessible to your team and flexible to their needs just as you would be in the office. Hiding away at home and dodging emails or group messages is unprofessional and your team dynamic can suffer as a result of it. What’s more, it can mean that your colleagues are left doing more work to make up the difference. Make sure that you’re regularly checking in, responding to requests in a timely manner and being the proactive team member that you would be if you were in the office.

Define goals and expectations

Goal setting is essential to successful remote working, since you have the freedom to work when and how you want when you’re not in the office — and that can often mean you veer off track. You need to have structure and goals in place to keep you moving in the right direction and ensure you’re staying productive, for your own purposes and for the benefit of the business. Remote employees can easily lose sight of the bigger picture, so it’s important to have those common objectives and clear expectations in place so that everyone stays engaged.

Goals are also vital to helping employees stay connected. This structure helps reduce the stress caused by a lack of purpose, where people in the team don’t know what they’re supposed to be working on. Everyone knows what they’re doing on any given day, and they can feel more engaged in the process.

Hybrid working has been adopted by businesses in many industries, but there are still teething issues to overcome, as with any new way of working. To really thrive as a hybrid employee and work productively, it’s important to stay professional and remember that location aside, you still need to maintain the same standards as you did pre-remote working.

Establishing A Better Work-Life Balance As A Business Owner

As a business owner, it is essential to prioritize your physical and mental health. Due to a vast workload and a heavy responsibility, you will likely choose work over health. However, this cannot continue and is not sustainable. To show up as your best self at work, you must take good care of your health.

Therefore, here are some tips on how to improve your work-life balance as a business owner.

Don’t be afraid to outsource tasks

Although allowing an external team to take care of your business tasks can feel scary, it is beneficial. Yes, you might prefer to take care of every task yourself or oversee what is going on at your employee’s desk. Yet, this likely isn’t benefiting your stress levels. If you outsource some tasks, it will take the pressure off.

For example, outsourced IT services will help your business feel less pressure as you can work on other tasks while an external individual/team is fulfilling your IT tasks. You won’t have to stress about those tasks you find stressful or difficult. Instead, you can focus on the tasks that you enjoy the most. Hence, you will better your work-life balance.

Don’t be scared to take breaks

To manage your work-life balance as a business owner, it is essential to take breaks. Taking breaks from work can feel scary when you have so much to do. However, a break is the best thing to do if you have lots on your plate. Small and often is the way forward.

If you have a lot of tasks on your to-do list and try to work through them without a minute to breathe, you are bound to feel overtired, stressed, and tense at the end of each day. The more (little and often) breaks you take, the more you can reset your mind and be productive during the periods you commit to working. Being more effective and efficient will maximize your time and help you get more done (and to a higher standard) when work.

Schedule longer breaks too

Being a business owner doesn’t often come with the luxury of having longer breaks away. However, you are entitled to them. Hence, you should take them.

Scheduling longer breaks (when you know business will be quiet) will help you shut off from work and relax. Switching your phone off and not attending to any work tasks will ensure you get maximum benefits from a long break.


Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is all about how you treat your body. What food you feed yourself, drink, and exercise you partake in contributes to a healthier mind and body. It is essential to treat yourself still and have lots of rest.

Yet, ensuring to maintain a healthy lifestyle will enhance your physical health and also benefit your mental health. Exercise and certain foods provide stress-busting benefits. Hence, knowing how to fuel and move your body will do your health wonders.

Ensure your business environment is healthy

If you work in a toxic business environment (gossip-driven employees, dark rooms, and a lack of a break space), you will not be benefiting your work-life balance.

Your workplace should be a healthy environment. Ensuring everyone gets along, has an open conversation, and supports one another will provide a good employee culture.

After that, ensuring plenty of light in the office will help focus and productivity.

Adding break rooms and spaces to the workspace will also enhance the environment’s health. It will allow you and the staff to find a place to switch off their tasks and reset their minds.

Create an evening routine

Working late into the evenings will not improve your work-life balance, especially if you start work early. Hence, it is essential to find set work times, so you do not burn out. Introducing a wholesome morning routine can help if you start work later.

Waking up at a reasonable time (after having plenty of rest), fueling your body, moving, and relaxing will set you up right for the day.

Whereas if you work early, you should finish earlier. Giving yourself time to switch off and relax in the evening is essential after a long day (even if you start work late). Enough time to switch off before bed will aid in a healthy sleeping pattern.

Your evening routine should consist of minimal technology, mindfulness (movement, yoga, meditation, reading, self-care), and nourishing foods to care for your mind and body after a stressful day building your empire.

Make Working From Home Work For Your Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Working from home|Make Working From Home Work For Your BusinessFor all the horror and sadness Covid-19 has inflicted on the world, history tells us that seismic global events often lead to unexpected changes in the way life and business are conducted.

World War II permanently altered our outlook on virtually every aspect of life and Covid has certainly given every business owner and employee a new perspective on effective working practices.

The Motivation for Working from Home

In the pre-Covid world, there was a relatively small and select band of people who worked from home. Plenty would check emails, organize shift patterns, and create a quick weekly schedule from the comfort of a couch, but the office was still king when it came to working.

Covid made working from home the norm and the enforced physical separation from colleagues has shown business owners that this model can be incredibly effective.

Time and money are saved on an unnecessary commute, the online nature of modern work means that fear of an employee neglecting their duties has virtually disappeared. Zoom calls, Teams calls, Google chats – it all works just as well as a meeting room.

The Right Tools for the Right Working Environment

There are, of course, pitfalls when it comes to working from home. Some of them are quite amusing, while some are not.

The sight of a stray kid wandering through the background of a high-level Zoom call, the illuminating décor of a colleague’s house that you never imagined, or a dog strewn across the couch have all produced a welcome chortle to the new business call.

Where things become less amusing is that famed glitch in the matrix that comes from a dodgy internet connection. Thankfully, the online world has switched on to new working practices. A reliable connection is the right of every working American and organizations like the internet service provider in Vistancia are guaranteeing a new sense of reassurance that encourages the work-from-home culture.


Say Goodbye to the Nine-to-Five

Covid has also demonstrated to business owners, and more importantly, to employees that the old practice of a nine-to-five in the office does not work.

If a worker feels at their best at 4 am, working from home allows that person to produce their optimum level. People are all wired differently, so some find their best form late at night, while others find it in the early morning.

Business owners are learning to embrace this new phenomenon and it is producing results. Make your business work around the staff and everyone will benefit.

The Final Word

Business changes all the time, new ideas are introduced, and old ones are discarded.

The key for a business owner is to show flexibility that allows the employee to be at their best. If the job is done well, who cares about the when, where, and why? Motivated employees will do a great job in every environment. All they want is a profession that allows them to flourish.
Business is about results and working from home has been proven to give great results. Just mind the dog.

How You Can Get The Most From Your Employees

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Get the most from your employees|How You Can Get The Most From Your EmployeesThere is no doubt that when it comes to starting and running a successful business, one of the most important things that you need to do is to ensure you have a strong team of employees behind you. A lot of the time employees will be strong and able to benefit your business from their own fruition, but then there are steps that you as their boss need to take in order to ensure you are fully getting the most out of them.

If you are going out of your way to make sure your employees are happy, and you are giving them a good reason to turn up to work and try their hardest, you are going to see the benefits to your business very quickly. If you are unsure how exactly you can act in a way that you will bring out the best in your employees, then you’re in the right place. Below we are going to talk in more detail specifically about some of the different means available that will help you get the most from your employees.

Continue To Educate

You are likely going to have an elongated period of learning when somebody first joins your organisation in which you will show them how your different systems work, what their role is going to entail and bring them up to speed on your companies’ ethos. Of course, it is not enough to just educate your employees for this brief period and then leave them to it, it is important you continue to educate them and broaden their knowledge in order to get the most from them.

Frequent sessions with your employees where they are taught more about managing work, compliance, your industry or other topics, shows you are dedicated to their growth and helps them develop in their work. There are a number of different ways that you can teach your employees such as by using a Learning Management System. The benefit of LMS is that you will be helping to train your employees in a way that can be done in-depth and remotely so you are not spending too much of your time on the training, but your employees are still benefiting from it.

Have Good Communication With Staff

One of the most important things you’re going to need to have is a good communicative relationship with your employees. When you are all able to speak to each other in a way that is open and honest, this is one of the most fundamental steps towards creating a productive, positive and happy workplace. You should start this relationship by talking to your employees about the business, what your goals are and then what you plan on doing in order to achieve said goals. Communication needs to be of a particular focus the moment you are having a conversation with staff through some kind of period of change, whether this is in your company or in the wider context of your industry as a whole.

If your business grows then you need to be able to cope with that and one of the ways that you can maintain communication even in the face of growth is to keep employees up to date with written communication. A weekly or monthly run down about the business and your market is always a good way to keep in touch with your employees, even if you don’t see them on a regular day-to-day basis.


Give Your Staff Feedback

Following on from the above, having good communication with staff also means providing them with feedback on the different work that they do. When you are giving positive feedback to your staff members, you are strengthening overall employee engagement. You should be sure to conduct bimonthly reviews and always give meaningful feedback when you have these meetings.

You might be nervous about giving any kind of negative feedback but there are good ways to do this. You need to be fair when you give negative feedback and be specific about what needs improvement, do not simply provide some vague complaint. You should also get the employees side of things so that they know they have a voice within the company and that their opinion matters. Feedback is a two-way street so you need to see these meetings as a chance to improve what you do as well.

Delegate Necessary Work

You can’t do everything yourself, that’s exactly the reason why you have employees. You can ask them to do their role but then also do not be afraid to delegate work that comes with more responsibility when you think that they are ready for it. By giving your employees more responsibility, you are going to be showing them that you trust their judgement and believe in them when it comes to growing on the work that they do. By showing this, your employees are going to want to work hard and do a good job in order to continue to learn, and keep expanding on what they are capable of.

Encourage Remote Working

Remote working was met with scepticism when it was first introduced but now there are a number of businesses who are embracing some form of remote working on a permanent basis. One of the reasons for this is it can reduce costs of running your business due to having smaller office spaces; however, it is also because of the fact doing so brings out the best in employees.

When employees are free to make their schedule work around them, they are a lot more keen to do well for your business and feel like they are trusted more as well. As such, flexible working is certainly something that you should introduce if you intend on getting the most from your staff.

Conclusion

There is a lot that goes in to making a good business but one of the most important things is to have a good team of employees behind you. There are a number of different ways that you can bring out the best in your employees and these include but are not limited to the above.

Creating A Versatile Home Office

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Home Office|Creating A Versatile Home OfficeAs many as 30% of professionals believe they are more engaged when working from home, but this number could increase even more if they design their home office correctly. For many, the home office is a makeshift setup. Usually, professionals set up their laptops on the sofa or in the kitchen or dining room. While this is convenient, it lacks the versatility entrepreneurs and employees need to stay on task and boost productivity. If you’ve not yet renovated your home office for maximum productivity, here are a few ideas to help you create a versatile workspace.

Decorate It to Reflect Your Business

Every successful brand has filled its office with decor and essentials that reflect the business, so you should do the same if you want to maximize productivity and remain on course for your company’s growth.

This all starts by choosing furniture that reflects your business and your personality. If your brand is innovative, bold, bright colors and sleek, tidy lines are essential. You can hang artwork or arrange furniture that inspires you to maintain our vision and makes it easier for clients to understand what your company does.

Set Up a Meeting Space

Entrepreneurship means you will have a lot of meetings with clients. But, without a dedicated office, it’s challenging to determine a designated space to meet and discuss projects.

With exclusive penthouses, you have enough space to maximize your office’s reach. While you have a desk area where you work, you can set up another room specifically for meetings, ideally one with a view if possible. If this isn’t possible, research local coworking spaces or even cafes.


Keep It Separate from the Rest Of Your Home

You will fail to stay productive if you have a constant stream of distractions, whether from your partner, kids, or pets. Because of this, you must keep your home office separate from the rest of your house.

This is easier said than done, of course, but it isn’t impossible. Sometimes, it’s as simple as closing your office door during work hours, maybe even with a Do Not Disturb sign on the handle. If you have outdoor space, a garden room could be another solution, but this represents a considerable investment and requires power access.

Master Organization

By now, you know that organization is crucial for successful remote working. If your desk or larger work area is cluttered, you’ll struggle to remain on task. To overcome this, you can make a habit of tidying up at the end of each day and organizing all the papers and information you need for the following morning.

This is useful when partaking in meetings over Skype, Zoom, or Teams, as it means you have everything you need in one space. Your organizational skills reduce time searching around for specific details and keep the meeting flowing, which encourages efficiency for everyone.

Versatility

A versatile home office is key for boosting engagement and productivity. Although many basic remote working setups can be effective, they lack the distinction that adds an extra layer of efficiency. By designing a space that matches your typical office as closely as possible, you will not need to worry about interference or disruptions from the rest of the household.