Hybrid work approaches are more common than ever before, and learning how to keep yourself productive and organized has never been more relevant. Try these tips to keep yourself motivated while balancing working in the office and working in the comfort of your own home.
Remote work is no longer an irrelevant option for the majority of American workers. During the pandemic, going from a bustling office surrounded by co-workers to working at home was a drastic change for many people. This new world of work came with unique challenges, such as noisy upstairs neighbors and unreliable Wi-Fi networks, but many adapted by creating home office spaces.

Today, companies are putting the focus back on in-person approaches, with some even implementing mandatory return-to-office movements. While some teams must resume working in person full time, much of the workforce has adopted a hybrid schedule, splitting their working hours between their offices and homes.

Remote work is still a possibility for the majority of employed Americans. A 2022 McKinsey & Company survey found nearly 60% of American workers can now work at least part of the time remotely, with the consulting firm noting that “flexible working has grown by anywhere from a third to tenfold since 2019.”

Learn how to successfully navigate this new hybrid work reality with these tips and tricks for balancing in-person and remote work.

Hybrid work tips: 3 ways to do it successfully.

Hybrid work is all about flexibility. Since you need to stay productive whether you’re working in a cubicle or at home, it’s important to set clear boundaries and establish both remote and office workspaces that are conducive to productivity.

On the days that you work from home, the lines between your personal life and work life can become blurred if you don’t take steps to prevent distractions. Working from your bed or in your kitchen can make you feel like you should always be focused on your job, even when you are sleeping or relaxing.

Conversely, relocating your remote work setup to a company office for in-person workdays can be tricky without careful planning. It’s essential to factor in which technology and items you’ll need and prepare your work setup for quick transfers as needed. You also face different distractions, like co-workers who want to chat even though you have looming deadlines.

Stay productive with hybrid work by keeping a consistent schedule, establishing a home workspace, and creating a portable work setup.

Here are some ways to ensure you’ll stay productive no matter where you’re working.

1. Pick certain days to go into the office.

Keeping a consistent schedule and deciding which days you’ll work in the office versus at home can reduce miscommunication with your team and allow you to plan ahead. Make sure to communicate your in-person workdays and remote availability in order to help everyone stay on the same page and reduce friction.

2. Establish a clear work environment in your home.

In the office, it’s easy to set apart your workspace — whether it’s a cubicle, desk, or office room. At home, it’s essential to also maintain a designated workspace — don’t give up your home office just because you’ll be at the company office part of the time.

This area should be free from distractions and clutter. If possible, establish an ergonomic home office in a separate room with a desk, chair, and good lighting. Your workspace should have a comfortable chair and desk combination, facilitating healthy posture with supplies nearby that are easily accessible.

This approach will help you mentally distinguish your work area from other spaces in your home and encourage you to have the same level of focus and motivation as you would during in-person workdays.

3. Make your work setup portable.

Having a laptop that can connect to monitors in the office and at home is extremely helpful when working hybrid. Consider digitizing your notes, files, and important documents. That way, when your laptop moves with you from the office to your home, you can still access all of your information.

In addition to keeping your information portable, try to mimic the feel of your office work setup at your desk at home. Consider buying the same office supplies and monitors or equipment in order to streamline the mental process of shifting between offices.

4 hybrid work tips for communication and collaboration.

The type of distractions you encounter may vary depending on if you are in the office or at home. Some at-home distractions might look like interruptions from roommates or family members during meetings or colleagues being unaware of your virtual hours of availability. When you return to the company office, however, you may need to manage team members dropping by unannounced or plan for long conversations with co-workers — especially since you may not have seen each other in a while.

Promoting focused hybrid work periods all comes down to clear communication. Finding tools to help communicate with your family and colleagues and setting clear boundaries can benefit your productivity and work experience.

Two co-workers collaborate on a video call from different locations.

1. Communicate your working hours with your family.

When working from home, let your family members or roommates know when you’ll be working so that they can avoid interrupting you during important tasks. Establishing a routine can also help you maintain work-life balance and prioritize time for your relationships.

2. Let colleagues know when you will be available.

Communicating which days you will be in the office or available virtually is essential to collaboration with your colleagues. When working from home, use calendar meeting invites to block out dedicated times for work and meetings and help others know your availability. When you’re in the office, make sure to notify your colleagues when you will attend meetings and have important discussions in person.

You can also communicate your work status using productivity tools and communication apps like Slack or Microsoft Teams. Consider setting automatic email replies for times when you are out of the office to streamline the response process and help colleagues know whom to contact in your absence.

3. Take meetings in the afternoon.

Scheduling meetings in the afternoon can give you time in the morning to focus on your most critical tasks. Plus, it can be easier to collaborate with remote colleagues who may be in different time zones and find times to connect that work for everyone.

Try to schedule your meetings for days when you will be in the office to make the most of your face time with co-workers and facilitate collaboration.

4. Set working boundaries.

Try not to work outside your typical hours or allow work stress or deadlines to creep into scheduled time with family and friends. By establishing clear work limits, you can help yourself stay productive with a hybrid approach and switch off quickly to relax during your personal time.

Avoid the temptation to work from bed or the couch when you work from home. Using a designated home workspace can help you mentally separate your work and personal life and get more done.

Boundaries are also essential for office workdays. Let co-workers know when you need to concentrate without interruptions, closing your office door during periods of focused work. If your company has an open workspace, wear headphones or find an empty conference room so you can focus without distractions.

6 time management and productivity tips for hybrid work.

Learning what works best for you when it comes to managing your time can take some trial and error, whether you’re working in an office or from home. Distractions are normal and breaks are necessary, especially on the days when your personal space is your workspace. The best way to find what works for you is to try out different time management tactics.

Six ways you can effectively organize and manage your schedule are:

1. Use to-do lists.

To-do lists are an excellent way to manage your time, track projects, prioritize tasks, and stay organized. Use a digital to-do list app, project management tools, time-tracking platform, or physical planner to keep track of your tasks and deadlines.

2. Take breaks.

Taking breaks during your workday is crucial to avoiding burnout and maintaining productivity. Pause briefly every hour or so to stretch your legs and give your eyes a rest from the computer screen. Use your lunch break to step away from your workspace and return refreshed and ready to finish your projects.

3. Limit distractions.

Both in the office and at home, distractions can be a significant hindrance to your productivity. Limit potential interruptions by turning off notifications on your phone and disabling pop-ups on your computer. If your environment becomes noisy, try using noise-canceling headphones to block out any sounds that may be distracting.

4. Prioritize your schedule.

Organize your to-do list for each day and arrange your tasks based on their importance and urgency. Practicing this while in the office and at home will help you mentally visualize your day, stay on track, and accomplish your goals. Plan to accomplish tasks that are better suited to in-person meetings on days when you’re in the office, saving tasks that require quiet and dedicated focus — like writing — for remote workdays.

5. Use digital solutions.

Tools like notifications and calendar reminders can be a big help in keeping your tasks organized. Consider setting reminders for time-consuming tasks or to-do list items in order to stay on top of everything.

Project management systems can help you strategically prioritize, assign, and complete projects efficiently. You can also use a time-tracking platform to record the hours you work from home and a digital document solution to streamline collaboration between team members, keep tabs on changes, and organize your files.

6. Set a timer.

Setting goals for completing specific tasks within a time frame can help you divide your working hours into manageable portions and remain focused. There are many time management methods you can explore. One of the most popular approaches is the Pomodoro Technique, which suggests 25-minute stretches of productive work broken up by 5-minute breaks.

File-sharing and storage tools for flexible collaboration.

File-sharing and storage tools are crucial to keeping documents organized and collaborating with colleagues when adopting a hybrid work approach. Your data must be easily accessible, searchable, shareable, and secure in order to keep track of the work you are doing from home and in the office.

Establishing a strong file-sharing and storage system benefits you and your team — ensuring everyone stays on the same page, no matter where you’re working.

A digital folder and Adobe PDF file surrounded by cloud icons.

Here are a few file-sharing and storage strategies you’ll want to have in your hybrid work toolkit.

1. Compress documents.

Compressing large files can save storage space and make it easier to share files with your team. If you’re sending multiple documents or large files over email, you don’t want to risk delivery failures or slow loading speeds. Adobe offers a free online tool that allows you to compress files quickly and easily, helping you share files without stress — no matter where you’re working.

2. Use PDFs.

You’ll want to build PDFs into your hybrid work approach to digital documents. As one of the most commonly used file formats for collaboration, PDFs preserve formatting across devices and are easy to share and keep secure. Using PDFs can also increase productivity by simplifying document processes like editing, annotating, e-signing, and combining files.

Don’t worry if you’re used to working with other file formats or need to change the file type. Converting to PDF is easy with free tools like Adobe Acrobat online services, allowing you to update and share files whether you’re in the office or working from home.

3. Store files in the cloud.

Cloud storage is a secure and convenient way to archive and access your files from anywhere. With a cloud storage solution, you can save physical storage space and organize, search, and send files easily. It also provides version control for documents and tracking, giving visibility into the collaboration process and ensuring colleagues stay accountable — even when you’re not working together in person.

Cloud storage solutions often include document security features like access permissions, helping you protect sensitive information by making sure only the right people have access.

4. Adobe Acrobat.

Adobe Acrobat is a powerful tool that can help you leverage all of the above digital document strategies and more for hybrid work. Acrobat includes features like the ability to combine multiple PDFs into a single document, extract pages from a larger file, and remote file collaboration tools so everyone can access essential documents no matter where they’re working from.

With Acrobat, you can also control a document’s viewing, editing, and commenting privileges easily, and users can redact sensitive information as needed. You can use many of these tools for free right in your browser with Adobe Acrobat online services.

For more tips about how to use technology in a hybrid setting, check out these tools for successful remote collaboration.

Frequently asked questions.

Having doubts and worries about working hybrid is normal. Constantly shifting work environments can mean needing to adjust your habits and take on more personal responsibility. Despite the challenges, a hybrid work approach offers unmatched flexibility.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about managing hybrid work.

How do you ensure productivity with a hybrid work approach?

Working from home part of the time doesn’t have to mean getting less done. You can create an effective work environment on the days you’re at home by establishing a clear workspace, taking breaks regularly, limiting distractions, using time management tools, and staying connected with your team. Make the best use of your time with hybrid work by saving meetings for in-person workdays and scheduling tasks that require dedicated focus, like writing, for remote workdays.

What is the most effective way to work from home on remote workdays?

The most effective way to work from home is to establish a routine, prioritize your tasks, take breaks, use digital productivity and collaboration tools, and communicate clearly and frequently with your team.

How can I manage hybrid work successfully?

Balance is the key to building a healthy hybrid work routine. It’s vital to keep a consistent schedule, take regular breaks, and prioritize your mental and physical health. On the days you work from home, make sure to exercise, eat healthy meals, and take breaks throughout the day to avoid burnout. On the days you’re in the office, utilize and prioritize your time with colleagues and set boundaries during times when you need to focus on projects.

What tools should I use to stay productive with a hybrid work approach?

Collaboration and communication tools can change the game when it comes to staying connected and working efficiently in a hybrid setting. Digital document tools are indispensable to keeping your files secure, shareable, and organized. From creating and sharing documents to reviewing and commenting on them in real time, the right set of tools can streamline workflows and boost productivity.

In addition to document collaboration tools, communication platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams, cloud storage solutions, project management systems, and other tools can help teams stay connected and on track regardless of whether they’re working from the office or at home.

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