How To Be Successful Working from Home, in the Office, or Both

Career Advice
minute read

These days, just about anything is possible when it comes to what employers expect of their workers—including where you’ll be working from. It’s more common than ever to have a dozen different approaches to the working environment, from totally remote, to full-time on-site, to hybrid work setups.

Whether your current job is making a switch or you’re hunting for a new job that may mix remote and on-site work, here’s what you’ll need to be a success in any work environment. 

Acing Your Time On-Site

Let’s be blunt—the pandemic and its immediate aftermath sent a lot of companies scrambling to keep its workforce home for health and safety reasons. But with vaccines, new medical treatments and other factors, many employers are shifting employees back to the office. 

Maybe your on-site skills are rusty, or maybe you’re going back to the office after years of working from home. Make these tips a priority for succeeding in the office:

  1. Make Your Office Homey

As a remote worker, you’ve become accustomed to a fully stocked fridge, your beloved espresso machine, and other comforts. You can’t take all of them to the office. But you sure can take some of them!

Tips: Bring things from home that provide comfort—a blanket, a plant, photos, or your favorite coffee or tea. If you used home equipment—like a second monitor or noise-canceling headphones—ask your manager or IT crew what they can do to match it.

  1. Plan for Healthy Eating

Smart eating habits not only keep you healthy; they also boost your mood and enhance your productivity. It’s not always easy to eat well at the office, though—unless you plan.

Tips: Make healthy meals at the start of the week, so you can grab them and go when you’re running out the door. Invest in a water filter for your office, or stock up on bottled water. You can use electrolyte supplements to give you more energy.

  1. Strive to Create Balance

Once you’re back in the office, you’ll be bombarded with distractions—a lot of them great, like all the people you missed seeing daily! But that can tank your productivity if you don’t set some boundaries.

Tips: Don’t just sit in your office with the door closed. Chat with people at lunch, or while taking a brief walk during your morning break. Block out dedicated time for your work responsibilities—and communicate boundaries kindly but clearly so you can focus.

Rocking Your Remote Set-Up

You know all the usual remote work tips by now—like ensuring your computer is working, your wi-fi is strong, and your Zoom background is professional. But there are other ways you can ensure you’re being successful while working from home, or remotely from a co-working space.

Here are a few tips that workers can easily overlook—but that you’ll be glad you’ve adopted:

  1. Create a Regular Routine

Remote work can be challenging because there aren’t as many external forces prodding you to accomplish work tasks. Combat the inertia with a clear routine for your workday.

Tips; Set regular hours. Grab your coffee. Make your day’s to-do list. Whatever helps you make the mental switch from off-time to work-time, do it. 

  1. Take Regular Breaks

It’s all too easy to sit at your desk for hours without interruption when you have no coworkers nearby to pop into your office for a chat. The thing is, it’s better for you physically and mentally—and better for your job performance—if you’ll take a breather. 

Tips: There are dozens of ways to do this: a timer that goes off at ten minutes til the hour; a planned lunch break; afternoon walks for the dog. Choose your preference and include it in your daily schedule.

  1. Communicate Early and Often

Remote work removes an important element from the work equation—the casual sharing that happens as people pass in the hall or refill their coffee.  You’d be surprised how much these in-person moments keep everyone informed of work-related tidbits.

Tips: Over-communicate to compensate for the lack of in-person chats. Remind people that you’ll be on vacation. Send a quick notification when you finish a project. Keep people up to date.

  1. Double Down

Proper furnishings and equipment are a part of a good work environment. But your home environment may not have those amenities—and you’ll need them for comfort and wellness.

Tips: Ask your boss for what you need—whether that’s a computer, an office chair, a scanner, etc. Companies often have a budget for such requests.

Hybrid Work Success

Many people today believe that the future of work is the hybrid model—with employees blending a mix of remote work with in-office work. These hybrid environments come in all kinds of styles and flavors—but they can be a real boon to employees if set up smartly.

Make use of these tips to help shape a blend of home and in-office work that you can excel in:

  1. Be Clear on the Expectations

Every employer handles the hybrid situation differently. They may institute new shifts or ask you to stay home on certain days of the week. Be sure you know what’s expected. That way, you can deliver precisely what you’re being asked to do. 

Tips: Ask for a schedule of when you’re assigned to be on-site. Find out if regular weekly meetings can be done from home, or whether you have to be there in person.

  1. Make Sure You're Reachable

Working in a hybrid environment can make you feel like you’re on your own unique schedule. But don’t forget you have a team of coworkers that are relying on you, and the more you can stay in communication during working hours, the better for everyone.

Tips: Regular, prompt communication helps everyone—and proves you can be relied on. So, don’t ghost people. If you need to, set short blocks of time 2-3 times a day to respond to messages so it gets done.

  1. Be Prepared To Be Flexible

Keep in mind, the hybrid approach is still relatively new to most companies, so policies and plans may change as your employer figures out what’s most effective. You’ll likely have to roll with some punches, but attitude and transparency can make this easier.

Tips: Stay positive. Expect that you may have to adapt in ways you’re initially not used to—such as sharing a workspace with another employee instead of having a private office. If you need to discuss a new policy with your manager, try not to complain, but instead focus on finding a win-win solution.

Summing It Up

No matter what your work environment ends up being, you can thrive in it. Remember, your job success relies on a mix of self-discipline, flexibility, a positive attitude, and communicating to ensure you have the tools you need to succeed. And you can do that anywhere—whether you’re working from home, in the office, or both.