As we return to our offices after—for many of us—more than a year of working from home, we’ve changed our ways of working and collaborating entirely. In most cases, for the better. For example, we’ve proven that some meetings could have been an email all along.
This is the perfect time to rethink our habits and how they serve us. What did we learn about ourselves and our routines while completing our tasks from home? What newly gained habits should we keep to make work better, healthier, and more rewarding? Let’s look at some takeaways.
“Changing your posture regularly is a good habit that you can bring from the home office to the regular office. At home, you may not work at a fixed workstation, you may move around more, go to the kitchen to get some snacks, alternate between different chairs and tables. Your general rule should be for every hour working at a computer, get up for 5 minutes to move and stretch”
Grace Szeto, PhD
Tung Wah College (Hong Kong) - Professor - Physiotherapy
YOUR “A” GAME STARTS WITH A-LIST TASKS
Researchers studied knowledge workers in 2013 and again in 2020 and found significant changes in how they work. Turns out that working from home helps people focus on the tasks that really matter—and it makes it easier to prioritize. The research participants, for instance, spent 12% less time drawn into large meetings and 9% more time interacting with customers and external partners. The new way of working also helped people take responsibility for their own schedules. They did 50% more activities through personal choice and half as many because someone else asked them to. Sounds like a good habit to keep.
GO HYBRID, AND MAKE IT SMOOTH
With a huge amount of positive WFH experiences, more and more employers consider combining conventional office days with the option to work from home on other days. This new type of hybrid working allows many to get the best of both worlds. However, to make a hybrid work approach work, we need to create a smooth interface between the regular office and home office. So let’s make sure we create both setups with our specific needs in mind. The goal: Two offices, the same degree of comfort.
MADE YOUR HOME OFFICEY? MAKE YOUR OFFICE HOMEY
Now that we’ve let work into our personal space for more than a year, why not make the office a bit more ours? Research shows that allowing some plants to move in doesn’t only make teams happier, but can also increase productivity by 15%. Facing a hybrid workforce and/or reshuffled teams, many organizations are redesigning their spaces. Now is the time to think as big as we want—from bringing in some fun games to overcome the initial awkwardness to voicing workspace design ideas that allow us to work more comfortably and hence, productively.
But enough theory—time to get back to work. Whether it’s our regular office or a hybrid home-office setup, let’s create a workspace that embodies all the healthy and productive habits from the times we made WFH work for us. They might be here to stay.