5 Ways to Transition to a Hybrid Work Schedule

By Agoo Azcuna-Bengzon for Belo Medical Group on April 21, 2022

After a little over two years of working from home, there will be challenges ahead as we move towards back-to-office days. Here are a few steps on how to make the switch to a hybrid work schedule—sans the stress.

The past twenty-four months have understandably been challenging, to say the least. Aside from dealing with the obvious enemy, COVID-19, the past two years also forced companies to keep their employees safe at home, reporting from their makeshift offices in their dens, bedrooms, living rooms—or wherever they could somehow have some privacy, and still be able to somehow present themselves in a professional manner. 

Recently, the alert level in Metro Manila was finally changed to level 1. Though this is good news in more ways than one, it’s certainly an adjustment for those who have been working from home five days a week. The key to finding the right balance when shifting to a hybrid work schedule lies in the ability to find a schedule that works for you—and figuring out how to maintain productivity no matter where you’re working from.

1. Be open about your preferred work schedule.

Employers believe there’s a unique sense of camaraderie and energy derived from a team being physically together. But ultimately, as these are unusual times, employees should feel empowered enough to be able to express how comfortable they are with the number of days they’re asked to report to the office. This is related directly to one’s health and well-being, so you need to feel like you have a say in how and when it happens. A company or boss that listens to your needs will give you the power to choose what works best for both you and the company, and this ought to ease you into the workplace with less pressure.

2. Transition to your old sleep routine, slowly but surely.

Never underestimate the power of sleep—any disturbance in its consistency can and will throw you off. Experts agree that the quality of your sleep will determine how good or bad your day will turn out so make those hours of being in la-la land count. Try to get a minimum of 6 hours of sleep a day, with 8 hours being the goal. If possible, try to sleep the same time every night so that you can begin to develop a good rhythm. This means that whether you’re reporting to your physical office the next day or have Zoom meetings scheduled from home, you’ll be waking up at the same hour. There is a tendency for those working from home to wake up later than usual, and that can become a problem when it comes to a hybrid setup—the timing will be difficult to nail you aren’t prepared. 

3. Prepare meals as a mid-day treat.

Planning your meals can help you somehow look forward to being back at the office. If say, you know you’ll be reporting to your workplace on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, why not establish some sort of tradition of partaking in delicious lunches with your fave work buddies? You can even go so far as taking turns in choosing a resto—or, if you’re on a budget, opting to have potluck meals at work.

4. See and be seen.

“Employees are returning to the office, just to sit on Zoom calls,” declares Bloomberg, and this couldn’t be more true. Make the most of your days at the office by scheduling face-to-face meetings.

5. Recontextualize the anxiety.

Perhaps the most difficult part of going back is the fear that has been instilled in all of us that this virus is a killer and will wreak havoc on our bodies. But the good news is that a huge percentage of the population has been fully vaccinated, with a percentage of that boosted too. Based on recent statistics, the virus does seem to be “weakening” so much so that we are seeing less serious cases. While we still need to be careful, of course, let’s remember that we’ve done (and are doing) all we can to keep ourselves safe.

The best part of a hybrid work setup? Having an excuse to refresh your work wardrobe (and your skin)! Stay safe and beautiful out there!

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