As companies in Malaysia start opening up again after prolonged remote working measures, many are starting to adopt hybrid work arrangements. These arrangements not only give employees a chance to collaborate in-person in the office, but it also curbs work-from-home fatigue and offers flexibility in working.
As a fresh graduate with little to no working experience, you might find this shift to a hybrid model challenging. Do not worry! Here are some tips on how to succeed in a hybrid work arrangement.
Hybrid Work at a Glance
The hybrid work model is a location-flexible arrangement, allowing staff to combine in-office work and remote work as they and their employers see fit. There are a few different ways that this could work:
- The At-Will Model – employees choose the work arrangement that works best for them on any given day. You can opt to return for a quiet place to work or if you need to meet someone.
- The Split-Week Model – in a 5-day work week, employees are split between working from home two to three days a week and working onsite two to three days a week.
- Week-By-Week – often implemented on large groups of employees or an entire department, staff would alternate between working from home and working onsite on a weekly basis.
Plan for Each Workday
When you’re working in a hybrid arrangement, it’s essential to plan what needs to be done in the home office and what needs to be done in the workplace. It’s a good idea to keep a calendar of your working arrangement and have it constantly updated.
If your employer gives you the flexibility to choose your office days, make sure you communicate with your colleagues/team members about your plans well in advance instead of doing something like announcing you’re not coming in to the office at the last minute. This is especially important in companies or roles with a team-based work culture – since other people’s jobs are also dependent on your presence or absence.
At the end of each workday, set aside some time to assess what you need to complete the next day and whether these tasks call for collaboration or you could just complete it at home.
Communicate and Be Reachable
Furthermore, you’ll probably be seeing and working with your colleagues in person for the first time. Thriving in a hybrid work environment involves communication and being reachable. Communication tools are a critical element of success for remote workers, and how you use these tools and communicate with others will impact your success as a hybrid worker.
For example, during your in-office days, consider posting project updates in the project management tool instead of dropping by a team member’s desk to share the information. This way, everyone has the same information shared with them in the same manner regardless if they are in the office or working remotely.
The same goes with keeping in touch. Using a messaging system and setting regular times to catch up will keep others updated and everyone moving in the same direction. It’s also great to know each other, too!
Prepare for Meetings in Advance
Part of the point of a hybrid work arrangement is to enable meetings that are better held in-person than online, such as discussions or brainstorming sessions. Since your time in person is limited, it’s important for you to do your homework in advance so everyone gets the most out of these meetings.
Set aside 30 minutes before a meeting to gather important information and prepare questions. If you’re conducting the meeting, you’ll need to prepare your talking points, slides and ensure that you have your materials laid out to avoid panic-searching a few minutes before.
Last but not least, make sure to be punctual to the meeting – something all of us may have taken for granted after working from home for so long! It’s important to plan your drive ahead if your meeting takes place in the office – factor in traffic jams, the time to find parking, and also to set up the meeting room.
Speak Up if You’re Having Trouble
As a fresh graduate landing your first job, it’s normal to want to impress your colleagues and supervisors, even if it means keeping the struggles of hybrid working to yourself. Although it’s true that being resilient is essential to succeed in life, it’s still important to know that everyone has their limits. If you’re finding it hard to adapt to the new working schedule and it’s hindering other parts of your life, you’ll need to speak out about it.
This is best done in person – schedule a time with your supervisor in the office to discuss any struggles you may have with the hybrid work arrangement. Rather than being emotional about the issue, try to discuss possible solutions that might work for you and your employer.
Remember that right now, hybrid working arrangements are a new thing for many employers too. Your feedback may help them figure out how to improve the arrangements they have in place.