We’re in a weird place work-wise right now. Some of us have always worked from home, but some of us who never had that flexibility in the past have had to make the switch from business office to home office over the past year and a half. And now, many of us are dealing with that odd, in-between state known as “hybrid” work, where we’re working in more than one place at a time but trying to do the same job! It’s enough to make you lose your mind, not to mention your stuff! Since it looks like many of us may remain in the limbo for a while to come, and for many of us, forever, I’m offering up my three favorite tips to make that hybrid work dilemma go a little more smoothly.
- MAKE IT MOBILE
While sales reps and realtors have been doing the “office in the car” thing for years, having to set up and maintain a traveling kit may be new to your situation. The key is to make your briefcase or work tote your “mobile office.” Set up your bag with assigned pockets for every single piece of equipment, office supply, file, or notebook that needs to travel with you from home to office and back. At the end of the day, do a quick “room check” to make sure every pocket is filled. If there’s an empty pocket, you’ll know something’s missing. You may need to label the pockets at the beginning to establish this habit, but after a while, just a quick scan will let you know if anything is missing. If your bag is just a big, open, black hole with no pockets, buy some in-bag organizers like this, or this. You’ll never leave anything behind again!
Buy duplicates of cords and cables and anything else small and portable to keep in each location. While it feels like a waste of money to buy two phone charging cables, think about how much time and energy you waste when you can’t plug in or re-charge. It makes that extra $30 seem much more worthwhile as opposed to an entire wasted day.
Try to duplicate your home office set-up to resemble your work office as much as is realistic. Have a similar filing system, the same office supplies in both locations, and the same desk set-up if possible. That makes transitioning from home to office and back again fairly seamless.
Take 5-10 minutes at the end of each day no matter what location you’re in to clean up your space, get everything back into place, and gather the stuff you need to either take home or take to the office in one place. Rather than rushing out the door at the end of the day, taking just a few minutes to make sure you’ve packed everything up that you’ll need, checking to make sure you have any paperwork for tomorrow’s work, and jotting down just a brief to-do list for the next day means you face the next morning prepared. If you’re moving from home to office the next day, prep everything the night before, including lunch! Running around your home at the last minute in the morning almost guarantees that you’ll forget something.
And – at the end of every work day – take a moment to just breathe. You may have had a very productive, peaceful day, or your day may have been crazy and filled with putting out numerous fires. Take just a moment every day to write down just ONE thing you accomplished that day. Write it on a sticky note and stick it to your laptop, or jot it down on a white board where you’ll see it the next day. Realizing that you accomplished at least ONE thing, no matter how small, helps put things into perspective!