Hybrid work environments: finding your office/remote balance

Nikki Macaraeg
August 3, 2021

It's been over 18 months since Covid-19 rocked the world and forced us to get creative with how we connect, work and live our daily lives. As a result, many frontline businesses jumped online. They became delivery, and pick-up focused, while corporations developed remote systems for their teams to connect and function from home instead of the office. 

Productivity-wise, we know that working remotely has been more successful than expected, so much so that 74% of companies surveyed by Gartner Inc. will be keeping a portion of their employees permanently remote. But to keep business growing and efficient, how do you bring your in-office team and remote individuals together? 

A dynamic work model or hybrid environment allows your business to be flexible, leveraging what technological investments you have made to survive this latest disruption. It also provides work/life balance to your employees.

Check out our top three ways to put your remote/office business in perfect harmony. 

File sharing (and creating and syncing)

The proverbial cloud was in place before Covid; travel and out-of-office meetings meant we needed access to the most recent version of a file versus a copy made days ago. This need for access to information did not go away during the pandemic. More than ever, this information needs to be organized so that it is easy to navigate for multiple users. 

SharePoint, Dropbox and Google Drive are excellent file management systems; preference will be based on a company's needs and size. Whether you're looking for files in-office or from home, you'll always only see the most recent file (although some packages allow for historical versions of files to be kept, which could benefit your organization). 

Could this meeting be an email? Or a Teamwork Chat?

Ben Franklin said, "In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes." He forgot to mention meetings. Pre-covid, meetings were easy to book and book unnecessarily. A dynamic work environment forces you to look at your meetings - are they all essential? Could you book them for less time and be as, if not more, efficient with fewer people? Perhaps a project management software like Teamwork would help keep your team organized instead of running in circles. Remember, a dynamic work environment is flexible; too many weekly meetings will feel like a structured 9-5 that many people have outgrown. 

Virtual water cooler

One of the difficulties with working remotely is the ability to foster and maintain relationships. Do you miss catching up with colleagues on Monday mornings or after a long week on a Friday afternoon? This interaction doesn't have to disappear; it just needs another format, a digital one. 

At Virtual Gurus, we use Slack religiously. With our Virtual Assistant community all over Canada and the US, it's impossible to hold in-person gatherings, even without a pandemic. We have a water cooler channel to foster a sense of team and camaraderie, where anything but work can be discussed. We also have a monthly coffee chat to facilitate casual work conversations. VA's can chat to, listen with and meet Virtual Gurus members and staff. 

Now that you've got your dynamic work environments in order, be sure to make sure to manage your time and work-life balance. Check out our tips & tricks post here.

Want to learn more about hiring a virtual assistant?

View our services page to see all the ways we can support your team.

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Nikki Macaraeg
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