Well, these last few months have been challenging; haven’t they! With society gradually opening up, we can finally start to get back to normal, pre the face mask-wearing days…
Although lots have changed over the last year or so, one thing hasn’t and that’s having to go to work. Now I know that not everyone has been able to do this, with lots of people being let go or put onto the furlough scheme; but for those who have worked all through the pandemic (like we have), we’ve not only had to adjust our everyday routine but our work routine too!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have been incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work throughout this pandemic and have had such wonderful support from my work colleagues during this time, but let’s face it, there is only so much a person can take of video chats and the home internet not behaving itself before it can make you go loopy! So, when the “Hybrid working” option came about, I was jumping for joy as at last, I had finally found the perfect balance.
But, there are of course good and bad things when it comes to hybrid working, and here are a few of mine:
- Routine – I am someone who loves a routine and cannot deal with not knowing what is happening from one day to the next, so knowing I have set days at home and set days in the office, makes me go to my happy place, as I know that nothing is changing and that I can get through my day without too many unexpected obstacles!
- Lie ins – although I tend to be up, have breakfast, get dressed and get out of the house within an hour, it is nice to be able to have a few days in the week where you don’t have to go to bed quite so early! I am not someone who can sleep until 1pm each day (unlike my brother), but a little more time in bed in the morning is a great bonus to working from home – I also find that it can give you an extra boost of energy throughout the day.
- Seeing ACTUAL people – Being able to see someone in the flesh rather than on a video chat, is so much nicer (there is also no chance of talking whilst on mute – it can’t have just been us who had the catchphrase “you’re on mute” for 2020?!). Communication is key and there is nothing better than being able to have a conversation with someone face to face.
- Home comforts – Working from home is great, but it’s important not to get too distracted by other things (such as your TV), but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the little comforts that working from home brings such as the occasional cuddle with your pet! I’ve recently started collecting vinyl records, (I also have my own record player at home) so to have this playing in the background really calms me down and makes me more productive throughout the day.
- Loneliness – One thing I hate about working from home is that sometimes it can feel quite isolating and lonely, as you have no physical presence to interact with. At the start of the pandemic, I had my mum working from home like me, and although this was stressful at times it was nice to have someone else to communicate with, but this has now changed with her being back at the office so sometimes when I am on my own, I can really feel a sense of being isolated from everything. If you feel isolated and/or alone, make sure that you reach out to friends, family, or even work colleagues and tell them how you are feeling – it’s important to talk about these things!
- More likely to make mistakes – everybody makes mistakes and let’s face it, we can’t all be 100% perfect all of the time – after all, we are only human. Sometimes, however, I do find that with hybrid working, this can make you feel flustered, which can sometimes lead to silly little mistakes that you may not do if you were working full time in one place. My advice is to just be more vigilant and take your time to go through everything thoroughly, as this is the best way to avoid any mistakes.
So as you can see, there are more pros for me than cons in regards to hybrid working, and I believe that this way of working is the perfect way to achieve balance in your life.
To finish off, if you are working from home or in the office (or like me doing a mixture of both), just make sure that you are finding your feet and that what you are doing works best for both you and your employer. Things are still rapidly changing and because of this, we need to adapt! But just remember to give yourself some credit and know that you are doing ok.
By Will Kettell
AAT Course Advisor
For information about our AAT Distance Learning courses, please email me at [email protected]