Adjusting to Hybrid Work Life

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Breaking Barriers

Hybrid work life has arrived, and with it, a slew of challenges. There’s much to navigate, from childcare to issues transitioning back into in-person conversations with colleagues, managers, and clients. And let’s not forget the biases and microaggressions that can rear their ugly heads when back IRL.

Here are some tips for navigating the hybrid work life.

When you’re remote:

  • If you’re in a meeting where some are in person, and others are remote, advocate for putting a process in place to ensure that those who are remote are heard.
  • Look out for proximity bias. If you find that you aren’t getting invited to meetings that you should be in, speak up, and explain how important it’s for you to be included for the work to get done effectively.
  • When you meet with your manager, check in about stretch projects if you’re looking to grow in your career. Make it clear that you’re looking to grow if that’s what you desire. 
  • Show receipts when it comes time for your performance review. Show what you’ve done, the progress you’ve made, and any positive feedback you’ve received to prove that even though you’re not in the office, you’re still crushing it.

When you’re in the office:

  • We may still be a bit awkward with IRL communication, but that’s no excuse for allowing inappropriate behavior. Any non-consensual physical touching (hug, arm touch, etc.) is still not allowed. If it happens, say something if you’re safe to do so.
  • Making offensive jokes or comments in person isn’t okay just because it’s verbal and not written. If you’re experiencing a microaggression, or see someone else do it, and you feel safe to say something, do so.
  • If you see your remote colleagues not being included in a meeting or a project that you think they should be in, lift them up by saying something. 
  • Give yourself and others grace. Being back in the office may cause anxiety for some, whether that’s about the looming threat of Covid or simply social anxiety. 
  • Be kind to yourself and take breaks. This new world order can be overwhelming, so if you need to step outside and take a minute, do it. If you get any grief from your managers, note it.

Work, as we have historically known it, has forever changed, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. By allowing our imagined ideas of work to become more fluid and less fixed, we can better show up to get the work done. While there’s no “one size fits all” method for transitioning into hybrid work, the one thing that does serve everyone equally is grace.