We don't need to tell you anymore that the world of work has changed significantly since 2020 - to this day, we feel the winds of change everywhere. And it's now normal for some of your colleagues to work in a home office, while others are in the office and still others are on a workation. This colorful puzzle of different work locations and forms is called hybrid working - and it offers many new possibilities and opportunities. But what sounds so ideal and simple is not always so easy to implement.
Fortunately, there are tools and techniques that can help you successfully establish hybrid working in your company. In this series of articles, you'll find tips on how to strengthen teamwork and overall cohesion. And it doesn't matter if you're a CEO, project manager or team member.
Hybrid working - what has happened so far
In the first part, we looked in general at how teamwork can succeed regardless of time and location. Then, in part two, we looked at how hybrid working can make you more productive and how collaboration tools can make your team more effective overall. Then, in part three, we showed you how you can use Google Chat to help your teams collaborate. In the fourth part, we looked at hybrid meetings with Google Meet and Companion Mode, and in the fifth part, we provided useful templates to help you prepare for such meetings.
And now for the "grand finale": In the last part of this series, we will address one of the difficult, much-discussed topics, especially when it comes to home office - healthy self-management (aka mental hygiene). It's about how you can best manage your time and attention (and thus take care of your well-being).
Routines help you get through the workday efficiently
Get up, get dressed, have your choice of coffee and/or breakfast and get out of the door - for many people, a morning routine makes the start of the day easier. Probably for you, too. Before the pandemic, you probably definitely had your very own work routine: perhaps you first grabbed your favorite drink in the office or met your colleagues for lunch in the cafeteria... But with the onset of remote working, our cherished work routines were suddenly disrupted.
This definitely made room for new routines, although some unhealthy habits may have crept in along the way. Have you ever found yourself getting out of bed just minutes before the first meeting - or sitting in front of the computer in nothing but sweatpants? If so, you’ve likely noticed how unproductive such (admittedly comfortable) decisions can make you.
In contrast, healthy work routines can make you more productive and balanced. This also applies to hybrid work models, which are becoming increasingly popular. In all honesty, it's better not to stay in bed just before starting your work day. Of course, that’s not all!
Do you value your performance and well-being? Do you want to optimize your habits in your hybrid everyday life? If so, here are some tips that can help you.
Communication is the be-all and end-all!
It is important that you communicate well with each other as a hybrid team. It's best if you regularly exchange information on who prefers to work how and where. In addition, it is useful if you enter your work locations in the Google calendar. You can indicate where you work on a daily basis: to do this, simply place your mouse pointer directly under the respective date until a small window with the label "add location" appears. Click on it, fill it in ("at the office", "at home" ...) - and done!
Speaking of Google Calendar - when you receive an invitation to a meeting, you can specify whether you will be attending from home or in the office. This way, the organizers can prepare the appointment optimally and equip a suitable room with the necessary hardware for those who want to attend the appointment on-site. Communication can be this effortless!
Satisfaction thanks to time management
Another useful setting in Google Calendar that can increase your productivity is the ability to block out time to "focus.” You can select a specific time slot in your calendar to concentrate on your tasks. This has two advantages: you won’t receive notifications from Google Workspace that can distract you (only afterward). In addition, your colleagues can easily see, with a glance in your calendar, when they can come by your desk to chat (and when they can't). This creates the perfect environment for you to work in a concentrated and undisturbed way.
Plus, do you already know the "Time Insights" feature in Google Calendar? It breaks down your weekly time allocation according to the categories of your appointments. This can be created individually, for example, you can create a green category for your “focus” time. These insights can help you balance and keep an eye on your time management and priorities.
Time management is not to be underestimated when it comes to mental hygiene. Do you sometimes have days that resemble meeting marathons? Days on which one meeting mercilessly follows another? Such days are a real challenge on your ability to concentrate - especially if your appointments are remote. Regular, short breaks can make a real difference. For example, as a team, agree to schedule meetings with a five-minute buffer in between. That way, people working in the home office have the opportunity to grab a quick drink or take a breath.
With the "Quick meetings" setting, this plan can also be put into practice quite easily. If you all agree to check the "Quick meetings" box in your calendar settings under "Appointment settings", the default duration of a simple appointment will be reduced. This gives you and your colleagues enough time to catch your breath before and after appointments.
Google Workspace - your catalyst for hybrid working
Hybrid working doesn't always happen overnight. But there are simple actions you can take to help you and your company seamlessly integrate hybrid working into your daily work routine. You can find even more measures in the Whitepaper "Navigating hybrid work: A Google Workspace handbook," which you can download for free here:
The sky is the limit! Be more productive with Google Workspace
The many features of Google Calendar can help you manage yourself better. With the tips just presented, you can make the hybrid work day, with all its facets and challenges, more productive (and at the same time healthier) for you and your team.
And that's not all! If you want to learn more about how to make the most of not just Google Calendar, but the entire range of Google Workspace tools, we've got some great reading material for you: A few months ago, we dedicated ourselves to the Google Workspace productivity guide and published a series of articles on the topic. In addition to the tools Google Calendar, Gmail and Google Meet, we also go over some good habits that you adapt to create an optimal working environment. Click your way through!
Get to know Google Workspace
Not familiar with Google Calendar, Gmail, or Google Chat? But would like to know more about it - and above all, provide you and your team an ideal, digital working environment? No problem, we are an official Google Cloud Partner and will be happy to advise you on the introduction, licensing, and use of Google Workspace without any obligation!
Do you want to explore and get to know Google Workspace on your own? We can also recommend our YouTube playlist with tutorial videos or our online training courses.
- All articles in the Google Hybrid Work series
- Google Workspace: Bringing Productivity and Well-being Together
- Google – Increase Productivity and Wellbeing at Work by Making Meetings More Meaningful
- According to Google, You Can Increase Your Productivity and Wellbeing By Transforming your Inbox
- Want to Increase Your Productivity and Wellbeing at Work? – Rethink Your Time and Your Calendar, says Google
- The Influence of Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 on Doing Business