We had the luxury of getting used to the good life where we were working from home. Now, they are calling us back into the office and it feels like we are being punished. But having a sulky face and cribbing about the hybrid model (going in to the office a few days) isn’t going to make it go away. We need to find solutions to deal with the hybrid work model in a way that is productive and keeps us happy.
Going into the office feels like the first day of school where you don’t know anyone. I joined my job during the pandemic so I haven’t seen many people in real life so in a way it was my first day. Everyone was acting like it was the first day of a reunion. Use that to your advantage. We were all in the same boat and didn’t have coworker real-life contact now we are back. Your colleagues are feeling weird as well the awkwardness isn’t all in your head. So take the plunge and be the one to introduce yourself.
The best way to deal with the hybrid work model is being social
You might have seen someone on a video call or emailed them but in real life it’s different. Go up to them and introduce yourself. They won’t know who you are unless you say hi and your name. So let them know who you are.Ask one coworker that knows everyone to introduce to the rest
There is probably a coworker or someone on your team who knows everyone. This can be your manager but for a friendlier vibe, it doesn’t have to be. The person sitting next to me had been working in the place for 10 years. I asked her to show me, my team, as I hadn’t met them before. Everyone is super friendly and there to help you out. They also know that coming to the office isn’t easy.
Introduce yourself someone you have emailed
I introduced myself to someone whose name I had seen around. I didn’t know them and hadn’t talked to them but they turned out to be super friendly. Some people you might only know by random emails but that is okay you can get to know them better now that you are in the office.
Look up and walk
When I was in my old office I would always pretend to be busy looking at a paper, on my phone, or just looking at the floor. They used to call me the duck because I gave off an unfriendly vibe. It wasn’t that I was unfriendly it was just that I would feel awkward walking alone and saying hi. When I started looking up instead of pretending to be in my own world it was a game changer.
Say good morning
A good morning and a smile just like looking up go a long way. If you keep seeing the same person and saying good morning eventually it will lead to a conversation. On my day at work, someone complimented my shirt and said they had the same one. It was an icebreaker that got us laughing and talking.
When I first started work I didn’t say good morning. People used to get offended and I had a bad reputation. When I realised the importance of saying good morning my work environment changed.
Don’t know where something is or how something works ask someone. It is the opportunity to get to know someone. I didn’t know how to work the internet, printer or where the washroom is. I asked someone to show me around and that got us talking.
Even if you don’t need help with something ask questions. It is the easiest way to get to know someone. If your team is in the same office this is the chance to share knowledge. Sitting at home my work knowledge has decreased and learning has become harder. I learn by asking questions and listening to other people’s stories in certain situations. The amount of information you get in the office can’t be achieved sitting in a silo at home.
Asking questions for me is the easiest way to learn. I hesitate to ask questions by email and second guess myself. In person it takes a second and the question is out there.
Complimenting someone on their shoes, clothes or work can make it easier for you to remember them. You can bring a smile to their office. Just watch out though some people don’t like comments on their appearance. So be careful what you are saying.
Share a story
People connect with you more if you share something personal. You can share a work-appropriate story while talking to build a connection with your coworkers.
Go to the printer
Printing might not be good for the environment but it is good for your social life. Water cooler talks don’t happen in there is no water cooler. But going to the printer and picking up your stuff can spark a conversation. Of course don’t print unnecessary things the environment is more important than your social life.
Take walks around
Don’t just sit at your desk working and working. This is your opportunity to mingle. Take walks around. Your body will hurt if you are sitting at your desk all day and so will your social life hurt.
Ask someone to lunch
Chances are other people don’t have anyone to go to lunch with. Even if they do they can ask you to join. Ask people if they want to eat with you or go out for lunch. They might not be able to go this time but you can plan it for another day.
Join the social committee
Joining the social committee makes you meet like-minded people who want to be social. Throwing events also makes you interact with everyone in the office. It can be a small thing like a fundraiser.
Choose a day when most people go to the office
At my workplace, most people come to work on Wednesdays. Choosing a day like Wednesday makes you meet the most people. All through Monday might have the advantage of having the most holidays.
Develop a routine to better handle the hybrid work model
It gets hard for me to wake up early one day. So now I have changed my schedule to sleep and wake up early every day. It works well for my body as well as being fresh and up. Waking up early can do wonders for your life. When I sleep to might I start feeling lethargic.
Change your perspective about the hybrid work model
Look at the benefits of going back to the office as well. Looking at something from a positive light can change your perspective.
- Sharing knowledge
- Getting to meet your coworker
- Walking around
- Getting out of the house
- If you are a mother not doing double duties
- Getting a routine
- Not sitting on the bed all day long
- Increasing your social life
- Random conversations with strangers
The two days in the office might not be as bad as we make it to be.
Wrap Up for How to Deal with the Hybrid Work Model
These are our tips for the office. But give yourself a break if you are feeling weird about the office. You haven’t been for 2 years and we have gotten used to a certain life going back is hard. Take it slowly and one day at a time and you will get back into the groove. We have some tips if work is stressing you out.
Comment below and let us know how the hybrid model is going for you. Do you have ways on how to deal with the hybrid model?