Six ‘habit hacks’ to improve your hybrid work-life balance

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Sometimes professionals struggle to find a good work-life synergy. We look at techniques for enhancing productivity without compromising on personal time

As an increasing number of businesses are joining the hybrid work revolution. Many people, however, often struggle to find a happy work-life equilibrium. Research has found that only a third of British adults are satisfied in this respect. That said, consumer research from Spaces parent company IWG has revealed that 52% of office workers say hybrid working has made their working hours more manageable.

“The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision,” says James Clear in his New York Times bestseller, Atomic Habits. Every habit, both good and bad, will produce an outcome over time. If you go to the gym for a month, you’ll get fitter. Alternatively, eat too many sweets and your teeth will start to decay. But by starting small and repeating the action until it becomes a habit will reinforce your identity as the person you want to be.

Here are some tips that will help you better manage your life, form good habits and make a more successful transition to hybrid working.

1. Adopt the 15-Minute City concept

Imagine if you could remove hours of commuting each day. Suddenly, the work/life balance automatically tips in your favour. This is the idea behind the 15-Minute City concept, where people can meet most of their day-to-day needs – living, working, shopping, healthcare, education and entertainment – within a 15-minute walk or cycle ride from their homes.

The theory is the brainchild of Professor Carlos Moreno from the Sorbonne in Paris, who developed the idea in 2019 to encourage a “return to the local way of life”.

2. Prioritise your time

Trying to be everything to everybody is the enemy of a good work-life balance. Instead, focus on your strengths and outsource the rest. This might be easier said than done when you’re a small team or a freelancer, but outsourcing tasks such as admin or invoicing when your skills lie elsewhere will ultimately save you essential time and money in the future.

3. Plan your week

Because hybrid working involves being based in multiple locations, it can help to plan your week in advance – for example, if you know you are going to be working in a city centre HQ, schedule a meal out with friends for the evening.

Having a physical presence in the office is important for some tasks, such as team building and brainstorming, but it’s not necessary for those projects that require a singular focus. In this case a local coworking space with good wifi and great coffee might be more conducive to productivity, and without a long commute it will be easier to fit in a jog or gym session.

“We try to use home working days less for video sessions and more for the tasks that require concentration,” Baruch Silverman, founder of personal finance website The Smart Investor, told “A task that takes several hours in the office may be completed in just an hour or two at home.”

4. Use technology to your advantage

In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of companies, from small startups to conglomerates, are now operating successfully with a hybrid workforce. Thankfully, technology has our backs and applications such as Zoom, Slack, Teams and Google Hangouts have made it easy to connect with our teams.

5. Could this meeting be an email?

Sometimes it feels as if we are addicted to online meetings. Before agreeing to each request, ask yourself if the meeting could be a phone call or perhaps an email instead. If a video or face-to-face meeting is absolutely essential, try to include a set time limit.

6. Download a time-tracking app

A time-tracking app is a key tool for habit hackers. This allows you to streamline your working process, track project hours and ensure you are charging the correct rate.

Try one such as Toggl Track (free), which monitors the time it takes to do each task. If you’re managing a team, HourStack allows you to view and manage everyone’s workflow in one place.

With coworking locations all over the globe, find out how Spaces can help you boost your work/life balance.

Enjoy this? You might also like these Spaces magazine stories:

How to create effective work-life boundaries

How hybrid working is boosting local communities

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