Should you work remotely, in hybrid mode, or in the office in 2022?

Some have already returned to their offices. Others work in hybrid mode, dealing with challenges such as purchasing a teleconferencing system to connect the two worlds. Still others, including me, are still working and will be working remotely. Today it will not be about a pandemic, but about a change that took place in just one year. Changing our approach to work in general. Regardless of the mode and place of its execution.

From the perspective of just over a year, I come to many conclusions, and one of them is that all the complaints about this or that form of remote work have a common denominator. Probably not one, but this one caught my eye. It’s about balance. Yes, I know that there are industries, positions, and life situations in which it is extremely difficult to find any balance in almost every field, and often this word is the beginning of a burst of ironic laughter. However, I also see that every important change for the better comes from small gestures and micro-decisions. The snowball effect does the rest of the work in the vast majority of cases. Okay, let’s get down to business.

First of all, you have to want to fight for the balance. I know quite a few people who do office work, they don’t need to be stuck in high altitude full sun from early morning until late noon, and they feel like they are doing it anyway. I often hear: “I did not get up from my chair too often in the remote school, because there is no kitchen, there is no gossip and I have to work non-stop.” It’s a big problem that is little talked about, but many people have really lost the ability to make interpersonal contacts easier when their physical aspect has been taken away from us. Not everyone finds themselves in a virtual environment and not everyone wants to find themselves there.

It is all the more important not to run away with such disproportions only to your head but to communicate them. Because often working remotely, we just need to change the environment for a moment or simply look at something else. This is perfectly normal, yet many people find it taboo. “Because what will someone say when he writes and waits for an answer 30 minutes longer than usual?” Perhaps you will get his attention. Perhaps he will consider, or perhaps … #nobody.

Before any balance reigns in the environment in which we spend the most hours a week in total – because work is such a space – it is really worth starting with communication.

Nanotransmissions, a smart-sounding term that we came up with for such simple moments during the workday, when we want to (with all of ourselves) break away from classes for a moment and assume a different role, e.g. a guardian, friend, runner or go for a half-hour walk to the park around the corner. Do something for yourself. Working remotely during a pandemic means nanotransfers can impact productivity and mental health more than ever before. Then why do so few companies talk about this aspect at all?

We are planning too many unnecessary meetings, we are not listening to this silence that really means a lot. The silence of the unspoken needs of others. Including ours. Since we are afraid to communicate about them ourselves, there is nothing to be surprised about. And very, very often, it turns out that a simple, cultural story about your doubts or needs solves the matter faster than suffocating it. Actually, the latter option does not solve anything.

We are the stories we tell each other. About myself and others. And very often, when we turn these stories into simple questions: “Because I would like to go jogging for an hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays around 11:00. We don’t have meetings then, so do you mind? ” – It turns out that not only will we get approval for a given idea, but we will also show others that you can talk about your needs at all.

This is not only the role of leaders but of communication in general. You can blame the bad boss who doesn’t trust anyone, but you know that this boss probably also tells himself a story about various topics, and at the end of the day, he doesn’t really feel OK with how it is? Well, there is another boss above him, then the boss’s boss and so on. It is not hard to guess that the silence quickly becomes total.

To trust someone, you need to get to know them and let them know you. As trivial as it sounds, we won’t build communication otherwise. The real one, in which both parties want to communicate and draw handfuls from this communication. I don’t know where you are, but something tells me that I think we can all start looking at ourselves more humanly than systemically. We create these systems ourselves at the end of the day.