Staying on task in a busy office

As hybrid working is well and truly established, office workers are having to alternate between the calmly focused environment of working from home (WFH) and the lively working atmosphere of the office whilst still maintaining productivity in both spaces. So having got used to working productively in the quiet of home, how do we manage the transition to a busy office?

  • Hybrid workers have to maintain productivity whether they are at home or in the office regardless of the differences between the two environments.
  • How do we re-acclimatise to a busy office after the relative calm of working from home?

Some people thrive on a return to the buzz and activity of the office, but others can really struggle to focus and prefer the peace and quiet of WFH now they’ve got used to being without loud conversations, other people’ ringing phones, and the general activity of a shared workspace. So, without appearing to be rude or anti-social, how can they stay on task?

Research has suggested that offices, particularly open plan, provide a collaborative environment that may encourage productivity. Yet collaboration may actually be distracting for workers who prefer the peace and quiet of home when they are working to a deadline or need to focus on a particular issue.

Add to that the fact that different colleagues will have different attitudes towards tidiness and noise levels, it’s worth considering how to deal with minor irritations, develop some individual survival strategies, or even instigate some ground rules for the team.

Firstly, it’s worth remembering that face to face interaction can contribute a great deal to a pleasant environment and help to mitigate the risk of isolation as a result of WFH. Focusing more on the positives of being with other people, and less on the noise and mess may help workers to think that the benefits outweigh the cost.

Instigating a conversation with colleagues on how they find the transition between the two work environments could lead to considerations that may not have been as necessary prior to the hybrid workplace – from simply understanding and acknowledging that some are finding it more of a challenge than they anticipated, to developing actual office guidelines for things like noise, cleanliness and tidiness.

On a practical level, taking temporary advantage of an empty alcove or carrel or working with noise cancelling headphones may help people to concentrate, as well as gently indicating to co-workers that they are focused and on task.

It’s worth remembering that everyone is managing a hybrid role in their own way so a supportive approach to colleagues is inevitably going to lead to a better working environment than a combative one.  And for individuals, making sure that they are as respectful and conscientious with their own noise and litter as they expect their co-workers to be is obvious.

In addition, using a reliable and professional office cleaning service means that every aspect of cleaning the office can be dealt with on a daily basis – helping hybrid workers to maximise their productivity and enjoy the benefits of wherever they are working be it in the home or in the office

ServiceMaster Clean provides exceptional commercial office and industrial cleaning in the North West.

To discuss your cleaning requirements with our experts, please get in touch.