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Practical tips and best practice for hybrid working from Pearson Australia

By Shandel McAuliffe | |7 minute read
Practical tips and best practice for hybrid working from Pearson Australia

From how you use tech and the expectations you set around communicating, below are some insights to help make hybrid working a success.

Maximise the technology your company has to offer.

Confirm the tools available to you while working remotely. That may mean practising with new technology. It may also mean remembering to take home simple items from your desk or asking your employer for what you think you might need, such as additional keyboards, chargers and monitors.

Things like a monitor can ease eye strain and a separate keyboard or mouse can be more comfortable while typing. Grab a headset or earbuds from the office so calls and video conferences are easier. Also think about how you can carve out a suitable space within the home that is conducive to work. Think about how you would manage space if multiple people in your house need to work and study together.

Set expectations now with your boss and colleagues about communication


Agree where, when, and how to best communicate with your team to create awareness and enable efficiencies when navigating a hybrid-work arrangement. Be deliberate about scheduling meeting times and quick check-ins. Will you huddle for 15 minutes virtually first thing in the morning or have a quick wrap up in the evening?

Consider less email and more talking, especially via video conferencing. Use the time in the office to have those larger connections that can be used for problem solving or for sparking creativity. Leave your video camera on during remote meetings – facial expressions and personal connection help everyone to feel better connected.

Establish a consistent schedule, for work, meals, downtime and to disconnect

Unplugging is harder when you work from home. Work can bleed into every part of your day if you let it. Set consistent hours and clearly communicate your schedule with colleagues. Get up, get out of your PJs and get dressed in the morning. Follow your regular morning routine as much as you can and let colleagues know when you expect to login and start your working day.

When splitting time between home and the office, create routines for each of these days. Determining which tasks are best accomplished at home and which are done best at the office is essential if you want to thrive in a hybrid-work setting.

Communicate those needs to your team. During the day, block out time for work, but also reclaim your lunch and get away from your desk. Take short breaks and don’t let working from home merge into your evening or family time.

Create opportunities to talk beyond work discussions

Think about how you can contribute to a constructive organisational culture when in the office. Plan coffee breaks or walk-and-talks to account for all of the social interactions that you miss by not being in the office all the time. Having extra time in a meeting also helps make a difference in the quality and depth of a work discussion.

It also allows you to understand your colleagues better and what they are going through right now. You can ask about people’s work experiences, families or even hobbies. This is where the human element of the remote- and hybrid-working arrangement really starts to come back into play.

What are some challenges?

A challenge is, how can we continue to support the best possible version of the remote- and hybrid-working environment? So, constantly thinking about initiatives around team building, collaboration, development and retention.

The mentality for some people pre-COVID-19 may have been that you can’t work collaboratively, you can’t problem-solve, you can’t strategise without seeing each other in person. But the last two years have proven this is just not the case.

From a recruitment perspective, many organisations have been able to update the job requirements and ways of working for many roles within the workforce, to be remote. That revised approach opens up talent pools beyond the confines of geography – you can attract professionals in slightly different sectors and from different locations as well as people from more diverse backgrounds.

David Lyons is the country manager for Pearson Australia


Hybrid working

In a hybrid work environment, individuals are allowed to work from a different location occasionally but are still required to come into the office at least once a week. With the phrase "hybrid workplace," which denotes an office that may accommodate interactions between in-person and remote workers, "hybrid work" can also refer to a physical location.

Remote working

Professionals can use remote work as a working method to do business away from a regular office setting. It is predicated on the idea that work need not be carried out in a certain location to be successful.

Shandel McAuliffe

Shandel McAuliffe

Shandel has recently returned to Australia after working in the UK for eight years. Shandel's experience in the UK included over three years at the CIPD in their marketing, marcomms and events teams, followed by two plus years with The Adecco Group UK&I in marketing, PR, internal comms and project management. Cementing Shandel's experience in the HR industry, she was the head of content for Cezanne HR, a full-lifecycle HR software solution, for the two years prior to her return to Australia.

Shandel has previous experience as a copy writer, proofreader and copy editor, and a keen interest in HR, leadership and psychology. She's excited to be at the helm of HR Leader as its editor, bringing new and innovative ideas to the publication's audience, drawing on her time overseas and learning from experts closer to home in Australia.

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