Adapting to the New Normal: 7 Productivity Hacks for Hybrid Workplaces

7 productivity hacks for hybrid workplaces

By Annalis Clint

The article provides ideas to support employees and managers in navigating the culture transition from remote work to a hybrid office, including ideas and tips on collaboration, technology, communication systems, and strategic planning for a part time office return that prioritizes employee productivity and satisfaction as well as company success.


Picture this: you wake up bleary eyed at the sound of a screaming alarm at 6am. You shuffle over to brew some coffee and prepare yourself breakfast and pack a lunch for your long day ahead. You dress to impress and fly out the door only to stuff yourself into a crowded train or be greeted by a wall of bumper-to-bumper traffic. 

By the time you arrive at the office disheveled and out of breath, you already feel drained. You look forward to greeting your co-workers, but instead…the office is completely vacant, and you’re the only one who showed up. 

After all that effort, you find yourself taking meetings on Zoom all day with your remote team. Making matters worse, you are desperately behind because while you were trekking to work, everyone else was getting a head start on the day. 

As frustrating as this sounds, it’s the experience millions of employees are having as the workforce attempts a clumsy office re-entry. And for those who make the effort, it is understandably leaving a negative impression. 

According to a recent survey by Flexjobs of employees who transitioned to remote work during the pandemic:

  • 65% of respondents expressed their desire to continue working remotely on a full-time basis even after the pandemic
  • 58% said they would actively search for new job opportunities that offer remote work options if these aren’t available in their current position
  • 46% believed that going back to the office would result in less flexibility

It’s clear that forcing employees back into the office full-time will only put your company at a fierce disadvantage. Top talent is prepared to flock to organizations that empower them with the autonomy and flexibility that allows high performers to thrive.

Fortunately, there seems to be one solution that introverts and extroverts, managers and employees alike can perhaps agree on: a hybrid approach that accommodates both remote and in-office working styles. With just a little planning and organization, you can set your team up for a smooth transition into a hybrid schedule. Before anyone sets foot back into your office, these six strategies can help you avert disaster and navigate a brave new hybrid world. 

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1. Leverage technology, such as document workflow automation

In a hybrid workplace, document workflow automation can be a game-changer. By automating repetitive and manual tasks involved in document management, organizations can save valuable time. 

For example, HR teams can save five to twelve hours per week by automating routine document workflows, such as benefits enrollment, new hire paperwork, and internal employee communications. 

Instead of manually circulating physical documents or emailing attachments, a cloud-based document workflow automation tool can handle the entire process digitally, notifying relevant stakeholders and keeping track of progress.

Source: Pexels

2. Dedicate a monthly “In Office” anchor day

When planning their hybrid strategy, many offices are turning to “anchor days” – one day each week or month when everyone plans to arrive IRL. But between childcare conflicts and varying schedules, selecting a day everyone can agree on may be like herding cats. 

That’s why booking anchor days in advance will give everyone plenty of notice to plan. Create a consistent cadence and track your monthly or bi-weekly anchor day on a shared team calendar. You might even want to offer an incentive, such as a team lunch, that will make it enjoyable for everyone. 

Coordinating your anchor day with another team may also be an opportunity to encourage company-wide collaboration. However, be careful that you do not overbook your office. Many offices have been downsized since the pandemic, and rushing everyone back in at once has resulted in many employees with no desk to work at.

Source: Pexels

3. Set expectations

Some managers struggle with the idea of not being able to oversee their employees’ work directly. How do you know if your employees are staying productive if you can’t see them? 

The reality is, the amount of hours an employee clocks mindlessly staring at their screen or rubbing elbows at the office is going to have very little impact on your bottom line. That’s why in a hybrid world, a more effective way to measure an employee’s progress is through output and results. By setting clear and measurable objectives tied to performance, organizations can ensure hybrid workers are focused, effective, and aligned with the company’s strategic objectives.

Define how you will be evaluating performance by setting goals, timelines, and project deadlines. An ongoing task list can help you track long-term projects to completion. Taking detailed notes in your weekly meetings and following up with an action item summary can also ensure important milestones don’t get missed.

4. Stay flexible

According to a survey, 65% of respondents believed they would be more productive in a home office compared to a traditional workplace. This productivity surge can be attributed to fewer distractions, reduced commuting time, and the ability to create a customized work environment. Other employees may prefer to go into the office more to attend meetings or find focus away from home. 

Encourage your team to embrace systems and schedules that support their unique style. Offering a sense of autonomy will establish trust that will improve both the well-being and efficiency of your workforce. By providing your employees with flexible hours and work-from-home options, you can help them better adapt to their new hybrid work schedule and prevent burnout.

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5. Set your new hires up for success

Older generations have been able to “learn by example” by observing more experienced colleagues on the job. New hires and entry-level employees beginning their careers in a hybrid era may not have the same opportunities. This may put Gen Z at a disadvantage as they attempt to find their footing in a fast-evolving work setting. 

Fortunately, major advances in online learning and collaboration technology can save the day. Screen recording tools like Loom can enable employees to create narrated work demonstrations for flexible remote learning. Recording demonstrations with Zoom meetings can allow new hires to reference training videos multiple times. 

Additionally, platforms like LinkedIn Learning and airSlate Academy support a new hire’s success. Comprehensive training in hybrid team dynamics is crucial to cover remote communication, digital tools, time management, and work-life balance.  Equipping new hires with essential skills in self-motivation and proactive communication will empower them to thrive in the fast-evolving remote work landscape.

Source: Pexels

6. Prioritize your workforce’s wellbeing

In a hybrid work environment where employees have to juggle work and home life, companies that ensure employees feel valued and supported tend to see higher productivity levels. As humans, we respond positively to many simple things in life, such as exercise, connection, autonomy, and recognition. 

Every company may approach its wellness offerings differently, but initiatives such as access to mental health services or resources and physical wellness programs such as gym memberships or incentives for exercise and healthy eating habits can make a major impact on your employee’s happiness and sanity as they navigate the new terrain of a hybrid work lifestyle.

Source: Luxafor

7. Regain control of your time with the right gadgets

With teams scattered across different locations, hardware innovations can also serve as a powerful enabler to help you adapt to a hybrid world. As employees split their time between remote and office settings, Luxafor products provide valuable solutions to optimize productivity and communication.

For example, the Luxafor Flag is a small LED indicator that attaches to a laptop or monitor, enabling users to display availability and status to colleagues, whether they are working remotely or in the office. By indicating their status with a simple click, users can reduce interruptions and foster uninterrupted work sessions, providing a visual cue for colleagues to know when it’s appropriate to approach.

The Luxafor Bluetooth PRO is another valuable tool that offers customizable functions and integrates with popular productivity apps. It can be programmed to trigger specific actions like muting notifications or initiating video calls. This automation reduces cognitive load and enables employees to stay distraction free while focusing on tasks.


The shift to a hybrid work environment has been a significant change for many companies, but it doesn’t have to be a negative one. When companies prioritize support and empathy, it can lead to higher levels of job satisfaction and employee retention in the long run. By setting boundaries, establishing expectations, using technology to stay connected, and planning ahead, HR directors and executives can help their employees stay successful in this new normal.



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