For over a year now, most of the corporate world has adjusted and become comfortable working entirely from home. We have learned the technology, invested in blue light glasses, and spent more time on Zoom than anyone thought possible. Thankfully, now that things are starting to get back to normal, many employees are getting back to the office part-time.
Like most things in life, working remotely has its pros and cons. Many enjoy the luxury of working in sweatpants and avoiding the commute and rush hour traffic. Despite these benefits, it is much more challenging to make connections with coworkers and get a true sense of the company’s culture when working from home, which is especially relevant for interns.
As a hybrid intern at The Castle Group, I have the best of both worlds. I experience the benefits of working remotely but also get valuable time in the office with my coworkers. While the future of workplace culture is uncertain, hybrid is the way forward for the foreseeable future.
Here are 5 things to remember when working a hybrid internship to keep yourself productive and make the most of your work format.
1. Take breaks
Whether you are in the office or working from home, take breaks to talk to coworkers and eat lunch. No one expects you to sit at your desk, staring at your computer screen every minute from 9 to 5. In fact, studies show that there are many benefits to taking breaks, including increased productivity, reduced stress, and a boost in creativity. Of course, everything is good in moderation, so take short breaks. Get up from your desk, get away from your computer screen, walk around, get something to eat, and then get back to it, refreshed, more focused, and ready to do your best work.
2. Have a designated workspace
When you are in the office, you will most likely have an assigned space to work. It is just as important to have a designated workspace at home. Find a quiet spot in your house with ample lighting where you can consistently work on your remote days. This “office” helps create a divide between your home life and work life and is key to keeping to you focused and in a good routine.
3. Take advantage of being in the office
On the days you are in the office, take advantage of it! Talk to your coworkers, get to know them, have lunch with them, and build those connections. Even as an intern, it is important to attend company events and meetings both virtually and in-person. Go to the company happy hours, the birthday celebrations, and even weekly company meetings to get to know the people you work with, and so they can get to know you.
When in doubt, overcommunicate! Don’t be afraid that you might bother your team by messaging or emailing them. Communication is key in any work environment, but especially when working from home. The saying “out of sight, out of mind” is relevant when it comes to working remotely so aim for open communication with your supervisor and your team. Give project updates, ask questions, and if you need to, request brief meetings. This will help project management, delegation and establish clear expectations for all parties.
5. Ask for feedback
Receiving feedback on your work and performance is the best way to get the most out of your internship. Request feedback on what you have done well, what you can do better, and set goals accordingly. The purpose of an internship is to learn, improve, and grow. Getting feedback from those around you is the best way to do that, even if you are only in-person part-time.
Whether in-person, hybrid, or fully remote, internships are extremely valuable–these are just a few ways to be intentional about your experience. What would you add to the list?