Just as there has been an increase in remote work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many offices are also shifting to a hybrid work model that allows for both remote and in-office work. How this is setup will be different for every company, but it could present a unique opportunity to have more control over how you navigate work and cancer.
The Muse has written an article outlining some key questions to ask yourself to help plan a hybrid work schedule that works best for you. A few highlights that stood out to us are:
Know your employer’s requirements.
The first step is to be aware of your employer’s current policies. Did they outline a set schedule? Or do they immediately offer some flexibility for which days you are in the office, and which days you work remotely? What is the culture like, and how is your relationship with your supervisor? Would asking for additional flexibility, or an alternative schedule, be something you would be comfortable with? Or would you want some time to prepare? Cancer and Careers offers tips on how to approach the conversation here and here. A more flexible hybrid work schedule may also be a reasonable accommodation.
Consider your productivity.
Working remotely and working in-office are two very different environments. Does one better suit your work style? Does one support your appointments, treatment schedule, side effects and recovery more? Would you prefer to be in the office with others for a sense of community? Or do you prefer the focus of working remote? Can you plan your remote days to be in a more comfortable home environment after treatment? Does one environment better offset any side effects you may be experiencing, such as having an ergonomic keyboard or chair in the office that isn’t available in your home? Are there any supplies you could get yourself, or request your work to provide, that would make working at home more comfortable and therefore more productive?
Consider your professional opportunities.
Fostering a sense of community with your supervisors and coworkers while working remote is a new challenge many are adapting to. Likewise, some people much prefer not being in a physical office. Whatever your preference may be, it can be helpful to ask yourself if there are different opportunities available in the office or working remote. For example: Is it important to you to be in the same space as your supervisors or managers, even if it is on select days of the week? Do you prefer to network with your coworkers in person? Or are there tasks you can only do with technology in the office that promote your professional growth, or support a career change you are pursuing? Could working remotely certain days of the week reduce time spent on a commute so you have more time and energy to take an online class?
Be sure to check out the article for more questions to ask yourself to craft a schedule that best supports you. And if you have any questions about your legal rights in the workplace that might help navigate all of these complex issues, check out the Legal & Financial section of our website. Our Balancing Work & Cancer webinar series on Working Through Treatment and Communicating Effectively may provide some helpful insight too!