I won't get into the debate of office work vs remote work because, frankly, there are too many blog posts about that already.
But I thought I'd share my experience as a hybrid worker. In my various roles and companies, I've always worked in a hybrid or fully-remote model. And I've learned some pros and cons.
A lot of people expect UX Writing to be an introvert's dream job, but it actually requires a ton of collaboration. That means meetings, debates, discussions, and long jam sessions. If you have a good relationship with other stakeholders, it'll be easier to understand each other and work towards a common goal.
This doesn't mean you have to be best friends. Honestly, companies with a "We're all family here" mindset often have toxic tendencies. But connecting with people on an individual level makes a difference. Remember: we're all human. Our jobs are just a fraction of who we are. Taking an interest in your coworkers, and reaching out about non-work related things, can be a great way to foster that sense of connection.
It might sound like I'm doting on in-office work here. And, sure, it can be easier to connect with people if you're literally around a water cooler. But the digital age means that relationships can thrive even through Slack messages, Zoom meetings, and email threads.
Make the most of your work schedule
Since I am an introvert by nature, I've had to force myself into some good habits. The first: being open to longer meetings.
I'm not saying you should sit on Microsoft Teams for two hours for no reason. But scheduling a 10-minute sync isn't the way to go, either. I've learned to be open to "over the shoulder" writing, which means brainstorming and ideating in real-time with designers and PMs. This isn't always the right approach, but it can be a great way to ideate and move forward in a quicker manner.
I've also learned how to maintain my schedule. This means knowing when to say yes and no, setting expectations for advanced context and timing, and doing my own research beforehand. It also means setting focus time to, well, focus. I'm lucky enough to work at a company that understands that, sometimes, Slack needs to be muted. Once or twice a week, I'll block off my calendar for a couple hours to focus on specific projects. It's prevented burnout, and given me time to stay on top of ongoing tasks.
Life goes on
One of the reasons I love hybrid working is that it allows me to get other things done. I can fold laundry while listening to a company-wide meeting, or open the door for a delivery without worrying whether I'll be out when they stop by.
This can be a negative though, too. I've had to set expectations for myself, including closing my laptop after a certain time. When your office is literally at home, it can be easy for worlds to merge. I've learned not to work in the same room that I sleep in, not to be available 24/7, and not to lose focus on what's in front of me.
Lots of companies are moving to a remote or hybrid model. Honestly, the differences matter, but the effects will depend on your own actions. How active are you with your team? How do you communicate ideas and questions? How do you manage your calendar and expectations? Once you set yourself some guidelines (and communicate them to your team!), you'll be effective in any setting.