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Will Banks shares his perspectives on the impact of hybrid working

Will Banks shares his perspectives on the impact of hybrid working
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Will Banks, an Analyst at the Bank of England and member of the Thriving From The Start Committee, shares his thoughts on how returning to the office more regularly has impacted on his wellbeing.

July 19th marked the start of a gradual return to the office for many. Some hope to return full time to the social and collaborative office environment, while others hope to maintain the productivity and work-life-balance benefits of working from home.

Over the upcoming weeks, we'll be running a series of blog posts - from Arun Aggarwal (Lloyds Banking Group), Jack Barrett (PwC) and Will Banks (Bank of England) - where they will share their perspectives on how the gradual move to hybrid working has affected their wellbeing.

Will Banks – Analyst, Bank of England

In March, I wrote about the difficulties of starting my career during a global pandemic. “Besides checking when people send their emails and who’s online at any given time,” I said, “it can be hard to know if you’re working in the right way.” I found that working remotely made it harder to feel settled into my role, leading to anxious thoughts and feeling like an “impostor”.

Since coming into the office more regularly, I’ve found these thoughts are less frequent, and far easier to manage.

A large part of this is due to the better physical environment. I’m one of the many who started their career working from a desk in their bedroom, and the 2-metre commute from desk to bed wasn’t enough for me to fully “switch off” after a long day. A proper commute has given me a renewed work/life separation, meaning I carry much less stress with me when going home.

But beyond the physical separation, I’ve found it much easier to build personal relationships in the office, which have helped me feel much more at ease. In the last months I’ve met for the first time a large number of people from my directorate, and my days are suddenly punctuated by informal chats over coffee and lunch. Building these personal relationships has lessened my sense of being an impostor and increased my sense of belonging so much that I hardly feel anxious when in the office. It’s also given me permission to take breaks and log off at a sensible time, both of which have drastically improved my workplace wellbeing.

Regardless of personal preference, I hope that the grads starting their careers later this year get the chance to explore working in the office, and find the way of working that suits them best.

Tips & Tricks:

  1. Try to organise your calendar to suit where you’ll be working – I put in-person catch-ups in where possible, and tend to focus more on solo projects when WFH.
  2. People’s preferences vary widely regarding the return to the office. Often an open conversation can help you figure how best to work with your colleagues.
  3. Do what works for you. Where possible, try to find a work routine that makes you feel energised rather than working where you think you “should.”