Hybrid offices allow for incredibly flexible scheduling. But sometimes, it can be too flexible—you and your coworkers don't know who will be in the coworking space and when. Not only does that make it harder to plan customer-facing coverage and meetings, but you also won't know how much hybrid office space to get every month. Adopting a time-blocking strategy can help you and your teams stay organized and consistent—and even more productive.
What Is Time Blocking?
Time blocking is a time management strategy. Through this practice, individuals can assign small or large blocks of time to specific tasks or projects. You can break down the workweek or workday into smaller blocks assigned to tasks like answering emails, cold calling leads, payroll, and other various tasks. While time blocking is primarily used as a time management strategy for work and professional pursuits, it can also be used for personal time management by assigning blocks of time for exercise, errands, cooking, or even a consistent bedtime routine.
Also called time chunking, this strategy has become popular because it facilitates deeper work without distraction and rejects the idea of multitasking or unproductive task switching. Rather than just blocking out times for scheduled meetings or the beginning and end of the workday, time-blocking practitioners can segment the entire workday into their high-priority or routine tasks.
Benefits of Time Blocking
Time blocking creates a very clear structure so people can stay focused on specific tasks or pursuits throughout the day. It is not the only time management strategy professionals use—as there is also deep work (in which there are much longer segments of time blocks), the Pomodoro method for scheduling breaks within work blocks, and dozens of others. But time blocking can incorporate many of these other strategies and provide unique advantages. Some of the most impactful benefits of time blocking are:
Practitioners can build a routine based on time blocking. This encourages good habits and a healthy mindset toward work. It also consistently ensures key tasks get worked on or completed instead of falling to the bottom of a to-do list.
Flexibility for Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Even Annual Planning
Time blocking can be as surface-level or as deep as individuals want. You can create daily schedules or a weekly outline. As you develop familiarity with time blocking, you can even build out monthly and annual calendars.
Facilitates Work-Life Balance
Time blocks don't have to be dedicated to work-related tasks. Instead, you can also add recreational time, workouts, meals, and personal task windows to your day. This is particularly advantageous for professionals with split schedules, who might work part of their day in the mornings and the rest in the evenings. Having dedicated work and personal life time blocks can also prevent distractions from spilling over into other slots.
A time-blocked calendar that is visible to coworkers and clients can help people know your availability. While you might not share your schedule in complete detail, other parties will be able to see when you're available for meetings, conversations, and joint projects. They'll also know when you aren't available or shouldn't be disturbed.
Helps People Focus on Core Tasks
One of the core advantages of time blocking is that it encourages more focus. There is a single task for the entire time block, and multitasking or allowing interruptions is discouraged. It also creates an artificial sense of urgency: certain tasks must be done by a certain time or there's only so much time available—this keeps the dreaded Parkinson's Law at bay.
Helps Managers Ensure Team Availability and Coverage of Constant Tasks
Managers and teams benefit when everyone adopts time blocking. They can juggle availability windows to ensure coverage for new client calls or incoming tasks, know everyone's schedule, and make sure there's sufficient staffing during key hours.
How to Use Office Space on Demand to Prioritize Time Blocking
Time blocking doesn't just exist in the digital world. While you might organize your time blocks through your online calendar, it has a real effect on your workspace and your organization's coworking space dynamics. For example, you might schedule morning blocks of time to be in the coworking space on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; your coworker might choose Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Other coworkers may choose afternoon or even evening slots. As your time tracking becomes more sophisticated, you might schedule your in-office slots to align with workouts at a nearby gym or a school release schedule.
Here are some best practices for getting the optimal benefits out of both time tracking and using your hybrid office space:
- (As a manager in an office workspace) Encourage employees to consistently schedule windows of time in the coworking space.
- Schedule work windows for coworking in our private offices and coworking in communal workspaces, including meeting rooms.
- Plan ahead so you can request office space on demand based on your time-blocking needs.
- Choose a hospitality-driven coworking space so there aren't disruptive coffee or lunch breaks that make you go off schedule.
The right hybrid office space on demand will help support your time-blocking strategies and create a more productive space for you or your teams.