Getting Started

If you are new to UBC or the Faculty of Medicine and interested in participating in the UBC Hybrid Work Program, or you are looking for resources to support you in doing hybrid well, here’s how to get started.

Step 1

Review the Hybrid Work at UBC and FoM Academic and Administrative Space Policies to understand the parameters in which hybrid work occurs.

Step 2

Reflect on the Considerations for Adopting a Hybrid Schedule. Meet with your manager to explore options and Formalize your Hybrid Work Arrangement, if applicable.

Step 3

Learn how to optimize the setup of your remote workspace.

Step 4

Review these Tips for Success in Hybrid and Healthy Work Practices to set yourself up for success.

You’re ready to go! Be sure to check out the rest of the resources available on this site. Start by checking out Hybrid Essentials to learn about important skills that will support you in Doing Hybrid Well.

Are you a Manager?

Use the Hybrid Work & Communication Toolkit with your team to facilitate the co-creation of team norms. Check out Managing in a Hybrid Work(place) to find more resources to support you in managing within a hybrid workplace.


+ Hybrid Work at UBC

To understand UBC’s approach to hybrid work, it is important to review the following:

+ FoM Academic and Administrative Space Policies

Spaces in the Faculty of Medicine are governed by the following policies:

The use of space within the FoM has changed with the implementation of hybrid work. This presents unique opportunities to rethink how we use space to support faculty and staff to connect, collaborate, and do their best work. Stay informed about work in this area by the FoM Space Planning & Facilities team.

+ Considerations for Adopting a Hybrid Schedule

There are several factors you and your manager will need to consider when determining if a hybrid work arrangement is appropriate. To help determine if a hybrid schedule could work for you:

  • Evaluate your job tasks: Consider the tasks you perform on a regular basis and determine whether they can be done remotely or require on-site presence. For example, do you need access to secure and confidential files and documents? Do you need to interact face-to-face with learners, colleagues, or clients?
  • Assess your communication needs: Determine whether you can effectively communicate and collaborate with your colleagues, clients, and stakeholders through digital channels.
  • Review your work style: Consider whether you are self-motivated, disciplined, and can work independently without direct supervision.
  • Consider your remote workspace: Assess whether your remote workspace is equipped with the necessary tools, technology, and ergonomic setup to perform your job duties comfortably and productively.

Remember, not all jobs are suited for hybrid work. Some jobs require on-site presence or specialized equipment or may not be conducive to remote work due to team dynamics or communication needs. Ultimately, the decision to adopt hybrid work will be made by managers based on operational needs and specific job and team requirements.

+ Formalizing Your Hybrid Work Arrangement

If you and your manager determine that hybrid work is appropriate for your role, UBC provides information on how to set up a hybrid work arrangement, including how to review, change, or end an arrangement.

Make sure to take the Hybrid Work self-paced course. This course details requirements for hybrid work and resources available to members of the University.

To formalize your hybrid work arrangement, complete the required Work Area Safety Assessment and submit a request through Workday (check out the Workday Knowledge Base for guidance on how to complete this task).

*if you experience any issues with accessing a link, check to see that you are logged in through your CWL

+ Setting Up Your Remote Workspace

Setting up your remote workspace is essential in ensuring that you can work comfortably and productively from a remote work site. Here are some steps to help you do so:

Choose a dedicated workspace: Your remote workspace should be quiet, free from distractions, and well-lit. Ideally, it should be a separate room or a corner with a desk, chair, and other necessary equipment. Your remote workspace, even if it is in your home, is considered an extension of your workplace. A work area safety assessment and mandatory on-line training is required before your manager approves your hybrid work arrangement.

Ensure you have access to a reliable internet connection: The speed of your internet connection fluctuates throughout the day and is impacted by a number of factors including, but not limited to, your internet package, your service provider, and the number and type of technologies you have at home using your Wi-Fi. Despite these fluctuations, you must have access to an internet connection that is stable and fast enough to handle video conferencing and other tasks. Use Ookla to run a speed test on your internet connection to troubleshoot any issues you may have. Use this brief guide, adapted from the Ookla FAQ, to help you interpret the results.

Get the necessary equipment and set up your computer: Talk to your manager about what equipment you will be provided for use at your remote site vs the office.

The UBC IT Guide to Working off Campus offers tips on setting up your computer and getting connected. You must also be aware of your obligations with respect to information security and privacy. Review the information below:

Set up your physical workspace: Take the time to set up your workspace ergonomically. The UBC Ergonomics Program provides a number of resources to assist you with this.

Learn about collaboration tools: Collaboration and meeting tools enable teams to work together effectively and efficiently, regardless of physical location. Explore the tools available to all FoM faculty and staff.

+ Tips for Success in Hybrid

The following tips will facilitate your success while working in a hybrid work environment:

  • Commit to success: Hybrid work arrangements are ultimately at the discretion of your manager and employer. Your hybrid work arrangement will be successful if you meet the expectations that have been outlined for you.
  • Align your work with team norms: Your team, unit, and/or department may have collectively established specific norms and expectations. These include things like core hours, in-office days for the team, how and when to communicate, what tools you will use to collaborate, etc. The Hybrid Work & Communication Toolkit can support the development of these norms and expectations or build on or revise existing practices.
  • Communicate regularly (and effectively) with your colleagues: In a hybrid work environment, communication is key. Choose the most effective communication channels based on context. For example, in person or virtual meetings with cameras on may be most appropriate for complex discussions or challenging conversations. If a miscommunication or misunderstanding occurs, bring it up right away to help clear the air. Regular check-ins or team meetings can be a good venue to discuss strategies to communicate more effectively.
  • Share your location and work schedule: Help your colleagues know where you are and how to reach you by sharing your location and schedule. Your email signature or MS Teams status can be a good place to share this information. For example, “On-site: Mon/Wed, Off-site: Tue/Thu/Fri. Make sure your manager approves substantive changes to your daily schedule, and that you clearly communicate these changes to your team.
  • Maintain flexibility: You will need to adjust to business needs. For example, if you usually work from home on Wednesdays but there is an important in person event that day, you will need to adjust your schedule.
  • Be proactive about staying engaged with your team: In a hybrid work environment, it’s easy to feel disconnected from your team and other colleagues. Make sure you’re taking steps to stay engaged, whether it’s through regular check-ins or team-building activities.
  • Maintain a professional demeanor: While you may be working from the comfort of your home it is still important to make sure you’re maintaining a professional demeanor, whether you’re communicating with colleagues or attending virtual meetings.
  • Be transparent: Your manager is there to help you succeed. Communicate regularly with your manager on how your arrangement is going and what may need to be tweaked or changed to support you better.

+ Healthy Work Practices

Hybrid work offers many benefits, but it can blur the lines between work and home. It’s important to establish healthy work practices. A few to consider in your day-to-day include:

  • Establish clear boundaries: It’s important to set clear boundaries between work and personal time, especially when working from home. In consultation with your manager, set your working hours (including start and end times) and communicate them with those you work with. Be sure to make time for important non-work activities like family, hobbies, or self-care.
  • Prioritize self-care: Prioritizing self-care is important to ensure your physical and mental wellbeing. Take regular breaks from screens to reduce eye strain, fatigue, and other health issues associated with excessive screen time, and for rest and recharging. Schedule these breaks into your work day and use this time to disconnect, take a walk, or do something enjoyable. Additionally, avoiding multi-tasking and focusing on one task at a time can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and increase your productivity.
  • Stay connected: Working remotely can lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection from colleagues and the wider workplace. Make a conscious effort to stay connected with colleagues, whether through regular check-ins, making space in meetings to connect, or planning social activities when on-site. Understanding the technology available to you can support you in staying connected easily (see below).
  • Take advantage of technology supports: We have a number of tools at our fingertips that can support us in managing our work schedules, communicating effectively with colleagues, collaborating on projects, and staying organized. The team at Digital Solutions provides information and training on available collaboration tools. Reach out if you or your team could benefit from consultation or training.
  • Seek support when needed: If you’re struggling with something, don’t be afraid to reach out to your colleagues or manager for help. The University has a number of resources that can support you.