Strategies for Rebuilding the (Hybrid) Office's Culture

August 26th, 2022
/
15 mins to read
Strategies for Rebuilding the (Hybrid) Office's Culture

Remote work has driven organizations to extend their physical offices, but it can result in a lack of cultural benefits

Key Highlight

Organizations must go outside the box to recreate their culture in a post-pandemic climate. Organizations must develop ways to engage with employees and make them feel like they are a part of the culture to achieve this. This will determine whether they are successful in re-establishing the culture of their business.

Hybrid Rebuilding - Office Culture

It contributes to the upkeep of organizational culture—the generally accepted beliefs and practices underpinning how people collaborate—which is "what makes office life meaningful for many."

  1. Organizations face the challenge of providing employees with meaningful work experiences outside the workplace as the workplace becomes less defined.
  2. Creating a collaborative and supportive culture is essential to employee satisfaction, talent retention, and organizational success, even though it can be challenging when workers are dispersed. 

Thus, it's becoming critical in characterizing the new "typical" for organizations as they invite back workers.

‍Office Culture Is More Important Than Ever

After the pandemic, 54% of employees want to continue working from home, according to Pew Research Center. Establishing an inclusive workplace culture is now more important than ever for employers due to the growing number of remote workers. It holds everyone in the organization together, and employees cannot form relationships with one another or loyalty to the company without it.

Building company culture must therefore be a daily commitment that businesses make a priority. In a work environment following the pandemic, this is the most effective strategy for meeting the shifting cultural expectations of employees. She says many people will look for jobs at companies that prioritize their employees and have a great culture.

The greatest obstacle is that you may not be able to use the same strategies to establish a new culture in the hybrid or remote workplace.

"Maintaining a positive and supportive company culture while everyone is remote has taken some adjustments," says Audrey-Maude Côté, human resources manager at Diff Agency, when discussing the management style of her company. We have had to develop novel and inventive methods for fostering community from a distance because we do not have a physical office.

The HR departments and business leaders are in charge of setting up a culture that encourages employees who work in the office and those who work from home to connect. The company can benefit from the following pointers.

Tips for (Re)building Company Culture in the New Workplace

Employees require supportive workplace cultures that allow them to thrive at work, regardless of where their "office" is situated, after experiencing many workplace changes over the last year and a half. 

1 - Be Deliberate About Tech Use

Remote workers frequently experience feelings of alienation from coworkers and the company.  Building your company's culture and overcoming disengagement depend on open communication lines.

Technology Advancements 

Technology is the key to information sharing when employees are dispersed, as demonstrated by the widespread use of communication tools like Slack and Zoom. However, now that remote work processes are more advanced, it may be time to alter the tools used in the culture-building process.

OnBoarding 

Onboarding should be the first step in understanding the company's culture, and technology makes this possible, especially for remote workers. By hosting remote culture workshops and onboarding programs that bring new hires together with veteran workers, use communication tools to cultivate a sense of community among all new hires.

Virtual Burnout 

Virtual burnout can also be avoided with the help of technology. When employees feel overworked, the culture of the company suffers. This is especially hard for remote workers who may have trouble separating their personal and professional lives. Using digital calendars to help plan meetings is one small practice that can help. For instance, employees working in different time zones won't be made to feel like they have to be always available.

2 - Create Committees to Engage Employees

Creating a strong workplace culture comes from uniting employees. 

Here are tips for a strong and high-efficiency workplace to improve its "employee culture":

  1. Open Communication 
  2. Empowering Employees 
  3. Always Clarify and Communicate Values 
  4. Reinforce Positive Behavior 
  5. Collect Feedback 

Employee-led committees tasked with resolving issues within the company are one strategy for fostering connections between office workers and those working outside of the building. Employees who work from home can participate in discussions and decisions that directly impact the business by joining committees. Even though they aren't working there, this gives them a sense of place in the workplace.

According to Sara Slusarski, HR business partner at Oxford Companies in Ann Arbour, Michigan, "forming committees has been beneficial to us."

"We added a Diversity & Inclusion Council and a CREW Connection Committee this year to bring staff members from all over the organization together to solve problems and discuss them. It's been a great way to keep in touch and work toward common objectives."

3 - Enlist Leaders to Connect With Employees

Leadership and culture are inseparable. Through their words and deeds, employees look to company leaders to convey and demonstrate culture.

The development of a company's culture relies heavily on conversations with pioneers. Senior management should be encouraged to take the time to casually connect with employees, both in person and online. Employees should be able to drop in for informal conversations during open-door hours set up by managers. Facilitating these connections with leaders can help off-site employees connect with the company and its culture.

4 - Solicit Feedback and Implement Suggestions

Remote workers should be actively involved in rebuilding the company culture, as they have a different perspective on culture creation and communication than office workers. Electronic surveys are a great tool for gathering information from all employees regardless of location. Michele McGoverna, the business journalist, suggests holding virtual town hall meetings to conduct conversational employee surveys on company culture. Embrace the insights and let them guide your efforts to build a culture.

5 - Host On-site and Virtual Company Networking Events

Employees must be able to form relationships with one another and with the company outside of work hours. To achieve this, businesses must devise innovative approaches for setting up virtual meetings with employees. Many businesses have hosted virtual events such as quiz and karaoke nights, pizza parties, and holiday get-togethers to support employee culture-building. As you work to create a culture, embrace the findings and use them as a guide.

6 - Send Out Regular Newsletters

The more employees know the company's operations, the more they can relate. Newsletters have proven effective in keeping employees current on various company-wide happenings.

What Newsletters are used for?

Newsletters can provide 

  • project updates 
  • Share updates from leaders
  • celebrate successes for the company and employees
  •  summarize important news

Most importantly, a newsletter can be used to share content about the culture that makes employees feel like they are part of the company.

Look for ways to shape all content so that it is as relevant as possible to the company's culture and values and is focused on the employees. These should ideally be sent out regularly—either weekly, biweekly, monthly, or quarterly. The goal is to keep in touch with all employees regularly so that everyone, no matter where they are, feels like they are a part of the company and its culture.

Key Learnings:

Organizations must think outside the box to rebuild company culture in a post-pandemic environment where the term "office" has become more fluid. Even though more employees work from home, you need to find ways to connect with them and make them feel like they are a part of the culture. How well you do this will determine whether or not you succeed in re-establishing your company's culture.

Businesses can choose their culture and let unspoken actions define it or actively shape their culture to achieve success. Many businesses will find themselves at a turning point where they have a real chance to create the culture they need for the future as they reconnect their workforce.

The Litespace solution, designed to empower hybrid teams and rebuild business culture, will aid you in achieving all previous suggestions and boosting your hybrid culture! 

Sarah Roomi
Sarah Roomi

Sarah is a highly motivated and results-driven professional. She has a strong passion for digital marketing and a deep understanding of various marketing channels and strategies. Sarah is eager to contribute her creativity, analytical thinking, and strong work ethic to support the growth and success of an organization.

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