Workers are going back to work, but not always in the office. During the pandemic, the rise of remote work has forced businesses to extend their physical office walls to include remote environments. Workers may be missing out on the cultural benefits of proximity and sharing physical space in this reimagined office.
The fact that it contributes to the upkeep of organizational culture—the generally accepted beliefs and practices that underpin how people collaborate—is "what makes office life meaningful for many."
Organizations are faced with the challenge of providing employees with meaningful work experiences outside of the workplace as the workplace becomes less defined.
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. Thusly, it's turning into a critical component in characterizing the new "typical" for organizations as they invite back workers.
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 is what holds everyone in the organization together. Employees are unable to 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 that a lot of people will look for jobs at companies that prioritize their employees and have a great culture.
The fact that you may not be able to use the same strategies to establish a new culture in the hybrid or remote workplace presents the greatest obstacle.
“Maintaining a positive and supportive company culture while everyone is remote has definitely 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 come up with novel and inventive methods for fostering community from a distance because we do not have a physical office.
The HR departments and business leaders who are in charge of setting up a culture that encourages employees who work in the office and those who work from home to connect with one another and the company can benefit from the following pointers.
Employees need supportive workplace cultures that enable them to thrive at work, regardless of where their "office" is located, after experiencing so many changes in the workplace over the past year and a half. How to deliver it to them is as follows:
Remote workers frequently experience feelings of alienation from coworkers and the company. Building your company's culture and overcoming disengagement both depend on open lines of communication.
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 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, make use of communication tools to cultivate a sense of community among all new hires.
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 who work in different time zones won't be made to feel like they have to be available all the time.
A positive company culture that places a high value on the community can be created by using technology thoughtfully.
A stronger workplace culture will result from anything you can do to unite workers.
The establishment of employee-led committees tasked with resolving issues within the company is one strategy for fostering connections between office workers and those working outside of the building. Employees who work from home can take part in discussions and decisions that have a direct impact on the business by joining committees. Even though they aren't actually working there, this gives them a sense of place in the workplace.
According to Sara Slusarski, HR business partner at Oxford Companies in Ann Arbor, Michigan, "creating committees has been helpful for 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 talk about them. It's been a great way to keep in touch and work toward common objectives."
Leadership and culture are inseparable. Through their words and deeds, employees look to company leaders to convey and demonstrate culture.
Associating with pioneers is much more significant for scattered representatives since it gives them the feeling of having a place they are many times denied by not being in that frame of mind to take part in off-the-cuff corridor visits. The development of a company's culture relies heavily on these conversations. Senior management needs to 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 that managers set up, either in the office or on Zoom. You can help off-site employees connect with the company and its culture by facilitating these kinds of connections with leaders.
Particularly in light of the new definition of the office, remote workers ought to be actively involved in the process of rebuilding the company culture. They have a different perspective on culture creation and communication than office workers because they are working within the new normal.
As you work to establish a work environment that welcomes remote workers, get their advice on how to go about it and put it into action. Electronic surveys are a great tool for gathering information from all employees regardless of where they are located. You can create a remote company culture that is empathetic and engaging by hearing directly from your workforce and implementing their feedback. Michele McGovern, a business journalist, suggests holding virtual town hall meetings to conduct conversational employee surveys on company culture.
Whatever method you use, embrace the insights and let them guide your efforts to build a culture.
Another important aspect of creating a company culture is networking. Employees need to be able to build relationships with one another and the company outside of work hours. However, they might not be able to participate in team-building activities or get-togethers after work because they are working from home.
Because of this, you need to come up with innovative strategies for arranging virtual meetings between employees.
Virtual events like "trivia and karaoke nights, pizza parties, and holiday get-togethers" have been held by many businesses to encourage culture-building among all employees. We've given our employees the opportunity to "meet" outside of work and maintain a connection with one another in a hundred different virtual ways by utilizing a mix of available technologies.
The more employees are aware of the company's operations, the more they can relate to it. Newsletters have proven to be effective in keeping employees up to date on a variety of company-wide happenings.
Newsletters can be used to provide project updates, share updates from leaders, celebrate successes for the company and employees, and 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 culture and values of the company and is focused on the employees. These should ideally be sent out on a regular basis—either weekly, biweekly, monthly, or quarterly. The goal is to keep in touch with all employees on a regular basis so that everyone, no matter where they are, feels like they are a part of the company and its culture.
Organizations must think outside the box in order to rebuild company culture in a post-pandemic environment where the term "office" has taken on a more fluid meaning. Even though more employees are working 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. They can let unspoken actions define it or they can 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 tool; designed to empower hybrid teams and rebuild company culture will help you achieve all previous suggestions and improve your hybrid culture!
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