Previous: The Future of the Workplace is Now Next: How Technology Has Evolved – A Gen X Perspective Louis Costantini / Thursday, January 13, 2022 / Categories: Blog, The Hybrid Workplace, Leadership 5 Ways to Improve Company Culture in the Hybrid Workplace According to a recent study, only 29% of surveyed employees want to be back in the office full-time, and 56% would quit or look for a new job that offers flexibility when they work. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the landscape in which we work has forever changed. When companies were forced to operate remotely, many employees across the globe got a taste of what it was like to work from home full-time. Now, many organizations are choosing to operate with a hybrid workforce as a permanent solution to reduce costs and adapt to their employees' needs. Yet, despite the benefits of a hybrid work environment, the way employees see culture and how organizations build it is evolving. With a dispersed workforce, it's essentially harder for organizations to connect with their people to create a unified cultural experience. Below, we discuss five ways to build culture in a hybrid work environment to help your organization overcome challenges from a physically dispersed workforce. 1) Ensure Employees Feel Connected When employees are dispersed between home and office, connecting with their colleagues may feel like an impossible feat. In fact, there is a probability that individuals are working with team members that they have never met in person. Executive leadership, management or team leads should be encouraged to integrate their remote teams with those in the office by hosting remote-first meetings. Remote-first meetings encourage all employees to share their video so employees never feel detached. Video conferencing adds a layer of personalization that may not be found with voice-only conversations. Additionally, it's recommended for management to host one-to-one check-ins periodically and regular team meetings so that relationships are built, happiness is maintained and team culture is preserved. 2) Encourage Cross-department Collaboration Effective collaboration between all facets of the organization is essential for any hybrid workplace and helps foster a positive company culture between in-office and remote teams. But how do you get teams to work together on campaigns or large projects when some are in office, and others are not? While teams are dispersed and collaborating differently than they were pre-pandemic, this gives an organization the flexibility to be creative in how team members work together. Below are some examples to create effective cross-department collaboration: Appoint team leads for large projects. This allows employees to meet with the other leaders to exchange feedback, hold themselves and their teammates accountable and drive the project to completion. Ensure all departments are aligned when establishing KPIs, goals, budgets, and expectations. Encourage communication to promote knowledge sharing. Push digital collaboration. Employees have access to each other through Instant Messaging & Presence (IMP) and video/phone calls via Microsoft Teams, Webex, Slack, etc. IMP provides status updates (available, unavailable, busy, do not disturb, or away) for contacts, so employees can see when their colleagues are accessible in real-time. 3) Prioritize Mental Health & Wellness A lot has happened since March 2020. Organizations across the globe closed their doors and had to adjust the way their employees worked. The guest bedroom, dining room, kitchen table, or basement couch became the home office for many working remotely. Millions of individuals were unfortunate to lose their jobs, and a two-week lockdown turned into months of concern. As the tables turn and progress into the "new normal," it's important to think proactively about mental health as organizations return to the office. Employees expect healthcare benefits that focus on mental health and wellness, and HR departments should create protocols that optimize employee well-being. It's imperative to provide access to resources and tools to help employees manage stress or deal with issues that might impact performance. Creating an environment where employees feel that their mental health is a priority can go a long way in building a positive culture. 4) Adapt to Digital Transformation The rise of hybrid work environments has accelerated the adoption of laptops, collaboration displays, managed IT services and unified communications solutions. Remote workers who experience constant technology and network issues, communications barriers, or adoption pain points due to lack of knowledge or training will get more isolated than employees whose tools do not impede their work or means of collaboration. Organizations should carefully evaluate what digital tools are best suited for company and employee needs and make decisions accordingly. 5) Create Programs and Morale Boosting Events for Employees Organizations understand that employees may feel disconnected because they cannot meet with their colleagues in person every day. These same organizations are taking actionable steps to build programs and events to promote employee interaction in a fun environment. In 2021, Sharp took the initiative to boost employee morale in a hybrid culture by creating the Good Vibes committee. Since Good Vibes started, Sharp has hosted recipe exchanges, meditation, art exhibitions, Take Your Child to Work Day, National Ice Cream Day and more. Through these events, employees in-office and at home have felt a sense of inclusion while participating and having fun. Workplace culture plays a critical part in the success of a business, and how an organization establishes these principles in a hybrid workplace should be no different than how it would in an office setting. The key is finding the tools needed to promote productivity, flexibility, and employee well-being and continually assessing and adapting to maintain a thriving work environment. Tags: Hybrid Workspaces Laptops Collaboration Displays Contracts Unified communications Related articles Connecting Your Hybrid Workforce Through Unified Communications Reimagining the Hybrid Office Bridging the Remote Office Gap: Tools For the Hybrid Worker Practicing What We Preach: A Sharp Employee’s Perspective on the WCD Technology Solutions That Provide a Helping Hand for Healthcare Please login or register to post comments.