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Blog Here's how to maintain a positive company culture in the hybrid era

Eryka Chowaniec

Written by Eryka Chowaniec

e.chowaniec@dutchview.comlinkedin

Businesses are gradually moving forward with “back-to-office” approaches as many feel the pain of lack of collaboration and connection between colleagues in the post-pandemic era. But, some approaches are more successful than others. You may recall how Elon Musk’s email [1] forcing his employees back to the office caused quite a stir. 

According to the Accenture report, 83% of respondents expressed enthusiasm over the hybrid working model [2]. With more and more companies implementing flexible working even post-pandemic, hybrid work is definitely not a short-lived fad. 

Culture is key to hybrid working 

Undoubtedly, employee engagement is directly linked to better company performance. However, this hybrid landscape poses new challenges to creating the right workplace culture that will benefit both parties.

Want to keep your corporate culture alive and your company thriving? Here are 5 things you need to do to create a win-win situation!

5 tips to foster a positive workplace culture in the hybrid era

  1. Facilitate flexibility

  2. Encourage work-life balance

  3. Enable collaboration

  4. Promote well-being and improve mental health 

  5. Prioritise employee loyalty

1. Facilitate flexibility

Covid-19 gave employees the freedom to organise their schedule and their dress code. You definitely don’t want to shake up their world by imposing a strict full-time back-to-office policy. Empowered employees with effective flexible working will repay you in loyalty and productivity. You might consider setting the minimum number of days you expect them to show up at the office. But, do remember that it’s best to ask and reward those who come in, rather than drive someone into a corner. To keep the office culture alive, offering gym membership, introducing a casual dress day, implementing new tools enabling hybrid working, or other incentives might just do the trick.

2. Encourage work-life balance

The work-life balance had gone out the window. Your employees might enjoy working full-time from the comfort of their homes; but let’s be honest here, their schedules changed drastically. For some, working hours increased during the pandemic. It became harder to draw a line between work and free time. When you don’t have your colleagues and supervisors around you, it’s easier to procrastinate and put your tasks in the backlog. And then the weekend suddenly turns into a casual working weekday. Hybrid working is about finding that sweet spot between spending more time with loved ones and being part of the office culture.

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3. Enable collaboration

The office is not a go-to place when you need to concentrate on your tasks away from the hustle and bustle. It is however a collaboration hub for innovative ideas and creative thinking. Team members and departments can communicate their vision more clearly and align their plan of action quicker when they meet on-site rather than through their screens. Implementing space management software also makes it possible for colleagues to coordinate their days in the office and sit together. Besides, everyone appreciates some encouragement from their teammates in moments of doubt - we all know the power a simple smile holds. Returning to the office makes your employees feel part of the team again. Let your employees take the initiative and see the magic happen!

4. Promote well-being and improve mental health

Remote working has caused many employees to feel isolated, but also helped those who struggle with social interactions feel more at home. Both physical and mental health is crucial so that your company can gain the advantage of having a team of happy and healthy people genuinely enjoying what they do. You don’t want your employees to get the feeling of dread even thinking about work. Tapping into motivators within your teams is the way to go. Employee engagement is largely dependent on extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. After all, being driven by a purpose or reward is more enjoyable, and it also keeps your employees on their toes (in a positive way). For someone, challenging work might be the best incentive, while for someone else it could be financial benefits.

5. Prioritise employee loyalty 

Employee satisfaction is just as important as customer satisfaction. Sybil F. Stershic summarised this customer-employee correlation perfectly:

"The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don't feel valued, neither will your customers." [4]

Your employees must feel appreciated and rewarded for their work to keep customers satisfied and your business thriving. Maintaining a positive work environment, offering programs for self-development, asking for feedback, and actually listening to your employees' concerns is essential to foster loyalty. In the same way, you should also consider your employees’ opinions regarding working conditions in the post-pandemic workplace. 

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Your perfect workmate

No matter whether the type of work requires your employees to be present full-time or allows flexibility, you need software to manage your team better and foster hybrid workplace culture. FlexWhere gives you this opportunity. It’s optimised in such a way to encourage hybrid working and hot desking. This means your employees decide if they work from home or want to book their workplace at the office and you have all the data in one place to keep track of office occupancy. FlexWhere allows you to get more done during the day and to be part of the team again.

Resources

1. Tabahriti, S. (2022, June 5). Read the email Elon Musk sent to Tesla employees about returning to the office before saying headcount will increase. Business Insider. https://www.businessinsider.com/read-elon-musk-email-tesla-employees-return-office-2022-6?international=true&r=US&IR=T

2. Smith, C., et al. (2021, April 30). The future of work: A hybrid work model. Accenture. https://www.accenture.com/nl-en/insights/consulting/future-work

3. Accenture (2021, May) The Future of Work: Productive anywhere. https://www.accenture.com/_acnmedia/PDF-155/Accenture-Future-Of-Work-Global-Report.pdf

4. Islam, R. (2021, December 19). 10 Quotes That Reveal How Great Leaders Actually Treat Their Employees. UX Planet. https://uxplanet.org/10-quotes-that-reveal-the-real-reason-why-great-leaders-always-treat-well-with-their-employees-10f82862bc7e

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