Company culture has long been tied to the physical office environment. Now that organizations all over the world are shifting to remote work, employees and businesses are rethinking the future of workplace culture.
If your office is one of many that had to rapidly shift to remote work, you or your colleagues may have experienced feelings of isolation and anxiety. Social connections are a major part of career culture and you may be used to being surrounded by an office of supportive coworkers.
While many organizations have shifted to working fully remote, some have adopted a hybrid model where employees rotate working from the office and from home. A hybrid approach means employees can still have some level of physically-distanced, in-person interaction with their colleagues and get the chance to work in a typical office setting, even if it’s only part-time.
Whether you’re fully remote or in a hybrid work environment, maintaining company culture can be challenging when you’re used to being together five days a week.
With all the uncertainty around COVID-19 and remote work, it’s important to consider how to support employees to maximize productivity and boost mental well-being. Whether you are a team leader or a business owner preparing for the rebound, here are four ways to boost company culture and provide a way to connect to banish isolation and anxiety while working remotely:
1. HOLD A MORNING TEAM HUDDLE
Use team collaboration tools to check-in and share what you’ll each be working on that day. You can use a channel-based messaging platform and have team members post updates or hop on a video call for a quick check-in. This can get everyone focused on the day ahead and help teammates understand what projects others are working on.
2. STAY SOCIAL
Think about how your team socialized before the pandemic and see what can be recreated or shifted within a virtual environment. Make a channel for “water cooler” conversations where employees can chat about their families, exchange coping strategies, and have a virtual cocktail hour or afternoon tea. Try to avoid talking about work projects during these calls.
3. BE OPEN TO A NEW APPROACH
Everyone has different challenges with remote work, so you may need to be flexible with social activities. Employees who have children may have less time for optional social activities, while employees who live alone may crave interpersonal connection more in a remote work environment. Encourage teams to do what works for them to stay connected and reduce stress.
4. STAY MINDFUL OF ZOOM GLOOM
The desire to stay connected should not override the need for a screen break from time to time. Consider swapping Zoom for a phone call or turning the video off for some meetings, especially when schedules are particularly packed. Although it’s nice to see people face-to-face when working remotely, it’s draining to be on camera all day long.1
Many businesses have been forced to adapt their operations because of the global pandemic. While we don’t know exactly what this means for the future of work, it’s important to maintain a strong workplace culture with resilient employees. Learn more about how to build a resilient workplace.
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2021-116159 Exp. 2/2023