Company culture Vs hybrid working
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic brought about a lasting change to many walks of life, not least the significant shift in our working habits and therefore inevitable changes to company culture . We are now 3 years into the hybrid working approach which has now become the new normal, offering more flexibility to working hours and location. The shift to a hybrid work model has had a hugely positive impact on newly enlisted hybrid or remote workers, with many reporting a more favourable view of their workplace. a newly transitioned remote worker myself, I can attest to the positive effects of this change. The key to this however is establishing and reinforcing a culture that supports this hybrid working model. After all, businesses that can create the right culture are nearly four times more likely to win over their competitors.
However, establishing a culture that fosters this hybrid working model isn’t easy and working from home isn’t for everyone. Others reported the importance of missed ad hoc social interactions, that feeling of connectivity being lost, and a desire to split up work life and home life in the pursuit of a healthy work-life balance (Travel Perk). A widely accepted way to counteract these challenges is through ensuring a strong company culture that emphasises regular check-ins with team members, one-on-one catchups, and the use of tools like Microsoft Teams to facilitate work-related and general chat. Additionally, social activities, optional office days and regular company events that enable face-to-face interaction are key components of a positive hybrid work model culture.
Recent studies show that 64% of hybrid and 66% of remote workers reported the positive impact that a strong workplace culture had on their job satisfaction (Gartner).These statistics suggest that the transition to the hybrid working model has been a beneficial one in most cases, with company culture playing a vital role.
So how do we do this?
Building a successful positive culture begins with trust, ensuring that every member of the team has the tools and resources needed to stay in touch and maintain high productivity levels. Barriers to remote working should be recognised with a solution acted upon to ease the transition into this hybrid way of working.
Here are 9 tips for creating a company culture based on the hybrid working model:
- Establish clear communication channels: Ensure that everyone is aware of the communication channels available to them and how to use them effectively and consistently.
- Set clear expectations: Whether you’re working remotely or in the office it is important to clarify expectations such as core working hours, deadlines, and what tasks need to be completed and when.
- Foster a sense of community: Even if some employees are working remotely, it’s important to create a sense of community within the team. Encourage regular team meetings, either in person or via video conferencing, and organise team-building activities to help build a sense of togetherness.
- Provide the right tools and technology: It is crucial that all employees have access to the right tools and technology they need to do their jobs effectively. This might include laptops, software, office chairs and access to high-speed internet.
- Encourage flexibility: Hybrid working allows for a more flexible approach to work. Encourage your employees to take advantage of this flexibility, whether it’s by adjusting their working hours or working from a different location.
- Set boundaries: It’s important to set boundaries to ensure that employees don’t end up working too much or too little. Encourage them to switch off at the end of the day and not to work during their time off. Work needs to be separate from home life.
- Provide support and training: Some employees might find it difficult to adjust to hybrid working. Provide support and training to help them adapt and make the most of the new working arrangements.
- Monitor progress and productivity: Keeping track of your employees’ progress and productivity will help you identify any issues or further barriers and make adjustments as needed.
- Continuously evaluate and adapt: Hybrid working is a new way of working, and it’s important to continuously evaluate and adapt your approach to ensure that it’s working for everyone. Be open to feedback and make changes as needed to ensure that your employees are happy, healthy, and productive.
The key then is to maintain that feeling of connectedness, breakdown barriers to homeworking, ensure everyone has the right tools and resources to work effectively, and prioritise regular touch points with the wider team.
A healthy organisational culture is difficult – but it is possible. It’s easy to feel like organisational culture is an unseen, unchangeable force over which you have no control, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. When done right, changing organisational culture can be a smooth and successful process with tangible benefits. Get in touch today to see how you could kick start your culture journey!