Maintaining Office Culture in the COVID-19 World
With work moving offsite for many businesses, it’s understandable that business culture would be impacted as physical communication and connection between people becomes less frequent. The decrease in physical socialisation is likely to have an affect on office culture and the internal support systems. Without sharing a physical space with someone, it can become less likely that incidental chats will happen, and that team spirit dissipates.
Now with social chats and staff bonding reducing, how do we encourage a positive office culture and team collaboration? Many business and staff pride themselves on positive and supporting office cultures. But without the shared physical space in which this culture can grow and develop, what is the future for an online office culture?
There are a few ways in which business leaders can promote and encourage positive office culture despite a remote working workforce:
- Regular video chats that are beyond business
To have meaningful connections there must be common interest, and often these are found beyond just work. In the ‘work from home’ era we are now living in, some companies are setting up ‘social dates’ over zoom so staff can get to know their colleagues better. Encouraging the occasional team meeting, and devoting a good section of time to just casual catch ups rather than just getting into work, is a great way to help boost a team culture and trust. Everyone who’s working remotely is bound to have some interesting insights into what their change in working life is like. And for those who are in areas where restrictions are lifting, returning to restaurants and shaking peoples hands again can come up with its own range of funny stories and feelings.
- Show care for others
The old adage, people don’t know how much you know until they know how much you care, works in any circumstance. Letting employees and coworkers know that they’re supported by their managers will give them more confidence and create a unified business’ culture. Implementing mental health check ins, weekly Zoom meditation or yoga sessions, and other wellness resources that employees can opt into, just like you would in your physical office, will help them feel like their wellness is thought of and cared for, even when you’re not physically sharing a space.
- Space is everything
While we can’t all be in one place at the one time right now, maintaining a positive, empowering and effective space to work in is one of the key ingredients to promoting positive office culture. Whether that be offering tips and tricks on how to create an effective home office environment (for help, you can find our favourite tips here), or sending out small care packages that include things like business branded mouse pad or treats like chocolate, tea or coffee, can help make a home office and the person working in it feel like they’re part of a business culture community.
- Promote the physical office
Whether they’re looking forward to getting back to the workspace, or the delay is one that is working for them, boosting excitement for the impending return to the physical office can help increase office culture and team spirit. Promoting small changes that will have a big impact on staff can help you achieve this. Whether it’s a revamped lounge area, and inclusion of peaceful breakout spaces, or new appliances in the kitchen, making the physical office a place where staff can be excited to return to can help increase their positivity in their office culture. You can find our favourite tips on how to make your physical office one that works for the future of office spaces in the post-COVID world here.
Whether you’ve returned to the workplace, or you’re still waiting on the call, keeping positive office culture is key to helping staff feel motivated and empowered. While we’ve all been working from home, it’s likely that a sense of connection to the office culture has diminished. But by making employees feel supported, excited for the future, and always considered, you can help boost your office morale despite the move to remote working. For more tips and tricks sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter here.