How technology can support a strong workplace environment.
A new model of work
The modern workplace has transformed from the traditional in-office format to a hybrid structure that incorporates in-office and remote work.
This work-from-anywhere model is here to stay. But when employees are working from different locations, it can be challenging to foster inclusion and belonging. Yet it’s so important, because you don’t want an organization with two (or more) staff cultures. You need the strength of one cohesive team if you’re going to be competitive, productive, and innovative.
Management consulting firm McKinsey examined this issue in depth and concluded that, “Approached in the right way, the new hybrid model can help you make the most of talent wherever it resides, while lowering costs and making your organization’s performance culture even stronger than before.”
To build and maintain a successful collaborative culture in the hybrid world, you need to establish trust and encourage mentorship and connections. Set up a buddy system that pairs employees in the office with those working elsewhere, and partner people on different teams in order to promote a stronger culture. Employees with relationships beyond their immediate team reported being happier with their employer (76% versus 57%), according to Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trends report.
There’s also the possibility within a hybrid model that some people will feel the need to be always-on, particularly if they aren’t working where their manager can see them. In 2021, Microsoft’s Work Trends report found that the pandemic-driven move to remote work came with a human cost: 54% of employees said they felt overworked, and 39% felt exhausted.
Don’t let that happen in your environment. Encourage employee downtime, set less stringent email response times, and build a culture of balance. Build opportunities for personal chats and check-ins at the start or end of meetings and calls. Highlight successes and build in moments for your teams to build real relationships.
The importance of IT in establishing a healthy corporate culture
Technology can – and must – support the development of a strong corporate culture in a hybrid workplace, by giving employees the tools they need to work when and where they want, including:
– Real-time or asynchronous communications
– Anytime access to files
– Safe and secure data
Ensure you create an environment in which both remote and in-person workers are equally valued and have similar tools to do their jobs, such as hardware, apps, and network access.
After all, it’s technology that is truly enabling hybrid work, and as a result IT has an important role to play in building a positive organizational culture in which everyone feels recognized, appreciated, and set up to thrive.
Read our Hybrid Workplace eBook here to learn how you can effectively make the shift while maintaining a cohesive culture for all employees.
Read all about setting up your technology to thrive in the work-from-anywhere world, in our eBook.
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