How to Maintain a Strong Workplace Culture when Working from Home
In our day and age, we are seeing constant shifts in our traditional workplace cultures and environments, as more people work from the comfort of their homes. Following the devastating effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, more people have moved to working completely remotely and imposed restrictions have left companies and the overall employee morale in an unsteady state. Thus, in amidst these challenging times, adopting and maintaining a solid workplace culture for a smooth transition into remote working is essential to the fundamental survival of any successful business.
The shift to remote working
Traditionally, a healthy workplace culture comprised of companies pursuing a strong reputation for their brand through several channels to attract and retain their employees. Employees would essentially go back and forth from their companies and homes to strictly abide to their 9-5 schedules. Today, technological advancements and progressive industries have pushed for new and innovative approaches to promote the workplace culture for employees working from home. Concurrently, the work-at-home model has given the employees the power to adapt to their individual circumstances and calendars. By implementing strategic outlines and flexible work arrangements, in line with the business objectives, organisations have gained the ability to mutually maximise their workplace culture whilst boosting workers productivity, employee satisfaction and morale.
Flexible work environments
In our digital age, a company can have countless workers from around the globe working collaboratively on one task. Thus, giving employees the power to adjust their schedule towards their needs and preferences, whilst working at home will allow them to solidify their practices and work life balance. In this sense, it is important that companies focus less on the time it takes an employee to finish a task and more on the quality of the final result. Meetings and dates may need to be flexible to accommodate for all employees’ needs, whether that be for major time differences or personal circumstances. Additionally, as employees have a greater flexibility to manage their hours and tasks, they are essentially responsible for their productivity. This sets a bar of expectations and can motivate employees to stay healthy, happy and efficient in all their undertakings. Making sure every employee feels valued and a sense of belonging is crucial, and thus giving employees the freedom and power to arrange their work tasks with regular assessments will ensure sustained employee satisfaction and reinforce the companies culture in the long run.
Defining and Refining Companies Values
Most importantly, a company must be able to define and refine their core values, for all employees in differing work conditions. In all stages of work, employees must be able to approach these values and define them in their day to day activities. Managers and employees must have mutually beneficial relationships, where engagement, communication, and employee satisfaction are deeply embedded in the company’s values. Employee retention is evidence of a strong workplace culture, and by nurturing employees from the company’s outset the employees will feel included in an open and inclusive culture that does not hinder or neglect any party. A business that is able to entrench these values and refine their values to meet employee expectations will increase an employee’s dedication to the company and result in maximised productivity and mindfulness to the company’s culture.
Utilising collaborative tools
Advances in technology mediums have facilitated an online space where collaboration has never been easier. By utilising these platforms such as Zoom and Skype, companies can make the most out of these spaces by integrating interactive activities and development tasks in groups. These programs would develop bonds for employees in a virtual space and allow them to work together more efficiently and effectively at any given time. This would further increase external collaboration methods, with other stakeholders, clients and services which allows for limitless connections and capabilities for the company. In addition, cloud software that provides the company’s internal users with an online platform to store files, share ideas and client contacts can instantaneously benefit employees as they have a unified online medium to facilitate discussions and gather resources from the company. This can foster a productive and positive culture for any business that successfully utilises these softwares.
Clear communication and guidelines
An easily and readily accessible communication and information channel is pivotal to a cohesive and effective working environment. Working from home can easily create miscommunication and thereby a lack of sufficient interaction amongst employees and managers. The company must be able to provide sufficient guidelines for employees through various communication branches and be open to collaborative methods for setting realistic and achievable goals. Nothing is harder than unrealistic targets and working agendas for employees already having to cope with shifting working environments. Hence, by clearly outlining the employees set tasks and roles throughout the working day, managers can be aware of employee’s roles and give instant feedback to assess their processes and tasks for a greater result. Further, employees can be kept responsible for their underperformance or unproductive tasks, which will significantly promote efficiency and transparency in tasks which is essential to building up a strong workplace culture in one’s home environment.
Although it may be challenging to fully maintain the strong workplace culture at home, these rapidly shifting times have proven that elements such as these have supported the employees shifting to remote working. By providing a devoted communication channel and setting clear goals for each and every employee no matter their working conditions, will evidently enhance and sustain the strong workplace culture and relations for all employees.