Company culture dilution

Written by Mairead Simons

The pandemic and restrictions placed upon us have pushed many companies to move to a remote or hybrid way of working. Many businesses have found that this works best for them, and have no intentions of returning to paying hefty office rent bills when working from home can work just as well for them. Although this way of working can be great for productivity and flexibility for workers, company culture is something that can be neglected when not all staff members are working within the same building.

Without face-to-face interaction, it can be difficult for employees to feel connected to their team and to integrate new members. Large offices full of like-minded individuals could soon be a thing of the past, replaced with team calls once a day. Company culture is often thought to be grown through group activities and engaging in close contact with colleagues, this is evidently more difficult with workers being spread out across the country.

Without a clear company culture and a sense of belonging within your company, it may be harder to retain talent, as more engaged staff members will have more loyalty to their positions. It also may be harder to implement rules and behaviours without daily interaction with employees. Standards may start to slip in regard to time management and absences if there isn’t a fear of being ‘caught out’, so it needs to be outlined very clearly to employees that despite remote working, there are rules to be observed.

Company culture dilution can also have an effect on productivity. Incentives including team days out can often motivate staff to be more productive and try to reach goals. Celebrating successes will increase the desire to be successful again, so taking away rewards that are associated with working in the office could have a huge impact on your team. A way to get around this would be, despite remote working, planning fun activities to do as a team, in a no-working environment. This will help new members to get to know their team, as well as be a great incentive for success.

Staying connected with your team despite remote working is not impossible though, and realistically it is possible for company culture to stay intact. Video calls are a great alternative and can help teams become stronger and more tight knit, providing vital interaction for home workers. Quizzes and games over video calls can also provide important team building.

As office working returns, it will be interesting to see how companies adjust and company culture is affected. It is possible that a return to the office could see more engaged employees and a happier workforce. However, some employees are going to wish to stay remote working forever, so getting the balance right for your business will be crucial.

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