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Culture Club: To Office Or Not To Office!

We have grown accustomed to the flexibility and autonomy that come with remote work. With dogs by our feet and coffee on demand, we can even squeeze in some exercise or even a leisurely lunchtime walk. Plus, the absence of a commute is consistently highlighted as the best part by our surveyed employees!

As a result, companies are struggling to figure out how to attract their employees back to the office. Why would anyone endure the commute if the workplace fails to offer anything in addition to what they have at home? If people are choosing to stay away, there may be a more profound issue, often rooted in organisational culture. So, the solution lies in starting with creating a culture that employees truly love.

However, it's important to understand that building an ideal workplace culture extends beyond mere perks like ping pong tables or free food. While these elements are still important, it is also about creating an environment that supports employees' needs and values, nurturing a sense of community and purpose. And if companies want to attract employees back to the office, they need to be willing to put in the work.

Why a Great Workplace Culture Matters?

A great workplace culture is essential for attracting and retaining top talent. Research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management revealed that companies with a positive workplace culture experience elevated levels of employee engagement, productivity, and retention. Additionally, a positive culture can lead to increased innovation, collaboration, and employee wellbeing.

Here are some suggestions for creating the right workplace culture:

1. Define Your Company Values

It is crucial to define your company’s core values and ensure they are integrated into every facet of your organisation. This includes incorporating them into the onboarding process, allowing new employees to understand and embrace these values from the very beginning, leading to a stronger sense of belonging within the community. Regular communication of these values is key, whether through company-wide meetings, newsletters, or internal messaging platforms. When employees understand and embrace your values, they become the foundation of your workplace culture.

2. Focus on What Employees Really Want

While some companies assume that employees want a fun and laid-back workplace with trendy amenities, the truth is that what people really want is a workplace that supports their wellbeing, professional growth and positive relationships. It is crucial to prioritise elements such as work-life balance, providing opportunities for professional development, and supportive management practices.

3. Foster Collaboration and Open Communication

Encourage open communication and collaboration within your organisation. Provide opportunities for employees to connect and build relationships, both within and beyond the office environment. Whether it's team-building activities, mentorship programs, or affinity groups, fostering a sense of community will strengthen your workplace culture. In fact, a study by Gallup found that employees who have a close friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their job. So, creating opportunities to build relationships will make your workplace a more enjoyable place to be.

4. Empower and Support Your Employees

Empower your employees by giving them autonomy and providing opportunities for growth and development. Encourage continuous learning and offer resources for skill-building. When employees feel supported in their personal and professional development, they are more likely to be committed to your organisation. By investing in their growth, you foster a sense of loyalty and motivation among your workforce.

5. Prioritise Work-Life Integration

Promote work-life integration by encouraging flexible schedules, remote working options, and wellbeing programs. Show your employees that you value their wellbeing and give them environments where they have areas to decompress and relax.

6. Build a Sense of Community and Purpose

People want to feel like they're part of something bigger than themselves. Create a workplace culture that fosters a sense of community and purpose, where employees feel like they're contributing to something meaningful. Create a safe environment and offer opportunities to participate in volunteering opportunities and social events.

7. Embrace Diversity and Inclusion

In order to attract and retain top talent, companies need to prioritise diversity and inclusion, which encompasses creating a workplace culture that embraces and respects individuals of all backgrounds and identities. This also includes seeking out diverse perspectives and experiences. An integral part of this commitment is recognising and valuing neurodiversity, understanding and accommodating the unique strengths and perspectives of individuals with neurological differences.

8. Involve People in Your Office Design

An attractive office design can play a significant role in attracting people back to the office. According to a survey by HR software company Hibob, 70% of employees said they would feel more motivated to come to the office if it featured an improved design. Great office design starts with understanding people’s needs and creating a range of workspaces, from collaborative areas to private offices, to accommodate different work styles. Involving your teams will create buy-in and engagement.

9. Embrace Technology

Technology can streamline work processes and enhance collaboration. Incorporate tools like video conferencing systems, digital whiteboards, and shared workspaces to encourage communication and productivity. By leveraging these technologies, you create an environment where teamwork and information sharing become effortless, ultimately driving efficiency and promoting effective collaboration among employees.

10. Recognise and Reward Success

Take the time to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of your employees. Recognise their achievements, reward and celebrate their hard work and collective success together. Implement a recognition program that highlights exceptional performance and fosters a culture of appreciation. Even small gestures of recognition can have a significant impact on morale and motivation.


 

Creating a great workplace culture and office design takes time and effort, but the rewards are well worth it. By prioritising your employees' wellbeing and creating an inspiring and functional workspace, you can attract and retain top talent, increase employee engagement and productivity, and ultimately drive your business towards greater success.

Looking to optimise your workplace experience? We can help! Get in touch. 

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