One of the greatest losses through the pandemic is connectivity. Those moments when you are face-to-face, interacting with your family, friends, and coworkers, vanished when quarantine entered the world and shifted our daily operations. As we begin to see a decline in cases and a slow return to normalcy, things will look different — including the workplace.
Over the past year, many shifted to a digital working environment and are bracing for the impact of how their work-life will change once again. Although this post-pandemic world is exciting and many have been craving it for over a year, there may be some hiccups when it comes to company culture. As some choose to stay home a little bit longer and remain in the virtual workplace setting, others are making their way back to the office.
Developing a strong remote culture was a previous challenge and with scattered working conditions, how do leaders ensure the company culture will remain intact? Here are three tips to avoid a fractured company culture.
UPHOLD BOUNDARIES AMONG YOUR TEAM
Company values don’t shift based on the location of one’s workspace. Regardless of where your employees are located, your values need to remain at the forefront of organizational operations. In this virtual world, switching off seems to be an impossible and unpopular practice. Commuting to and working in an office space helps employees set necessary boundaries for when to be in and out of work mode. In contrast, those at home may push the envelope and struggle to separate the two. The infamous work-life balance has shifted dramatically with virtual adaptation since it’s more difficult to shut down when you are living and working in the same place.
Because we live in a world based on productivity, leaders must establish boundaries for all employees to maintain a resilient culture. This starts at the top and should be mirrored to the remaining coworkers. Employees can utilize helpful tips like setting a strict schedule for breaks or creating a specific space in your home solely dedicated to working. For employers, incorporate moments throughout the day to encourage your team to separate themselves from the computer and seemingly endless tasks at hand. If your company values a healthy work-life balance, make sure that is well known to all employees, remote and in-person.
REMIND YOUR EMPLOYEES THEY ARE CARED FOR
Oftentimes when we think of company culture, activities come to mind. While workout classes and company-wide picnics are great ways to gather and connect with your team members, there are different mechanisms to bring everyone together. With the challenges from the past year, we all find ourselves in unique circumstances and need to be reminded of the importance of extending kindness to your colleagues through everyday interactions.
This doesn’t mean you have to do something extravagant, but rather personalize the little things. Humanize your language when sending emails and Slack messages. Be intentional when speaking with your team rather than focusing only on the agenda at hand. When the focal point of your business is generating leads or increasing revenue, you have missed the mark of fostering a community. Lending yourself toward empathy and kindness can have positive business impacts in the long run.
SUPPORT YOUR TEAM WITH NOVEL IDEAS
Above all else, your team cannot succeed if they’re lacking support from their employer and each other. Working alongside a team is challenging, rewarding and even better when everyone has something to lean on. Think outside of the box when brainstorming new initiatives to support your employees. Fostering an inclusive culture, taking team brain breaks and prioritizing routine check-ins with each employee are just a few things you can focus on to better support your team members.
As the saying goes, “teamwork makes the dream work” — that couldn’t be more accurate when work environments vary from one member to the next. Leaders must ensure all their employees are set for success by extending help and resources where they can. It’s also vital for colleagues to support each other, providing creativity or a helping hand when needed. Effective teamwork looks different for each organization, so communicate with your team to set goals to overcome your obstacles.
With the workplace changing day-by-day, it’s your job to rise to the occasion and ensure you have trusted team members working alongside each other. When this becomes a priority to team leaders, your company culture will be better off.