Most organizations have expressed that it is challenging to maintain company culture while working remotely or in a hybrid environment, a combination of employees working in the office and remotely. How do you keep your workplace culture consistent between those who work in-office and those working from anywhere? And - more importantly - how do you avoid favoring one group of team members (e.g. in-person) over another (e.g. remote workers)?
As HR professionals, we have found the same principles that apply when teams work in-office are the same as when they’re split between office and remote. Leaders in organizations with a hybrid environment must provide the appropriate tools to implement inclusivity for all employees, regardless of location. The goal is for all employees to feel connected and have an experience consistent with that of their peers to remain productive.
If your team is transitioning to a hybrid work model, here are some recommendations for you to consider:
Focus on the team...
- Create a space where people can build personal connections by sharing experiences. You can start a channel in Slack or utilize an integrated app focusing on virtual coffee with peers like Donut.
- Identify a shared purpose - does your team love dogs? Volunteering at the local food shelter? Percent Pledge creates customized corporate philanthropy programs that help connect increasingly distributed teams by supporting their communities, supporting charitable causes of their choice, and uniting team members through virtual and in-person volunteering.
...but also focus on the individual
- Help your employees excel by providing development opportunities such as accredited courses, virtual experiences, or online learning.
- Rewards and recognition is a decade-old philosophy that HR leaders have continued to implement. It works! Be inclusive, be specific, and be frequent. Implement the PERKS marketplace as a supplement to providing an awesome company culture for your team.
Foster a culture of trust and belonging
- Keep an open-door policy, whether that’s literal or figurative. With recent events, allow an environment where people feel comfortable asking questions and sharing personal struggles.
- Be understanding, regardless of whether your team member is in-office or remote.
- Make sure everything, from communications to processes, is documented and written in a place everyone can access.
There are many ways to ensure that your organization is implementing a positive workplace culture. The key mentality to uphold is to maintain one cohesive culture without separating or categorizing your teams as “in-house” vs. “remote” - or “contractor” vs. “employee.” Keep your team united by thinking of them as equal individuals who all contribute uniquely to your organization’s goals.