Company culture was something that was once used synonymously with a Thursday night drink and a ping-pong table in the office. However, over the course of the pandemic, the term has begun to mean much more.
As workers have worked remotely, there has been a longing for the company culture that is established through interaction in physical offices.
At least, this is what O C Tanner’s 2022 Global Culture Report found.
The employee recognition software company analyzed the perspectives of over 38,000 employees, leaders, HR practitioners, and executives from 21 countries around the world to get a clearer picture of company cultures.
O C Tanner’s study found that 87% of US workers recognize the value of the office for fostering company culture. Despite this need for an office, how frequently employees meet is a point of division.
Only 19% of those surveyed believe that employees should be in the office for five days a week to feel connected. The same percentage said that three days would be preferred.
Behind these choices were 15% of respondents who would enjoy coming into the office two days a week, and 12% who would want just one day a week in the office.
Robert Ordever, MD of workplace culture expert, O C Tanner Europe, commented on the findings: “It’s no surprise that workers can see the difficulties of developing a strong connection to organizational culture when fully remote working.”
“Being physically together in the office allows for collaboration, innovation, and connection – all harder to achieve at a distance. In fact, the office is vital for facilitating social interaction, storytelling, and memory-making, all of which nurture a strong workplace culture.”
Evidently, opinion is broadly split on how much time is required in an office. Nonetheless, culture is desired by the majority of employees. In order to do this from home, employers may consider utilizing technology.
The likes of WorkBuzz enable companies to get real-time feedback from employees and see areas that are causing issues. By implementing this kind of tool, a business can take action that improves the culture they are aiming to achieve in a hybrid or remote working environment.
Additionally, when it comes to wellbeing, Headspace for Work can be used to give employees time to decompress and meditate. This tool can be used as a counterbalance to the pressures of an always working environment that can develop at home.
As we move into hybrid working setups, the issues surrounding company culture will undoubtedly ease as employees interact. Nonetheless, technology may help employees when they can’t make it to the office.
Looking forward, Ordever said: “For the sake of organizational culture as well as overall business success, it’s important that a balance remains between home and office working, avoiding a shift towards total remote working.
“Offices are now cultural incubators, providing employees with the best opportunity to connect to the organization, their leaders, and each other. Should offices be taken away, corporate culture could be irreversibly damaged.”