Culture and the New World of Work
The way we work has changed. While employers had been experimenting with remote and hybrid work models for years before the COVID pandemic, that event accelerated the reliance on technology and Work from Home (WFH).
Though countless employers have begun initiating Return to Office (RTO) plans, research by Mercer shows that most will continue to offer remote and hybrid options, often to attract and retain talent. But this approach also raises concerns, with a majority of corporate leaders (51%) expressing reservations about the impact of these models on corporate culture, as noted in the same study by Mercer. This concern goes beyond employers to the employees themselves, with large percentages of remote workers feeling left out of company culture, according to the Harvard Business Review.
While there are certainly advantages of hybrid and remote work models for both employers (attracting a wider array of talent, lower operating costs) and employees (better work-life balance, a more affordable lifestyle), the downside to an organization is a talent pool that operates more like siloed independent contractors than a cohesive and unified team that’s loyal to each other and committed to a common mission.
For those organizations prioritizing RTO, fostering a collaborative and welcoming culture is essential. As research from Poly and Worktech Academy points out, employers hoping to attract workers back to the office will need to curate a culture that makes the commute worthwhile in the minds of associates. This includes finding ways to bring down silos between teams and create a cross-functional environment where employees feel they have a voice and their input is welcomed.
Focusing on curating an effective corporate culture can pay long-term dividends. Research by PwC shows that employees who consider themselves engaged in the workplace are 87 percent less likely to resign than those who don’t. Gallup has found that workplaces with cultures that encourage employee engagement are also more profitable.
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