Commercial Moving

Adapting together: Strategies for maintaining corporate culture in hybrid workspaces

Post-pandemic work trends have changed the corporate environment forever. The global shift to hybrid work has caused organizations to rewrite the rules of corporate culture and redefine how employees interact with each other and the business as a whole.

Below we explore innovative strategies that foster communication, connection, and adaptability in virtual and physical workspaces, establishing a blueprint for a robust corporate culture in the new hybrid era of work.

Workplace trends post-COVID

Post-COVID offices are expected to offer a greater degree of flexibility to their employees. In fact, workplace flexibility trends seem to be the driving factor in organizational culture adaptation, as employers strive to navigate the evolving needs of the workforce.

Citrix’s Work 2035, a year-long investigation into global work patterns and how they will impact the workforce over the coming years, found that 88% of knowledge workers seek out positions that offer total flexibility in both hours and location.

Corporate culture in hybrid workspacesAnother 76% of those surveyed indicated that these ongoing trends will continue to shape the future of work dynamics, allowing employees to “prioritize lifestyle (family and personal interests) over proximity to work” and “pursue jobs in locations where they can focus on both.” This push for greater flexibility has already led to company restructuring, with 58% of business leaders looking to reduce their current office space.

Adapting corporate culture to meet these changes will inevitably require an increased emphasis on hybrid workforce management and remote collaboration, especially if employers wish to stay competitive in the fight for talented employees. According to another survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, flexible working arrangements, including the ability to work remotely, ranked among the top three motivating factors for employees to seek a new job.

Clearly, hybrid work became a necessity during the pandemic, and, for many employees, it remains an essential component to work-life balance.

Hybrid work strategies for corporate culture preservation

So, what does corporate culture look like in a hybrid work environment? While the precise answer to that question will vary from business to business, two fundamental features of company culture are important to employees in all environments: connectedness and alignment. According to the Harvard Business Review, connectedness refers to an employee’s ability to identify with and care about company culture while alignment means that they know the culture and believe it is right.

Fostering employee connectedness

Remote workers may find themselves feeling disconnected from the rest of the corporate community, resulting in a lack of visibility and communication that disrupts team cohesion in hybrid settings. Hybrid employees aren’t always aware of revelations that come about from in-office conversations, leaving them unable to contribute ideas or act on new information. Some workers might also be slightly disadvantaged when it comes to promotions or decision-making, as they are unable to ensure their inclusion in these matters from afar.

To overcome these community challenges, especially when promoting workplace equality for minority groups, talent expert Bryan Hancock recommends intentional management. “Set norms so that people who are not in the office feel included,” he said in an interview on McKinsey Talks Talent. “For example, make sure everybody in a conference room is on their own individual video screen. Update messaging app channels to reflect conversations that happened in the office. Follow up to see how remote workers are doing and what their underlying needs are.”

By incorporating these strategies into the average workday, business leaders can take steps to ensure that all employees have equal opportunities to engage with the community and connect with their peers.

Prioritizing alignment and employee engagement in hybrid workplaces

The in-office environment provides an innate sense of shared purpose among present employees. Simply being in the same building with the ability to chat about current company events creates a motivating sense of engagement and an understanding of how each employee slots into the overall corporate strategy. Since hybrid teams are often separated from one another, this sense of purpose may not be as clearly felt or established, diminishing employee morale and compromising their alignment with company culture.

Business leaders will once again need to take a proactive approach to counteract the fragmentation of their workforce. Forbes emphasizes “discussing the big picture of the overall goals and ensuring people feel their work is uniquely connected and necessary to the success of the organization.” In other words, find ways to clearly communicate what each person needs to accomplish and demonstrate how those tasks actively contribute to both daily and big-picture measurements of success.

The evolving dynamics of the hybrid work revolution underscore a growing need for organizations to prioritize flexibility and inclusivity by making a conscious effort to ensure equal opportunities and nurture a shared identity. Embracing these insights will empower business leaders to cultivate a resilient and adaptive corporate culture.