Is Work From Home Killing Corporate Culture?

Calibro Workspace Office Design and Fitout Specialists Northern Ireland - Work from home culture killer

The COVID-19 pandemic steered organisations into an era of remote work quicker than could ever have been anticipated.  As the world adjusted to virtual meetings, and organisations strived to create a ‘new office norm’, one clear universal challenge became apparent for organisations across the globe…just how do we keep our corporate culture alive in this new era of work from home?

This blog explores whether the work from home model is slowly killing the corporate brand culture or if it is merely transforming it. By examining the advantages and challenges of remote work, we can gain a deeper understanding of how organisations can adapt and continue to build a strong corporate brand culture in this evolving landscape.

Redefining the communications strategy:

One of the primary concerns about remote work is the loss of face-to-face interactions and spontaneous office conversations which often ignite creativity and facilitate ‘outside the box’ thinking. However, advancements in technology and virtual collaboration tools have enabled teams to communicate effectively, albeit in a different format and without the daily commute to a shared workspace. Video conferencing, instant messaging platforms, and project management tools have become integral in maintaining connectivity and facilitating collaboration between teams. With the right tools and strategies in place, organizations can create a virtual environment that encourages engagement and cultivates a sense of community, while also improving productivity, streamlining processes and adapting new strategies for project management.

Calibro Workspace Office Design and Fitout Specialists Northern Ireland - Work from home culture killer

Embracing Flexibility and Finding the Work-Life Balance:

Remote working has offered employees greater flexibility and the ability to achieve a healthier work-life balance, which quite simply was not available for some organizations pre-pandemic.  This shift has positive implications for corporate brand culture, as it demonstrates an organization’s commitment to employee wellbeing, and maintaining a happy and healthy workforce, which in turn can help to boost staff retention in the long term.

By focusing on flexibility, and demonstrating a clear understanding of the needs of their employees, organisations can build a strong brand culture that values work-life balance, fosters brand loyalty, and results in a satisfied and retained workforce.

Also, showcasing flexibility and high employee retention can act as some of the strongest marketing tactics to attract top talent to an organisation, and strongly contribute to portraying a positive corporate brand perception.

According to ONS data, in February 2022, 78% of employees working from home felt that being able to work from home gave them an improved work-life balance. However, the report also found that remote and hybrid working could lead to the blurring of work-life boundaries and a feeling of pressure to always be available online which could result in a negative impact on employee wellbeing and overall company culture.

Regular check-ins with employees on their current working arrangements is essential to ensure they feel supported to perform their role effectively and maintain work-life balance.

Nurturing a Virtual Culture:

Creating a strong corporate brand culture in a remote work environment requires a deliberate focus on building a strong virtual culture. There are a number of ways in which organisations can put focus on team building outside of the traditional office setting such as virtual team-building activities, online social events, and the implementation of digital internal communications platforms to foster connection and encourage engagement.

Encouraging open communication, creating a system that rewards achievements, even if this is not in person, and maintaining transparency are all vital elements to creating thriving corporate culture away from the traditional office workspace.

Creating a destination workspace:

As recent studies have shown, although many employees have thrived on the flexibility which working from home can bring, others have missed the human interaction and have warmly welcomed a new hybrid working model being adopted by many global organisations.

A recent report from Statista highlights the growth of hybrid working with 39% of workers in the UK recorded working from home and 73% having travelled to work in the last seven days.  In April 2020, at the height of the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic, almost 50% of UK workers were working from home, and just 31% percent of people were traveling to work which clearly indicates a return to the office for many employees but possibly not in the traditional five days per week routine.

A combination of both office based and work from home working can still facilitate flexibility, whilst providing a place for employees to ‘belong’ if they so wish to escape the distractions that working from home can often bring.

Calibro Workspace Office Design and Fitout Specialists Northern Ireland - Work from home culture killer

At Calibro we are finding that employers are now, more so than ever before, focused on creating workspaces that facilitate hybrid working styles to help strengthen their corporate brand culture as they understand the changing needs of their employees, and indeed the global workforce market. By maintaining an office presence, albeit in a slightly adapted format to the traditional office space, employees have somewhere they can go to engage with other employees, collaborate and gain a strong sense of belonging steeped in a company’s brand and culture.

Providing a destination workspace that enables flexibility and adaptability, rather than the traditional 9-5pm working with one dedicated desk per person and a stringent routine, is proving advantageous and is helping to reinforce corporate culture based on the needs and wellbeing of the employees rather than solely the needs of the organization.

In conclusion:

While work from home has undeniably reshaped the corporate landscape, it is not inherently killing the corporate brand culture. Rather, it is transforming how organizations approach culture-building and reshaping the look and feel of the traditional workspace. By embracing virtual interactions, prioritizing flexibility, nurturing a mix of virtual and traditional culture, and overcoming challenges, companies can adapt and continue to build a strong brand culture that attracts and retrains top talent.

If you are interested in creating a destination workspace that facilities hybrid working get in touch today or call +44 (0)28 9442 5200.


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