How to maintain the social glue on the hybrid workplace

28-05-2021 How do you ensure the "social glue" that binds the organization together and enforces the corporate culture when you no longer see each other at the coffee machine or sit together for lunch?

The hybrid workplace is a concept that has existed for a long time, but during the Corona crisis, it became something everyone became acquainted with. Suddenly we were left with empty office buildings and workplaces where months could pass between meeting your colleagues face to face. Even now, when the vaccinations are well underway and we can eat at restaurants again, there are still many who work from home. Some returned to their desks as soon as they could, while others will continue to work from home. The hybrid workplace is here to stay.

The hybrid workplace increases productivity

Fortunately, many people's fears were refuted: Working from home does not equate unmotivated and inefficient employees: on the contrary, productivity has increased. The majority of the workforce (70%) even wants to keep the flexible workplace, as it has made everyday life easier for many. There is less time spent on commuting, it's easier to pick up your child from daycare and the grocery shopping can get done during the lunch break rather than in the middle of rush hour.

Social relationships deteriorate in the hybrid workplace

However, there is one aspect of the hybrid workplace that employers should be aware of: 65% miss spending more time with their team, not to mention the colleagues you do not work with on a daily basis. Because when you can no longer meet by chance at the coffee machine or talk together over lunch in the canteen, it requires an active effort to keep strong social relations.

"But I go to work to work, not to make friends" some people might say. However, this is not an attitude that pays off. Especially not for the workplace. Deloitte has discovered that workplaces that proactively nurture the corporate culture has a turn over of 516% more than those who do not, over a 10-year period.

In addition, Forbes has found that social attachment in the workplace provides:

  1. Increased employee satisfaction
  2. Less stress
  3. Increased commitment
  4. Increased loyalty
  5. A healthier life

Together apart

The social connections do not happen on their own, especially not in the hybrid workplace - extra effort must be made. For how can one create social relationships when home office, geographical separation and online meetings are the new everyday? We have some good suggestions for that. We have investigated which initiatives we have created ourselves, as well as what our customers and partners have done.

Online events:

When you can not meet physically, it is lucky that today's technology allows us to meet online. It has its limitations, but there are also many events that can easily be done online. Be it Friday bar, lotteries and online training.

Onboarding:

It has not been easy to start a new job while everyone was working from home. In ProActive, we have made space in the onboarding of new colleagues so that they could meet their new team 1:1 online. This is done via meetings with a team member, where there is a fixed topic about eg. time registration, most used tools, etc.

Tastings:

Many workplaces have also arranged tastings. Eg wine tasting, chocolate tasting, cheese tasting etc. This simply requires that you find a supplier who can mail out the samples to the registered colleagues.

Podcast:

In recent months, ProActive has released an internal podcast to make up for lost talk at the coffee machine. In each episode, one or more of our own colleagues participate, so you can get to know them better, also when it comes to other things than work.

Staff relay:

Many workplaces have gained great value from so-called employee relays on their intranet. Here you can focus on a new employee with a fixed frequency, who, for example, answers a set of interview questions. The employee must then pass on the baton to the colleague who is to appear next time.

See many more examples from ourselves and our customers on social activities in the video (in Danish) to the right.

How to maintain the social glue on the hybrid workplace: