How do you maintain culture in a hybrid workplace?

From cultivating a culture of collaboration and risk-taking to matching remote workers with a buddy, here are 15 answers to the question, “What are the most effective ways that companies can maintain a good culture in a hybrid workplace?”

Encourage Collaboration and Risk-taking

One way companies can maintain their culture in a hybrid workplace is by offering unique online workshops. An uncommon example could be an online “face your fear” workshop where team members challenge one another by trying various activities that push boundaries or make them uncomfortable, like public speaking or skydiving.

This encourages collaboration and harnesses risk-taking in a safe environment, thus helping to evaluate potential, build trust, and establish shared values between teams. Ultimately, it strengthens the company’s culture as people come together with different ideas, identities, and talents—all while working remotely.

Tasia Duske, CEO, Museum Hack

Grow an Active Mentorship Program

The best thing about a mentorship program is that it involves equal participation from the leadership team and the workforce, bringing the entire organization to life. Moreover, regardless of whether a team is remote, hybrid, or office-based, the impact of a mentorship program remains the same.

The reason is simple: when mentoring an employee, a leader only needs minimal interaction to create a powerful impact, making challenges such as time difference irrelevant. Similarly, employees find it easier to engage with mentors, knowing that even the briefest interactions and inputs leave them with enough work to do.

Another advantage of committing to an active mentorship program, especially in a hybrid environment, is that every employee can now play an equal role regardless of their work environment and reap the same benefits.

Riley Beam, Managing Attorney, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.

Prioritize Fairness

While most companies that have hybrid models concentrate on accountability, maintaining a sense of fairness is actually a more critical component in maintaining culture.

Hybrid work models are susceptible to creating an appearance of favoritism, as everything from time in the office to access to equipment can fray trust and cause a positive environment to deteriorate. Watching your language descriptions of responsibilities, making efforts to provide equal access to desired equipment, providing additional PTO for those who are required to be in the office full-time, and continually reassessing to maintain a balance between the various work models, is necessary to ensure that you are trying to be fair.

By making efforts to be balanced and avoiding creating “haves” and “have-nots” groups, you will create a sense of fairness and maintain a positive company culture in a hybrid workplace.

David Derigiotis, CIO, Embroker

Try Hoteling Software

Hybrid workers need better technology, to be sure, and the immediate demand for cloud-based access to software, increased bandwidth for home offices, and enhanced video has been met. But businesses that want to stay proactive and enhance their company culture for hybrid workers need to go further, knowing that a technology breakdown can have a negative impact on workplace morale and affect employee retention.

Many organizations are using hoteling software, which allows workers to book a conference room, desk, or other office resources in the same way they might book a hotel. The simplicity of reserving space this way will encourage hybrid workers to come into the office and help employees optimize the workspace and their expenses much more efficiently. The easier you make it for hybrid workers to be flexible, the happier they will be.

Anthony Martin, Founder and CEO, Choice Mutual

Invest in Your Digital Workplace

For the last twenty years, I have operated on an entirely remote working basis at my agency, and the entire team does. One thing we do best is having a strong company culture.

For remote and hybrid working, the best thing you can do is invest in your digital workplace. That means getting the right tech stack in place, whether that’s Teams, Slack, or some other communications platform.

Use project management tools and document sharing to create a system of real-time collaboration. Put spaces in your work week for non-working events, like book groups, get-togethers over tea, or even playing a game or two‌ after the workday is over. Your digital workplace should feel just as welcoming as a physical office.

Matthew Stibbe, CEO, Articulate Marketing

Cultivate Digital Watercooler Sessions

It was difficult for companies to provide that flexibility while still ensuring inclusion and communication, especially when the travel industry was looking lost in the void. A hybrid team’s communication is one part, and upholding traditions is another.

There is a method to preserve that culture remotely, even if those in-person get-togethers, watercooler conversations, and team trips are crucial components. These rituals are more important than ever as we transition to a mixed working environment because they remind us we’re not alone.

Even if we don’t share the same place, we have excellent team members and co-workers who continue to work toward a similar aim. In our “show and tell” sessions, teams may highlight their hard work, giving everyone the chance to see how we are advancing and changing. Here, you can freely discuss business goals and the progress toward them. Be ready to find a new normal quickly, so just stick with what you know, but digitally.

Aiden Higgins, Senior Editor and Writer, The Broke Backpacker

Increase Feedback Frequency

As an owner of a business with a hybrid workplace, I have found that one of the most effective ways to maintain culture is to ensure that there is increased feedback and communication among staff.

We can do this in multiple ways, such as regular check-ins, and frequent surveys on how the employees are feeling, along with providing resources to help bridge any gaps between the two work environments.

Increased feedback gives team members a voice and allows everyone involved to stay connected, something that is essential when working remotely or in different locations. This creates an environment of trust and support, which helps cultivate and maintain an inclusive culture.

Ludovic Chung-Sao, Lead Engineer and Founder, Zen Soundproof

Provide Incentive-based Benefits

A good way to maintain company culture is to offer incentive-based benefits within the company. When these markers are reached by an employee, sharing them with the team at a weekly or bi-weekly Zoom meeting is a great way to highlight these moments. This will motivate employees to do well and create a sense of camaraderie among the team.

Lionel Mora, CEO, Neoplants

Implement Processes from Employee Suggestions

One way companies can maintain a culture in a hybrid workplace is by creating and implementing processes to capture the work style preferences of current and incoming employees.

For instance, offering employees an anonymous digital survey allows for frank feedback on how to adapt company policies to accommodate different learning styles and working habits. This unconventional approach can create a sense of inclusivity that mitigates any concerns staff may have about unequal treatment.

By actively addressing these differences, team members can feel secure that their individual needs are being taken into consideration when transitioning to a hybrid work environment.

Grace He, People and Culture Director,

Create Opportunities for Employees to Bond

Companies can maintain a culture in a hybrid workplace by encouraging employees to feel like they’re part of a team and creating opportunities for them to bond with each other. In a hybrid workplace, your employees may work on-site, remotely, or in both locations. They may be in different time zones or time zones that overlap.

It’s important to encourage bonding among your employees so that they feel like they’re part of one team, even if they work in different locations. You can do this by implementing regular virtual team-building activities and communication channels. This can help to promote a sense of community and connection among remote and in-office employees and can also help to foster a positive and inclusive work environment.

Kimberley Tyler-Smith, VP, Strategy and Growth, Resume Worded

Keep Communication to One Platform

Communication is key, especially for keeping the company culture thriving in a hybrid workplace. Settling in on a single communication tool can help all the team members stay on the same page, though it is easier said than done as people are slaves to their habits and stick to their Skype or WhatsApp messages even though the company has moved on to Slack or Teams.

As communication takes place through different channels, the loopholes for things to go wrong get bigger. From there, it’s only a matter of time before things fall through the cracks. Have regular stand-up meetings and foster a sense of connection among your employees.

The more communication you have, the easier it is to ensure that your employees are aligned with the company’s values and goals. Encourage everyone to speak up and don’t make those meetings just one-on-one. As you make everyone feel valued and heard, you give them a healthy workplace and the foundation of company culture.

Andreas Grant, Founder, Networks Hardware

Ensure Clarity Across Channels

In hybrid workplaces, communication is crucial for boosting teamwork and preserving culture. Clarity in terms of information accessibility and distribution is essential. Employees will become disengaged if they cannot get the knowledge they need to do their jobs or if they are not aware of the most recent updates.

Leaders must establish expectations for how and where information will be shared, as it is impossible to predict which channels and how often employees will check for updates. An expectation of being “always on” and “always available” may arise in a hybrid remote workplace.

This is often caused by the ease with which communication is accessible through various platforms and channels, creating a system that is overloaded and lacks clear expectations. Understanding the various channels and how to use them effectively can help establish clear expectations and have a positive impact on company culture.

Michael Lees, Chief Marketing Officer, EZLease

Support Comments

I think that maintaining an upbeat and active workplace culture can be achieved by concentrating on the employee experience. Encourage your staff to offer feedback, but keep your end of the bargain.

If your employees request better tools to enable them to complete their work more quickly, try your best to organize your budget accordingly and provide them with the equipment they require. I believe that employees who feel appreciated and understood are more content and effective.

Tim Parker, Director, Syntax Integration

Use Training and Development

One way companies can maintain culture in a hybrid workplace is by creating and delivering training and development programs that align with the company’s values and mission. This can include onboarding programs for new employees, ongoing training for current employees, and leadership development programs.

These programs can help to reinforce the company’s culture and ensure that all employees, whether working in-person or remotely, clearly understand the company’s expectations and goals. Companies can use their e-learning technology to facilitate virtual team-building activities and communication channels to encourage collaboration and connection among remote and in-person employees.

Ricci M, Marketing Manager, Intellek

Give New Employees a Remote Onboarding Buddy

The most important factor in cultivating a sense of community in a hybrid workplace is giving employees the chance to interact with each other. However, if you already have a system in place to do this, one way of maintaining it is by giving new employees a remote onboarding buddy.

A remote onboarding buddy is someone that a new employee can talk to for work-related questions and during breaks through virtual channels. It is their responsibility to help new employees adjust to the workplace. Most of the time, new employees find it hard to acquaint themselves with other employees. This hinders them from fully taking part in company activities and slowly disconnects them mentally from the workplace.

By giving them a remote onboarding buddy, you’re making sure that at least one person on the team is talking to them regularly. This could also help them socialize more. Of course, you need to make sure that both of them have clear channels of communication for it to work properly.

Jonathan Merry, Founder, Moneyzine

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