The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way we do business—possibly forever. It looks like working remotely will remain a standard practice; however, it circumvents the benefits of personal interaction and physical proximity at the workplace.
During the pandemic, we figured out how to work virtually and the workplace became much more unstructured and casual for many businesses. As we return to a somewhat “normal” lifestyle, American businesses need to explore new ways of building a positive culture among their employees.
Corporate Essentials founder and CEO Judson Kleinman states, “Strong corporate culture leads the way to success. Leaders must embrace the importance of their organization’s culture and create a roadmap to instill change while enhancing employee satisfaction in ways that will result in better retention and higher productivity.”
As we look expectantly to 2022, here are some of the corporate culture trends we are seeing.
Life Experience, Not Just Work Experience
According to the Harvard Business Review, employers will need to be more engaged in the life experience of their employees, not just the work experience. We have gotten a glimpse into each other’s home life throughout the pandemic. Now, employers need to develop practices that support staff on a personal level. Research shows that employees who feel their employer takes an interest in their personal life report better mental and physical health. Employers have seen an uptick in the number of high performers in their organization when providing such support.
Employees desire to work for companies whose values align with their own. Staff engagement increases when workers see management engaged in relevant social issues and investing in resources supporting those issues.
Revitalization of Office Space
Return to the office routine, whether full-time or via a hybrid model will require new, collaborative spaces and desk sharing configurations in order to allow for greater flexibility and a more engaging workspace to facilitate conference calls, brainstorm with colleagues, or accommodate a presentation.
Businesses that want to achieve a meaningful, successful relationship with their employees will need to consider how the workplace will accommodate recruitment and onboarding activities, events, and everyday staff interaction.
According to the (Y)OUR Space 2021 Report, the top five new facilities to consider when renovating or revitalizing your office space are:
- Onsite food and beverage
- Gym facilities
- Cycle storage
- Mental health facilities, such as sanctuary spaces
- Click and collect installations
Flexibility in Location and Time
Working remotely originally meant 40 hours a week, Monday through Friday. Companies promoting a hybrid working model will allow more flexibility within work schedules and may see higher performance from their workforce as a result. The measurement of success will evolve to assessing employee output rather than working a set schedule.
Emphasis on Well-Being
Companies should budget for employee well-being in 2022. We will see a surge in supportive mental and emotional programs and benefits, offering increased engagement by employers to promote awareness of the impact of good mental and physical health along with well-being and safety.
Back to the “In-Person” Office
An article on Forbes.com outlines some of the “back to work” challenges presented as companies begin to balance the working styles of live, hybrid, and remote employees.
Brian Kropp, chief of HR research for Gartner says, “The job of a front-line manager is arguably going to be harder than it’s ever been before.” Managers will now become the sounding boards for issues such as vaccine and mask policies, employee motivation, and management of on-site, hybrid, and off-site employees. They will be immersed in engaging their employees in the office while trying to prevent remote workers from feeling isolated.
Creating attendance, vacation, production, and promotion policies that are fair for everyone will also be part of the post-pandemic fallout.
New Innovations Will Lead the Way to Success
“Historically, the time period that follows years of challenge are rife with expansions in the economy, technology, and innovation,” says Kleinman. “Post-COVID, we have great potential to innovate new directions in remote, hybrid, and in-person office environments that will lead to an increase in productivity and corporate success.”
The success of corporate culture will continue to evolve as both management and their employees work together toward common goals with a mindset of building an environment of positive values and a healthy corporate culture.
See how Corporate Essentials continues to innovate a positive and healthy corporate culture here.