29 April 2022

Four ways to help rebuild office culture post-pandemic

We’ve compiled a list of four ways you can offer your workforce the support, flexibility, and engagement they need to flourish in their role when returning to an on-site working environment.

Author

Louis Wellings

Louis Wellings

Louis Wellings is a content marketing executive at Ciphr.

Tags

Covid-19 pandemic Employee engagement Hybrid working Leadership and management

Categories

Businesses across the UK are welcoming people back to their offices. But after two years of remote and hybrid working, how can employers re-establish their office culture? Should they be seeking to return to the ‘old days’ of pre-pandemic 2020, or strive for something more? How will they balance the mix of office, on-site and home-based workers? What does this mix mean for meetings, teams, and general communication?

Re-onboarding staff back to the office environment is set to be a significant challenge in early 2022 – and one that employers may face again further down the line, should government guidance change once again. How will employers ensure that their post-pandemic office culture is inclusive, transparent, collaborative, and, ultimately, delivers high productivity and great customer service?

Contents

  1. Embrace flexibility and hybrid working
  2. Support mental health and wellbeing
  3. Create a collaborative and supportive culture
  4. Foster a great employee experience
  1. Embrace flexibility and hybrid working

Creating a collaborative and supportive culture is essential to employee satisfaction and employers need to adapt and become more sympathetic and lead with compassion during these turbulent times.

According to Claire Williams, chief people officer at Ciphr: “In 2021, many organisations proved beyond any doubt that they could successfully work remotely in some way, whether that’s 100% remote or following a hybrid working model. One of the huge positives of the work from home mandate during the pandemic is that many employers now accept and trust that those employees who can work from home can be productive and do their jobs well. On the flipside, there’s also a growing number of employees who prefer – or indeed benefit from – being in an office or workplace environment.

“The challenge now – in 2022 – is to strike a balance in achieving the best of both worlds – one that works for employees and employers. Organisations especially need to consider how best to ensure that employees continuing working from home – some or all of the time – are actively engaged and benefit from a healthy mix of collaborative working and vital social connectivity.”

  1. Support with mental health and wellbeing

According to the Office for National Statistics, around one in five (21%) UK adults experienced some form of depression in early 2021; this is more than double the pre-pandemic level (10%). Fears about job security, returning to the workplace, and financial concerns will most likely be at the forefront of employees’ minds. Employers will need to adapt a range of measures to support employees and instil a culture of fairness that translates across the hybrid environment.

Healthy workplaces help people to flourish and reach their potential and most organisations should be taking additional measures to support employee health and wellbeing during (and even after) times of crisis. According to our research, British adults feel stressed for an average of eight days each month, with lack of sleep and money worries among the main causes of stress. The main causes of stress are not getting enough sleep and financial anxieties (39% each), followed by health (35%), family (31%), and weight worries (28%).

A caring employer should offer a range of effective workplace mental health programmes available and ready to access remotely. What is important is that businesses choose solutions and services that cover a broad range of issues affecting employee mental health and wellbeing, going beyond simply mindfulness and meditation, in order to benefit as many employees as possible.

  1. Creating a collaborative and supportive culture

The shift to more hybrid and remote working will see a change in the use of physical office spaces. Many office buildings will be repurposed as collaborative spaces providing more relaxed areas that encourage creative thinking and social connectivity.

Organisations that want to return to full-time office working in 2022 will have the challenge of re-engaging and re-onboarding employees back to the office environment. They’ll need to consider ways to encourage reluctant employees to return to the office, such as flexible working or four-day weeks, for example, to make it as attractive as working from home.

Gwenan West, head of people at Ciphr, says: “Employers will also need to be much open and transparent about their values and what their future goals are. Candidates are becoming much more discerning and want to work for employers who share their core values and sense of purpose. So, they will take into account what messaging and imagery is being conveyed on a corporate social media account. If they don’t relate to what they see, they may not consider applying.”

Organisations need to consider how best to ensure that employees who work from home – some or all of the time – are actively engaged and benefit from a healthy mix of collaborative working and vital social connectivity.

  1. Foster a great employee experience

With the focus on employee experience increasing among HR and business leaders worldwide, the Covid-19 crisis has forced employers to create more tailored responses to workplace challenges. Addressing their employees’ basic needs of safety, stability, and security during this time of crisis is of paramount concern.

HR teams need to step up and take the strain out of admin for people teams and line managers, and create opportunities for them to deliver a fantastic employee experience. With more and more employees working remotely, the ability to view employee information at any time, anywhere, is more important than ever.

Ciphr’s cloud-based HR software helps organisations stay connected and work efficiently when they need to most – especially when operating in a remote or hybrid environment. For more information on improving employee engagement, book a demo today to find out more.