Bringing the human connection to the hybrid workplace

We all know hybrid work is here to stay. Remember seeing your favourite co-worker every time you’d walk by their desk, good old water cooler conversations, and team lunches? We reminisce about them. Amongst enjoying the leisure of in-home office and flexible work hours, we miss the fun office catch-ups and occasional lunch meet-ups. Such interactive instances are known to keep employees engaged in the office, further increasing productivity and employee retention. 

According to Canadian HR Reporter, the employee engagement score dropped 18% in 2021. Notably, when employees feel less connected to the workplace and its culture, the chances of quality work declines by a whopping 90% and the probability of employee burnout increases 11 times. Furthermore, the odds that employees will leave within three years surged to 6 times.  

While remote work provides a desirable work-life balance for many, work from home has deprived us of human connection which, in turn, can make work feel more stressful and less exciting – which translates into reduced productivity. To turn this around, organizations can adopt various ideas and make working a merry affair once more! 

 Organize virtual team activities  

We all miss our monthly team get togethers and lunches. Now that we know hybrid work is here to stay, organizations can try introducing monthly virtual team-building events. A fun game of Pictionary or a virtual coffee chat with two truths and a lie – who doesn’t love an hour of relaxing and some laughs? 

Organizing ice breaker activities for new team members is an amazing way of team building and showcasing your office culture. It allows new team members to build an informal connection with their team and propagates the open-door policy in your workplace – whether physical or virtual.  

In the hybrid workplace, these activities can be easily organized for employees working from home as well as from the office with the help of Microsoft Teams, a powerful component of Microsoft Office 365 suite. Furthermore, as in-person work resumes, these activities can be a fantastic way to kick-start your return to the office. 

Recognize and appreciate employees regardless of location 

Recognition, appreciation, and employee engagement all go hand in hand. Surveys have suggested that employees recognized on a regular basis are more productive and tend to stay in the company longer. 69% of employees say they’d work harder if they were better appreciated, according to HubSpot. Whether it’s an email saying, “Kudos for your work” or a friendly face of the manager saying, “Thank you for all your efforts”, every employee gets a sense of gratification hearing those words.  

Focusing on the people aspect in human resource management is important – now more than ever. With communication moving to a virtual ground, it needs to be bi-directional. A great way to do this is to provide questionnaires and surveys for your employees to engage so that their feedback and voices can be heard.  

Recognition, in any form, is a vital factor for any level of organization or business. This applies to both existing and newer team members in the workplace because appreciations are a way for them to know that they are heading in the right direction.  

Strengthen team collaboration and engagement with technology 

Technology has left its fingerprints in all our lives. It’s now time to apply it to enhance team harmony. As we move from a primarily in-person engagement to a dynamic workplace, companies are looking for smart ways to bring the latest tech to their employees. Companies already prefer integrating cloud-based processes to support the smooth-functioning of their business. 

While Gen Z employees might prefer cutting-edge technology, other employees may lean towards more user-friendly options. Thus, bringing in convenient yet effective tools like interactive collaboration boards and Reactiv SUITE collaboration software to facilitate easy brainstorming is the new plan of action for many organizations. Even taking advantage of current technology such as Microsoft 365 can help achieve massive leaps in employee engagement. Simply switching on your cameras during video calls can go a long way in nurturing human connection in a workplace.  

Embrace and encourage diversity and inclusion  

For an organization to be successful, numerous factors such as people and technology play integral roles. One of these key factors is company culture. Employees tend to be more engaged when they feel a sense of belonging within the organization. Better yet, companies that hire diverse and differently abled workers enjoy increased revenues of up to 35%, according to a research by McKinsey and Company

Diversity and inclusion are a terrific way to showcase a company’s core values. People from all walks of life, race, ethnicity and experiences come to work together in an organization. What makes them different can also bring them closer. From organizing virtual tours to a Pride parade and anything in between, companies should try to nurture their culture and, in turn, nurture their people.  

Consider giving everyone a voice with an employee suggestion box or through regular employee pulse check surveys. Provide ongoing inclusive training and development materials to all employees and promote inclusive practices throughout the company. Encourage flexible working hours so employees can balance their family and professional needs, thus keeping them happy and productive. 

A highly engaged workforce paves the way to smooth collaboration, increased output, and high employee satisfaction. Working towards bringing the human connection back into the hybrid workplace is what every company is striving for. We can help!  

Looking for more ideas on how to increase employee engagement and productivity? Explore our Digital Workplace Solutions 

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