Maintaining Company Culture In The Post-Pandemic Office

One third of surveyed companies found it difficult to maintain company culture during the pandemic. What about after?

by Ed Mitzen, Fingerpaint
empty office
It’s unlikely that all employees will return to the office at once. Be strategic about who goes back and when, if possible.

As companies transition back to working in an office—likely with masks, social distancing and other new policies in place—how might company culture be impacted? 

Problem: You need to find a way to communicate so employees aren’t worried about risks to their health.

Solution: Leadership must set the tone. Messaging should be around what steps you are taking to ensure the safety and health of employees as your company’s top priority. If workers do not feel comfortable returning to work, respect that and let them continue remotely. The way you handle this transition will do wonders for company culture.
Problem: Increased social distancing and continued remote working could impede lines of communication among teams.

Solution: It’s unlikely that all employees will return to the office at once. Be strategic about who goes back and when, if possible, while also following health and government guidelines. Your people likely just went through a complete disruption in how they work, so encourage the same persistent spirit and dedication they exhibited a few months ago, now. 
Problem: Without people feeling safe enough to participate in company events or their own lunch breaks or happy hours, they’re not connecting with their peers as much as before the pandemic—and it’s showing in their work.

Solution: Build company-wide or team-specific opportunities to connect during the workday, and make sure they’re activities that everyone, even those who are still remote, can participate in. If you’re a leader, take time to connect with those who you might not typically interact with in the office. Schedule 15 minutes each week for the whole office to connect via Zoom and share wins or updates. Encourage everyone to Zoom or call their peers instead of writing a lengthy email, or grab a coworker who is in the office with you to get outside for a walk during lunch. PM

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