How to create a workplace culture for at-home workers?
When I set about starting my first business in the mid 90s, nurturing a positive and supportive workplace culture was crucial. What this meant to me at the time was creating a physical space good staff would like to come to each day. Maintaining a clean work environment and providing fresh water and a well-stocked bowl of fruit. Promoting a positive can-do attitude towards our customers and eachother and creating a level playing field without hierarchy. Also, recognising work performance with a small gesture of a freddo frog left on a worker’s desk, and bringing everyone together for a fortnightly at-work Friday lunch.
With the rise of the digital world, working remotely, or from home, has become an increasing reality for many employees world-wide. Usually an option chosen for parents aiming to find a work-family balance, our current climate is now forcing this reality onto the majority of our workforces. At-home or remote workers have greater flexibility of work conditions, but are at a disadvantage when it comes to actually observing social norms as well as experiencing in-person collaboration and workplace fresh fruit bowls (1). Studies have found that remote employees often have less trust in each other’s work and capabilities due to a lack of interpersonal communication (2). In addition, remote workers may feel isolated and separated from the company’s physical office environment and workforce.
But a positive workplace culture needs to extend to all workers, no matter where they are based. In the coming months, workers will be required to set up shop at home. consequently, they may feel disconnected, isolated, distanced and demotivated. This will affect their physical and mental health and wellbeing, and ultimately their work performence.
Employers can still create a caring and inclusive sense of culture to their stay-at-home workforce. Online solutions that replace services like health centres, fitness facilities, workplace based health workshops and other hands-on services are available for aimmediate access. Health Breaks has recognised this emerging and growing need. Its template of providing health and wellbeing opportunities anytime, anywhere and addressing an holistic approach to health is a perfect solution for concerned employers. The ability to build a culture of connection through the shared need for health is made simple and is further enhanced by the creation of online health coaching groups, bringing team members together in a journey of optimising health through an immensely challenging time.
The cost-effective approach has been designed to accommodate the tightening of budgets and the at-home delivery means that the health benefits will extend beyond the workplace and into the wider community. Your employees will be bringing their family members into the experience, and how great will they think your workplace is for that!?
- Chenng S, Monohan K, Reid K, Beyone the Walls of the Balance Sheets; Culture and the alternative workplace, Deloitte Insights
2. Kimberly Furumo, Emmeline de Pillis, and Mark Buxton, “The impact of leadership on participation and trust in virtual teams,” ACM, SIGMIS-CPR 12 proceedings of the 50th annual conference on Computers and People Research, New York, May 31, 2012, pp. 123–126