When Marissa Mayer was CEO at Yahoo!, the biggest headline she made was to recall remote workers back to the office. Her reasons were valid; “Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings.”
News about the remote working experiment spread like wildfire. Businesses of all sizes were concerned that remote working would impair camaraderie and company culture. Numerous businesses refrained from introducing remote working for years before yielding to the compromise of flexible working. The post-pandemic world could look very different.
According to an analysis published by Owl Labs, businesses owners and employees both recognise the benefits of working from home. At least for part of the week. As a result, more than 80% of UK businesses are expected to implement a hybrid workplace. The World Economic Forum suggest hybrid working could usher in a “golden age for workers”. A key challenge to the hybrid workplace is how to retain and build a company culture in the online space. There is no doubt that technology is firmly at the front and centre of proceedings – but it’s what you do with the technology that counts.
Create That Friday Feeling
Creating camaraderie and avoiding isolation will be top priorities for HR and managerial teams. A popular choice will be to reserve the latter part of Friday afternoon for interactive fun and close the week on a culture-building high. The type of activities you organise to stimulate that Friday Feeling will be determined by the size of your teams and the temperament of your employee. A good old quiz is always a popular choice. Organising an interdepartmental competition could be an option.
Other options include physical or artistic challenges; who can make the best paper aeroplane in 30-seconds; 30-minute burnout workouts; shot drinking competitions. Ahem, just a thought.
Create Animated Videos to Enhance Communication
Communicating to a disseminated workforce has to be seamless, effective and encouraged. Several team building apps and platforms such as Microsoft Teams go some way to bringing colleagues together.
Company-wide communication, on the other hand, requires a strategy that is engaging and will encourage employees to tune in. An email probably won’t cut the mustard. An animated video embedded into an email, on the other hand, is more likely to get your message across.
Research shows that visuals enhance communication and increase engagement. Not only that, but images create a lasting impression which helps people retain more information and enhances memory recall. Create branded animated videos that promote your company culture. You can even adapt the footage to include in marketing campaigns that reinforce your brand message to your employees.
Keep Managers Connected With Team Members
Remote working can feel lonely. Employees have said they feel isolated and disconnected from their teammates. Whilst communication tools help fill some of the void, it’s important for managers to stay connected to team members and provide words of encouragement.
It’s important to recognise signs that an employee is becoming disconnected. Missed deadlines and a drop-off in performance let the team down and, potentially, the business. Employees want to feel valued and appreciated. There are practical steps you can take by trusting them with information, providing cooperative feedback and recognising their efforts with rewards.
Individuals also need to see a career path in order to stay motivated. You can nurture their progress with micro-learning – which goes hand-in-hand with the three points mentioned above. Animated videos are an effective tool for training and micro-learning is a time-effective way to progress the career of remote workers. Rather than sending them on full-day training courses which are energy-consuming, drip-feed information they need to know and help them to develop skills little by little.
Use Animation, VR and AR for Onboarding
The biggest challenge managers will face in the hybrid workplace is engaging and motivating new starters. It’s often the case that fresh-faced employees do not feel part of the team or the company because they don’t have enough to do.
There is also very little opportunity for them to speak with team members that are working from home. The onboarding process, therefore, can become a serious problem. Virtual and augmented reality have been found to be a progressive and effective way of helping new starters learn and understand their job. VR and AR onboarding, you could say, is a series of instructions that have been specifically designed with interaction and guidance in mind.
You can create learning videos that show employees exactly what they need to know to do their job and understand your company’s products, services and culture. Do you need to ramp up your company culture in a hybrid workplace. Animated videos, VR and AR could help. Why not drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call on +44 (0)207 148 0526.