With the decreasing threat of COVID-19, more companies are starting to ask their employees to return to work, and this is creating an interesting shift. Workplace connections have always existed at varying levels based on proximity, personalities, and interests outside of work. But today, we are introducing even more complexity to team dynamics with the introduction of employees who were hired in an only-remote environment during the shutdown and those who were hired in different cities away from office headquarters.
Do We Want To Return to “Normal”?
Turns out, not everyone is excited about returning to the office. According to Pew Research, approximately six-in-ten U.S. workers who can get their job done remotely are working from home all or most of the time, and 83% of them chose to do so before the rise of the omicron variant. Further, more employees are working from home out of choice rather than necessity (61% of those who have a workplace outside of their home to go to).
The Year of Workplace Culture
So what should leaders do to make sure their teams – now comprised of in-person, remote, and hybrid employees – get to know each other and stay connected? According to Forbes, 2022 is the “year of workplace culture.”
But what does that mean, and how do leaders build culture? The obvious starting point (to us) is fun. The reality is companies will need to be more intentional than ever about creating touchpoints and programs to connect employees outside of their day-to-day work duties, and the simplest, quickest way to do this is through fun.
How Team Connecting Can Help
Team Connecting activities like virtual game shows, leisure games, and more allow teams to compete against each other with no real consequences. You can create a virtual event so everyone can join in regardless of location, or bring your team together in person. Employees can be silly, laugh together, and let their true personalities shine through. You know, the ones you don’t see in the TPS report meetings.
But don’t take our word for it. A recent study by ADP Research Institute found “U.S. workers who feel strongly connected to their employer are 75 times more likely to be engaged than those who do not feel connected.” We also know companies with strong company cultures are more resilient, and able to weather storms out of their control, like pandemics.
Of course, culture consists of more than just connection, but we think it’s the foundation everything else is built upon. And when you create opportunities for your team to forge bonds in a personal way, they are more likely to be creative, productive, and solve problems together.
Whether it’s your company or your community, we are stronger when we are bonded. We are able to make it through all kinds of challenges we might not if facing them alone. And the bonus is, we can have fun in the process!
To find out how Grin Events can help build your company’s culture foundation, fill out our online form.