Slowly over time, our “new abnormal” stemming from how we work during the pandemic has just become normal. Managers have struggled over the past two years to create a dynamic team environment, facing the struggles of being unable to work in the same physical space as their employees.
During pre-pandemic times, companies often heavily relied on in-office interactions to tie culture to the workplace. While the instinct may be to hold onto those in-person activities, shifted to an online setting, there are better ways to create and reinforce company culture.
For example, many teams used to hold a Happy Hour on Fridays to spend time with coworkers in the office and unwind before the weekend. Once the pandemic began and the switch to remote work occurred, there were attempts to hold the same type of activities in a Zoom call or Teams meeting. However, because of the nature of remote work, this just does not work the same as it did in person.
So, instead of trying to force old team building ideas or activities to work in the online office, it’s essential to create new ways of engaging your employees to build a strong company culture. No one wants to sit at their computer screen for an extra hour to have drinks with people who are not in the room; it’s on managers to be creative with how to engage employees.
Whether it means connecting with coworkers or employees in person but outdoors or finding new ways to connect offline without having to gather in person, it’s important to create a cohesive culture that embodies what your company stands for.
Ultimately, workplace culture is built upon by everyone in the team or company. Managers should check in with employees to see what works best for them. They may have ideas for what may be great team building exercises that you have yet to think of. The main point of focus as managers work to shift culture online is to create new ways of connecting instead of forcing old habits that just do not work in the remote workplace.