Significant decline in loyalty of employees towards the companies is showing its first results. Both the companies’ culture and the way they are perceived by the general public has suffered during the pandemic year.
The office used to be the embodiment of the company and the brand. By this we mean not only the way your office looks when you invite someone for the meeting but also how your employees feel, when they come to work, how the pictures of your team look when you post them on social media. When remote work became an inevitable part of our lives and careers, the sense of prestige the office provided got lost.
What used to be an important part of an employee benefits package, especially when we speak about big international companies, has disappeared.
What replacements did employers provide instead of the office?
Stable internet connection, good-quality camera, pre-paid version of online meeting software and healthy sitting are the essentials of a productive workday at home office. Yet most people ended up in a situation where their working conditions were
Throughout the world there were several approaches to the new norm. Monetary compensation in which companies moved budget that was intended to be spent on office rent to the employees who could then purchase highly needed work-from-home gear is one of the most popular solutions. Child care assistance was another form of help offered to working parents. Not to mention flexibility that came as a natural consequence of remote work was very often supported by the managers who stayed focused on quality of work rather than 9 to 5 clocking through attendance tracking software solutions.“Since the very beginning of the pandemic I made sure every single team member of Campus Cowork was informed about the company’s situation. Once every two weeks we organized an online team meeting during which we discussed, beside work-related issues, also everyone’s personal endeavours. I also tried to have a 1 on 1 meeting with each of them in case there was an issue they wanted to discuss in private.”
Dušan Duffek, co-founder of Campus Cowork
However, it is important to note that there are multiple companies that already announced a permanent work-from-home option. With this new work organisation and ability to work from anywhere in the world we can expect that competition among companies will grow. In order to keep their valued workers, new benefits and more tempting working conditions will arise while flexibility will be the key, or in other words a must-have benefit.
How to ensure your brand image and company culture survives til the post-pandemic era?
First of all it is important to keep an eye on the equipment your workers are going to use while at home. Dropping internet and blurry cameras during business calls is something that can lower your professionalism. If you have employees who make regular online meetings with your clients, make sure you help them to do it in a professional manner.
Reuse the content. If your offices were something to be proud of, keep showing them to the world. Even though they are not operational at the moment, there must be a bunch of throwback pictures your creative department took before. It is always better to show how happy we were one day than to resign and accept the reality of detachment.
React to the current situation. Is there anything you can provide that will help your customers to feel better during the pandemic? Can you send some movie tips via newsletter? Can you send them a free face mask or disinfection liquid? Can you share some ideas, how to keep children from being bored? Internal newsletter is a great way to communicate with them.
Keep your team happy. The employees are part of your brand and once they lose the excitement, the public opinion will follow. You are the one to know what used to make your workers smile. Even though in-person activities are still a bit complicated right now there is always a way. Did you used to play board games together? Make an online game tournament or deliver a little card game to their mail boxes to play with families at home. Was it a barbecue party that kept you all in the premises even after work? What if you ask them to share their favourite recipes, vote and pick winners who are going to be the master chefs next time you meet?
Ensure online calls are not abundant. Noone likes to spend hours on unproductive online meetings with repetitive information. While keeping your team on the track is important, tiring them with unimportant tasks or updates may be counterproductive.
In Campus it is our primary goal to support business growth and offer counseling if needed. We hope these ideas will help you a bit and make sure your business will continue to thrive. In the next article we will elaborate more on the topics and explain what is the future prediction for office work, how will the offices change, or simply said, how does the office of the future look like.