Almost half (42%) of leaders of remote and hybrid teams are investing more in workplace culture due to the pandemic.
Despite this, 55 percent of fully remote and hybrid workers claim they lack work communication and collaboration opportunities or tools to do their work effectively.
This is according to the report How managers are investing in remote and hybrid team success, by Omnipresent and Remote Social.
What sort of investment has taken place?
The report reveals that productivity, work-life balance and communication are all common pain points for managers, but managers are seeing tangible benefits from their investments in their teams.
More than half (51%) of UK managers claim they have seen the most benefit on productivity and profitability, and 40 percent invest an average of US$51-100 per employee, per month on workplace culture.
These teams are also benefiting from a good work-life balance (52%) and half of the teams (32%) have seen improved internal communication.
However, the report highlights how workplace communication and collaboration requires consistent strategy development.
Employers recognise the correlation of increased budgets and spending on culture and collaboration, with 47 percent of managers investing more in workplace culture.
While many global managers fear that remote and hybrid work prevents camaraderie among team members, the report shows that it does not automatically lead to a breakdown in personal connections.
Instead, 42 percent of leaders feel that changes to work following COVID-19 enabled colleagues to connect more on a personal level.
Strengthening company culture
Investing in an inclusive workplace environment for on-site, remote and hybrid teams helps employees feel like they are all part of the same company.
Kate Gray, Head of People and Talent at Omnipresent, states: “For remote and hybrid organisations, intentionality is key when strengthening company culture and giving purpose to employees to help drive their daily decision-making. Employers must be deliberate in how and what they communicate with staff, while also delivering the tools and opportunities staff need to feel part of a team and work toward a shared goal.
“While strong intent is key, it’s not simply a case of spending more on generic workplace strategies or practices that were once implemented on-site. Cultural strategies should be tailored to teams’ specific needs. Hybrid team managers in particular need to be thinking about challenges that are inclusive of both their on-site and off-site employees and consider how logistical elements – like benefits, resources, and equipment – may need to differ as a result.”
Mike Fitzbaxter, Co-founder of Remote Social, says: “Fostering effective communication, engagement and social interactions are key to building a successful and productive team culture. The challenge remains in creating a culture that’s inclusive in how it supports both on-site and remote staff. Managers now need to be conscious of creating a workplace environment that doesn’t simply emulate the physical office; it’s therefore essential to ask employees directly what they would find most useful and build your strategy from there.
“Ultimately, remote and on-site workplaces are different environments, but they’re part of the same ecosystem. By intentionally supporting employees regardless of their location, a business can benefit from a truly innovative and thriving workplace culture.”
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview. With a master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.