What Makes a Good Office Culture?

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Roger Walker | November 30, 2022

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, many companies worldwide are retaining some of the more flexible policies established during the COVID years. With millions unable to travel to work every day during the lockdown, organisations were forced to allow their employees to work from home full-time.

While this was out of their control, many businesses found that the freedom afforded to workers resulted in better turnarounds, higher productivity, and, ultimately, a happier workforce. It’s perhaps no surprise that as many as 60% of British workers stated they would prefer a more flexible work-from-home policy in the future.

Allowing teams to work from the comfort of their home is an excellent step toward achieving a thriving office culture, but it’s far from the only measure that can be taken. Let’s explore what else an employer can do to ensure a team performs to the best of their abilities while genuinely enjoying what they do.

1. Trust From Your Employers

A happy office is productive, and trust plays a significant role. Knowing that your directors, managers, or even CEO have faith in your ability to work to a timely, efficient, and professional standard is proven to encourage a happy and productive workforce. The Harvard Business Review conducted a study that found that people at companies with higher levels of trust were:

  • 74% less stressed
  • 50% more productive
  • 40% less burnt out
  • 76% more engaged with their work 

The figures, while eye-opening, are perhaps not all that shocking. Whether working in the office or at home, knowing your employer relies on you to efficiently produce good work gives you the confidence you need to do that. 

2. Flexibility 

That doesn’t mean working from where you want, but rather how you want. Everyone has different ways of working efficiently. What works for you might not work for someone else. Allowing employees to do their jobs in a manner that suits them is key to creating a culture that gets the best from everyone.

Equally, the freedom to work at hours that suit their social schedule is a factor that needs to be considered. This is particularly useful for parents of young children, who might need to be more flexible to provide their family with the necessary attention.

3. Transparency Throughout the Company 

Transparency is at the core of ensuring everything you’re doing right as a company gets the credit it deserves. Keeping things from the rest of the team undermines the concept that you trust them or even value their opinion on important company matters. This can quickly create a bad atmosphere in an office.

Awkwardly for business owners, transparency means letting people know when things aren’t going well. While you might feel this makes you look weak in front of your team, a CareerBuilder survey highlighted that the opposite was true.

They pointed out that as many as 37% of employees were likely to leave their roles if they felt a poor relationship or lack of trust between them and their employer.

4. Social Balance 

It’s always awkward balancing friendship with professionalism. While there needs to be some sort of barrier between personal and work life, regular social outings are a great way to build morale amongst the team.

An employer should think about introducing things like:

  • Regular monthly meetups (virtual if needs be)
  • Quarterly outings where team bonding is plausible 
  • Casual lunchtime trips to a pub or restaurant 

The key is ensuring you trust your employees enough to balance this social freedom with getting their work done (to a good standard). In the office space itself, it can be helpful to have dedicated areas where employees can socialise and catch up with each other without disturbing others too much.

Categories: Culture

Roger WalkerDigital Consultant

Roger is a digital consultant who has worked with various international clients. Away from the office, he enjoys creating blog posts that inform and engage readers, and he always aims to provide helpful-home points his readers can act on.

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