What Happened To Company Culture?

We all remember how the world came to a screeching halt at the end of 2019. Every day life suddenly changed. Masks required everywhere, hand sanitizer and toilet paper a sudden luxury, some of our favorite restaurants permanently closing, and holidays with family and friends spent through screens.At the height of the pandemic, employee health and safety became the main priority for employers, but now, as life starts to resume, and the world begins to open back up, we are left to pick up the pieces and get back to where things left off.

Is Remote Always Better?

Before the pandemic, work-from-home (WFH) was not a concept on many companies’ radars. A fully remote job was rare, or specific to certain industries, and most people had never heard of Zoom before 2020.Companies were forced to adapt to changing times and reconsider the necessity of renting office space and commuting to and from work every day. While some believe the pandemic brought necessary change to the workplace, others hope to return to some sense of normalcy. Many people are starting to wonder – does shifting towards fully remote work hinder employees’ abilities to connect and collaborate in the office? Do we miss that crucial component of company culture? Not being in the office means not having quality face time in person, and for some, this is an essential aspect of their job.Co-Founder and CEO of Duolingo, Luis von Ahn, said: "Our innovation pipeline got significantly worse, but as soon as people started coming back, the number of new ideas started popping up again."

WFH Has Its Perks

Pre-pandemic, many people assumed that employees working from home would be distracted, lazy, or less productive. The pandemic proved the opposite.  A recent study shows that 77% of employees are more productive and less distracted while working from home.With over 44% of companies shifting to fully remote work, those choosing to remain fully in-office or hybrid, are often leveraging other perks to get employees interested in returning to the office.

In Search of Work-Life Balance

Employees are no longer willing to sacrifice a healthy work-life balance for a paycheck because, in 2022, they simply don’t have to. For the first time in years, candidates hold most of the power in today’s job market. The little things have become the important incentives for continuing work in-office: positive coworkers, a welcoming work environment, snacks in the office, catered lunches, fun events, holiday celebrations employees can enjoy in-office, the list goes on.For some employees, being back in the office after two years of working from home, is an added benefit and perk of their job. Maureen McLallen, a legal secretary, said “Oh, I love being back! I love being around people, and not being cooped up in my bedroom.”Besides the benefit of human interaction, working in the office enables the workforce to unplug at the end of the day and leave their work at work. Your office should be your place of work, and your home should be your place of solace, a haven you are happy to walk into at the end of each day. The trouble with working from home is being able to draw the line between work and home and finding the ability to unplug after a long day.A clearly defined workday in the office promotes a healthy work-life balance and allows employees to leave work at the office when they walk out, a luxury many took for granted pre-pandemic.

What Makes Up “Company Culture”

According to Indeed, work culture is defined as a collection of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that make up the regular atmosphere in a work environment.This correctly defines work culture, however, many other factors make up a company’s overall work culture. The environment itself and those who work there play a huge part in the workplace environment. It’s the little interactions amongst coworkers each day that creates a company’s culture: impromptu lunch dates with colleagues, collaborative brainstorming sessions, in-office celebrations, and more. Being present and working in the office allows employees to help shape the culture they are part of every day. Given the fact that the average American will spend 1/3 of their life at work, it is no surprise that people desire a workplace with a strong company culture that aligns with their values and goals.

Finding what works best for your business

Both sides of this coin, WFH and working in-office, have valuable arguments, and ultimately, every business has adapted in their own way post-pandemic, yet one thing that remains the same is the desire for a healthy work-life balance, meaningful benefits, and a supportive, strong work culture.For over 40 years, Career Group Companies has put our clients first. Our expertise lies in finding you quality hires who understand your company culture and align with your culture initiatives. We take a deep dive into your organization and culture because we know that not every individual and company are alike. We are not transactional, we build long-term relationships with our clients, working towards long-term success.

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Founded in 1981 by Susan Levine, Career Group Companies was created to set a higher standard for recruiting. For over four decades, we’ve partnered with our valued candidates and clients to cultivate perfect career matches for administrative, creative, fashion, events, and executive professionals at top companies nationwide.

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