Many of us look less at each other physically during a normal work day. Experts believe this raises the demand that the time we actually spend together is filled with quality.
A close and good collegial community can help create a well-functioning company. That employees thrive at work is important not only for their own sake, but also to prevent turnover, absence and sick leave. Therefore, the last two years with fewer actual in person meetingshave been challenging for many companies – especially for the larger companies with several hundred or thousand employees.
Arild Steen, researcher at the Labor Research Institute at OsloMet, believes that socializing and gathering employees physically is very important for a company. At the same time, the new hybrid way of working , where home office is a larger part of the form of work, has an impact on our expectations. Going forward, physical gatherings will require better planning , in addition to a more thoughtful program and proper facilities.
– In situations where several employees often use home office, it becomes even more important what actually happens when you are together, Steen says.
Must think new
People have social needs, and the workplace is one of the most important arenas where these are met. Several companies are at risk – and have probably already experienced – a weakened working environment because of the pandemic – especially among younger workers who have jumped straight into working life in the middle of the pandemic. Many of them have not had the opportunity to experience the work and office culture as it was before, when both the professional and social part flowed more easily.
How do we find our way back to unity? Experts believe companies and managers must dare to think new.
Arild Steen believes one of the solutions to make up for the lost culture can be to gather colleagues at events more frequently – preferably over several days.
The content of the event is crucial
Such a gathering of colleagues over one or more days can be a good opportunity to rebuild a stronger sense of belonging and loyalty to the workplace. In addition, it’s an effective way to strengthen relationships between colleagues. This in turn affects productivity and work ethic. How such an event is carried out is, however, crucial.
-It must not just be alcohol and fun, and you can often combine the social with the professional. Smart employers will place more emphasis on social activity, says Steen.
Competent employees are task-driven and not clock-controlled, he explains. This means that they relate to completing tasks – not just keeping hours in a form. These employees will respond to content they feel is wasting their time.
-No one will experience that someone steals their time. It must be perceived as relevant and interesting, Steen explains:
-It must feel attractive to go to a longer job conference, and not just travel to a boring conference hotel. There must be a reason for it, and it must be well planned, with good facilities and good activities for the stay.
-Many companies will experience a weakened working environment during and after the pandemic, especially larger companies.
-Before the pandemic, less was needed to take care of a social work environment. Today, many companies can benefit from thinking bigger, and take an active part in gathering all employees over one or more days in suitable facilities.
-The success of events depends on the content being relevant and interesting and being of both a social and professional nature.
-At a time when employees meet less often, it becomes even more important what actually happens when you are together. A successful event must be well planned, with good facilities and good activities for the stay.
-Every company will benefit from investing in strengthening the social environment in the workplace, which is beneficial to the company’s efficiency and the employee’s morale.