A recent report reveals almost half (42%) of leaders of remote and hybrid teams are investing more in workplace culture due to the pandemic. The study by Omnipresent and Remote Social shows that managers are rethinking what their companies and employees need in order to succeed in a remote or hybrid work environment, in order to increase productivity and profitability.

The report, How managers are investing in remote and hybrid team success, 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% 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, both hybrid and fully remote teams are struggling in some key areas. Even if they have seen improvements on workplace culture, 55% of fully remote and hybrid workers claim they lack work communication and collaboration opportunities or tools to do their work effectively. The report highlights how workplace communication and collaboration requires consistent strategy development.

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.”

Employers recognise the correlation of increased budgets and spending on culture and collaboration. Forty-seven percent of managers investing more in workplace culture said COVID had a positive impact on collaboration. Managers investing more in workplace culture for their remote and hybrid teams are more intentional in their approach as a whole, leading to improved overall communication and collaboration.

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% of leaders feel that changes to work following COVID-19 enabled colleagues to connect more on a personal level. 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.

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.”

The report, ‘How managers are investing in remote and hybrid team success’ includes responses from 1,192 HR managers and company leaders from the UK, Australia, USA and Canada.

Lisa Baker

Author Lisa Baker

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