Over the past two years, “office” culture has shifted drastically. Although some folks have headed back into the office full-time, many still work completely remote or have adopted a hybrid model.
According to Professor Nicholas Bloom, “Just 5% of full-time workdays were from home pre-pandemic, and now my research suggests this will be 25% once pandemic restrictions are lifted.”
We’ve all experienced a sea of change in recent years, but one truth remains: no matter where you are physically working—whether it be a cubicle, shared space, or your living room couch—it’s crucial to have a healthy work environment.
Employees find that a few things make for a prosperous work culture:
- Respect and appreciation from employer
- Professional development opportunities
- A sense of camaraderie between coworkers
Not much means more to employees than acknowledging that their work is impacting someone, somewhere, somehow. In an office setting, that might mean a simple pat on the back and the words, “Great job!” In a remote setting, that might mean a LinkedIn appreciation post or a happy hour toast via Zoom! Recognizing an employee’s hard work and dedication is fundamental in fostering a healthy work environment.
Along those same lines, clear communication should not be undervalued. U.C. Berkley Researcher Lucas Miller suggests, “Companies need to make things explicit and transparent because people crave clarity.”
Is an employee exceeding expectations? Let them know. Is there an area an employee could improve upon? Tell them, but offer a concrete solution. Depending on the issue, that solution could come in the form of a 1:1 tutorial, online course, or professional development program.
People are always looking for ways to improve themselves, and professional development is a great way to keep employees fulfilled yet hungry for more. Professional development opportunities include offering technical certification courses, leadership training, tuition-assistance programs, attending local workshops, regional conferences, or virtual mastermind classes.
Fostering a sense of camaraderie between coworkers is also important! After all, us humans are social beings. Consider occasionally getting the gang together for gatherings, such as:
- Volunteer days
- Happy hours
- Holiday parties
- Team-building retreats
Although a work space shouldn’t feel like “home,” employees should always feel welcome. Hosting social events and providing fun perks give employees things to look forward to. It’s the little things.
Employers who go above and beyond offer perks, such as:
- In-office snacks
- Gym memberships
- Lunchtime yoga sessions
- Private medical insurance
- Social hours (virtual or in-person)
No matter where your office is located, cultivating a healthy work environment is critical to keeping employees fulfilled, happy, and productive.
Need an office for your company? Consider renting a room in historic Downtown Boulder, right on the Pearl Street Mall!