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While focusing on our section on organizational culture, I see this as the perfect opportunity for us to consider as we emerge from the pandemic, that most companies are orienting towards hybrid work models. Employees will rotate in and out of offices configured for shared spaces. While this will be a triumph for flexible work proponents, there is a risk that over time a firm’s culture and social capital erodes, creativity flags, hierarchies ossify and team spirit fades.
Employers are beginning to conclude that the antidote is more targeted interactions and shared experiences, with groups gathering at specific times to refresh friendships and exchange information.
If we now consider that work is something that we do, rather than a place we go, companies must focus on making that experience inclusive for all. It can be challenging for people to manage their time effectively when not in an office environment – digital presenteeism and video fatigue are real threats to the wellbeing of today’s distributed workforces.
How can employees contribute, regardless of location, role, experience level, language, and device preference?
Is the answer for all meetings be ‘virtual first’?
Does it make sense for employers to coordinate or even compel their employees to come into offices for certain tasks? Or is flexibility about allowing employees to exercise full freedom of choice, no matter the task?