Before the pandemic, employees would bump into each other on a daily basis. Social get-togethers at the coffee machine were normal, and hybrid meetings rare. With so much social interaction, connections were easily nourished. Nowadays, organizations work partly remotely, and feeling connected to the company and colleagues can be a challenge. How can you make sure connections are still taken care of in the workplace and remote?
1. The impact of connections at work
Fostering social connections in the workplace leads to a better sense of belonging. This sense of belonging is essential in making employees feel well at work. Connections at work can increase employee engagement, collaboration, innovation, and productivity. The way employees interact with each other on a personal level has a direct effect on their work motivation. On the other hand, disengagement can lead to higher absenteeism and lower job growth. Stimulating meaningful connections at work starts with providing room for collaboration.
2. Build a workplace for collaboration
The office will change from a daily home base for employees to a flexible workspace. The focus of the workplace will be socializing, collaborating, and meeting. Businesses should evaluate the office space. Are there enough meeting rooms? Can colleagues work together on creative projects freely? You can for example turn a room with a lot of individual workplaces into a co-creation space or creative brainstorm area. Next to that, you also need to take care of social interactions. Are there enough places employees can catch up without disturbing other colleagues? Workplace data can help to give insights into the occupancy of workspaces. This way, you can make data-driven decisions about which room, zone, or area you are going to change to stimulate social connections.
3. Encourage teams to work together
Next to rethinking the workplace, it’s important to let team members connect face-to-face. Going to the office is one thing, but supporting employees to work together on the same day and in the same area is another thing you need to consider. If team members go to the office on different days, they may still lose the feeling of connection to their team. Technology can encourage collaboration in the workplace. And in the case of necessary hybrid meetings, our tools provide the hybrid meeting solution you need to keep employees connected. Mapiq’s Office Shifts gives employees insights into who’s going to be in the office on which days, and can help team members collaborate at work by booking the same shifts.
4. Provide online communication tools
If employees work partly remotely, they still need to be able to communicate with each other daily. Online communication tools like Slack can make social interactions more accessible and help foster inclusion. Slack is especially valuable for when people work remotely, and can’t join a physical social moment. The same goes for other online tools as Microsoft teams for virtual meetings or digital planning tools like Monday to keep a good overview of who is working on what in the project. With everyone now getting used to working partly remotely, make sure that you are providing all the online communication tools employees need.
5. Help employees connect at work
At the end of the working day, it’s important that employees felt connected to their coworkers, responsibilities, and the workplace. This starts with providing a collaborative workplace, letting employees connect, and supporting remote work. Our technology can bring people together in the office safely. With Mapiq’s Office Shifts, employees can make connections and easily match their shifts with team members to do their best work together. Our team of smart office advisors is ready to help your employees connect at work.