Establishing a “People First” Culture as we Transition BACK to the Office.

By: Maria Schaab

Author

Since March of 2020, the Coronavirus outbreak has shifted a lot of the normalcies of everyday life. There was a shift in socialization, a shift in consumerism, and ultimately a large shift in the workplace. In fact, over the last year about 71% of the workforce made the transition to “work from home” or operating mainly from a home office setting.

This change caused a disruption in what many knew and operated within, some for their entire careers. The transition to Zoom Meetings, Microsoft Teams Invites and various methods of E-communication hit the newly found “work from home community” quite hard. With a change in environment, this also prompted a change in company culture. No longer was the culture about how employees interacted on a day-to-day basis, or the fluidity of a concrete office environment, but instead shifted to different styles of communication, availability of resources for employees and understanding the needs of operating efficiently out of the home office.

The focus has adjusted over the last year, leaning away from the importance of office place culture, and leaning into the importance of the needs of the employees, and keeping everyone safe in the process. We refer to this as a “people first” approach because the people have been shown to be the ones that make a company successful over the last year, not the working environment itself.

To give an example, Titus Talent Strategies operates under a model that puts people first. But what does this truly mean? The culture here is prioritizing people over partners and profits, ensuring that employees are rewarded, promoted, and praised for the ways they match the company’s goals and initiatives. Culture for a remote company is never defined by the day-to-day happenings of an office space, but rather the behaviors and actions of company leaders and the team that make a team and a culture successful.

As different industries and organizations slowly begin to transition back into the office, the need to focus on people first is a key initiative. Whether it is allowing for more flexibilities like those that were gained while working from home, hosting team building events to continue to grow working relationships after being out of the office for so long, or just simply checking in on those returning, the importance of culture is now the importance of people, and not the work environment.

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