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Not Your Mother’s Workplace Culture - 5 Trending Must-Haves in Workplace Culture Today

Workplace culture. A topic that has folks abuzz - from chats at the water cooler to influencers on LinkedIn - it’s a topic that people seem to care more deeply about than ever before.


Alright - so maybe people don’t really chat at the water cooler anymore, but since the pandemic launched knowledge workers into remote work for longer than many organizations actually anticipated, people are realizing how vital the right workplace culture is.


So what are the current trends in workplace culture? What do employees care most about in their workplace? After diving into the sea that is Google and swimming around for a bit, we’ve collected the five most common workplace must-haves that are trending right now.


1. Freedom & Flexibility: Remote work has given people both. Some organizations have called employees back to work and there has been concern about losing the freedom and flexibility that remote work grants. If an organization requires employees to work fully in-office after a period of remote or hybrid work without communicating with them or considering their wishes, folks may feel they aren't valued in their organization and therefore may seek out a more flexible and considerate work environment. An employer who gives their employees flexibility also gives them freedom, trust, and respect. This element of workplace culture is something that is likely to become an important factor in determining whether an employee remains with or chooses a certain organization.


2. Social Purpose & Corporate Responsibility: Something that is increasingly important - what does my organization do to give back? How does my organization ensure they are ethical in their field? Many employees want to work at a place that does good and/or gives back. If this is something that you think your organization needs help with, let us know - we’re pros at this sort of thing!


3. Fairness & Equity: This is something that every organization should make sure they are employing in their business practices - from hiring to resignation, and letting folks go - fairness and equity should be a top priority. This is a defining element and something that - while always having been important - will likely come under the microscope even more frequently.


4. Shorter Work Weeks: A dream of many… and many are doing it in places like Iceland and Italy! Shorter work weeks are being recognized as beneficial to employee productivity and mental health because it encourages work life balance. Canadian organizations are beginning to consider if this could work for them as many employees are interested in this model. Short work weeks tie into flexible work situations and look to be something of the future!


5. Positive & Meaningful Internal Communication: A vital part of overall happiness in the workplace, positive interactions with colleagues and managers are crucial. Folks spend a good chunk of their daily lives at work or dealing with colleagues and as mental health issues are increasingly illuminated, toxicity at work is becoming intolerable and decreasingly likely to be accepted.


We don’t think we’d be alone in concluding that a positive work environment goes a long way for folks who generally spend 30+ hours per week at work. We all want to be at a workplace that is respectful, equitable, and that cares about the community that we work and live in.


What do you think is the most important aspect of workplace culture? What are your must-haves? What makes work a great place to be for you? Or, if you are a business owner or manager and you want to make sure your workplace culture is top notch and want to go further than this blog can take you, send us an email at rebecca@thevirtualeffect.com and let’s chat!


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