There is something missing in a hybrid workplace.

A traditional office is a space for work, but it also has multiple other functions. As social animals, humans have always tended to focus best and work more when feeling supported and surrounded by those they can relate to.

This is why, as modern ages came along, offices didn’t really change that much. The community rooms, the collective break times... Even many things that seem traditional enough to be archaic at this point, like an office holiday party.

All these elements, along with many more, have actually served their purpose in creating a company culture.

Now, every company is different. The different values and the ways they are communicated are impossible to count, but they are also at the core of what it means to work there. They are a part of the company image, the employees’ identity, and the spirit of the business.

When working in a hybrid workplace, you may find it hard to keep the company culture alive. With some employees working different hours and others working remotely, the sense of community and belonging tends to suffer. Even smaller teams need to make an actual effort to keep up a sense of collaboration – and it’s perfectly normal to find it just a bit annoying.

WaySeven went into full-remote state when the pandemic first hit in 2020, and the first issues anybody had with the office-not-available model was the feeling of loneliness. Once the initial thrill of the work-in-pajamas enthusiasm wore off, a lot of people complained that they felt disconnected.

Our first fix was increasing the amount of video calls just to hang out, including several sessions of online pub quizzes and after-work happy hours. Still, there’s only so much you can do via video, and we needed more.

A combination of Slack and Microsoft Teams helped keep things going for a long time, but they alone weren’t enough as a permanent solution.

Our quest for a path forward was narrowed down to solve two very different problems: a lack of community and sharing, and the need to help our teams track their daily progress better.

The second problem, unfortunately, sent us down a rabbit hole of time-tracking solutions. We didn’t need that – our employees are trusted to know what they need to do and reach out when they need help or advice.

No, what we needed was a method or tool to easily see availability, active hours and opportunities when trying to plan a meeting or just wanting to chat.

The second thing we needed was a solution to the more cultural side of things – the social aspect of the company. We’re a tight-knit group, but new employees were not getting to experience our usual dynamics, and existing colleagues were uncertain about how to bridge the distance.

The solution, for us at least, has come in the form of Culturate.

You may have heard about them – the platform that’s here to help those of us struggling with keeping the team spirit alive. Made through a collaboration of IT and HR/management savvy, this application has so far given us what we need to make our workplace feel as inclusive, supportive and inspiring as it was when we could still just bring donuts in.

An absolute favourite is the Kudos feature. You’ve seen a version of it on LinkedIn – usually, the social media channel reminds you of your coworkers as their milestones come up, so you can give them a public shout-out for what you consider their best quality.

Kudos feature

Inspiring and supporting through mutual positive feedback – the Culturate Kudos feature

What makes the Culturate Kudos so special is the fact that they don’t have to be public – in fact, they can be used like personalized positive feedback from one employee to another. Even better, the kudos themselves can be set up according to company values and brand image, which makes it a million times easier to keep up that same sense of community we were missing.

Receiving a kudo from a fellow employee might not seem like a lot, but it does make a world of difference to be recognized for the value you bring. Added bonus: not only can you see which of your values are especially appreciated by your peers, but your understanding of what matters to the company can actually be rewarded based on the kudos you get!

Another feature that has brought back the best parts of company culture is the Water Cooler.

Designed to connect employees and encourage participation, this feature is the perfect tool that lets you participate in the innovation pipeline and socialize at the same time. Since the mix is random, this amazing option (that can be switched off in case of crunch time) has brought back the magic of on-the-go conversations with coworkers that just happened to be close by.

Both these features and the other options provided by Culturate have already proved to be a boost to morale, the sense of community and the feeling of inclusion.

Team overview Culturate Application

Quick glance at the Culturate weekly Schedule – making transparency a priority

We’re aware that not every company is the same. We are proud and happy that our size and methods of work give us a chance to experiment with new applications, and we’re even happier when these experiments are a success.

These days, the Culturate crew is working very hard on providing the best support and new ways to help us be hybrid while keeping a firm grasp on the company culture. We’ll be happy to talk more about the platform in one of our next blogs – in the meantime, feel free to reach out if you have any questions, or go ahead and sign up for a 14-day free trial on their website!

  • companyculture
  • hybridwork
  • software development
Author Maja Jovicic

Maja Jovicic
PR @ WaySeven Technologies
on February 22, 2022