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Strong culture makes happy employees: Tips for strong workplace culture in the office and remotely

Employees and employers should not underestimate the importance of good workplace culture. It means people are more likely to be happy at work and encourages employee retention. Why?

Indeed defines workplace culture as attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that make up the work environment. It determines how well employees fit in with each other and build relationships.

Everyone wants to enjoy their work. Everyone wants to develop positive relationships with colleagues. So how do you achieve this, whether working alongside your colleagues or hybrid?

There are many ways to build a positive workplace culture, according to the NSW Government


Encourage your colleagues to hold regular morning teas, lunchtime get-togethers, and celebration events. Ideally, these will be staff-led, with most people wanting to attend.

Communication with colleagues should always be courteous, ensuring careful consideration of the other person.

Employees should always try to act in line with company values, which everyone in the workplace should be familiar with.

Employees should be openly encouraged to share their ideas and regularly provided with feedback, to allow them to grow their skills.

Try to keep disagreements short and to a minimum. Employees should resolve conflicts before they escalate. In a good workplace culture, a colleague will immediately call out a colleague who is harassing another.

However, Australia’s workforce is increasingly working remotely. In late 2023, Seek reported that 10% of jobs advertised on the site can be done wholly or partly remotely, a figure which significantly increased following the Covid pandemic. Many of these will have not physically met their colleagues.  How do you connect with colleagues in another suburb, city or state?. Hays provides some good tips.

If you are working remotely, the best way to connect with your colleagues is by video call. It should be the first preference if connecting physically isn’t possible.  Unlike a phone call, text message or email, connecting virtually allows you to read the body language of others, helping ensure your message and intent is clear.

Even in a remote workplace, values matter. It’s crucial to ensure everyone remains committed to values despite not being beside each other.

To build positive relationships between colleagues, your workplace should aim to have a weekly team call.

Social conversation with colleagues is often overlooked for remote workers but it is essential.  For example, a Friday afternoon social call may be a good option, giving time for the chit chat and rapport that is common in offices. A simple thing to do to build rapport with your colleagues is to say hello to them every morning.

Of course, many workplaces are hybrid, a mix of physical and remote work. Any possible physical get- togethers, like coffee-catch ups or social gatherings should be encouraged in this scenario.

Sharing ideas is just as important in a remote workplace as a physical one. However, it can also be more difficult in a remote workplace. To help address this, programs such as Google Docs and Canva can help colleagues share and edit content in real time.

co-working people

Whether you work remotely or in person, there’s no shortage of ways to stay connected to colleagues and help achieve a positive workplace culture in the process.

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