Work From Home (WFH) transformed how enterprises and people work, but many businesses are now returning to the office and adopting hybrid structures.

For these enterprises, something has changed – employees are less likely to engage in casual conversation, and the digital buffer remains in place. This is a threat to workplace harmony and human collaboration.

A recent study of more than 61,000 Microsoft employees found employee collaboration is more static and siloed due to remote work. Businesses must boost collaboration and break down digital barriers that were once labelled the future. Human interaction is irreplaceable, and enterprises must evolve for healthy company culture.

Communication breakdown

People are sick of being on camera, but remote work demands it. People are sick of conferences, but remote work demands it. Yet when people are brought into the office, they hate it. It seems that enterprises can’t win. This communication breakdown results from dependence on video chat and project management apps. It has sapped us of our interpersonal skills and made us want to work alone in our homes.

However, this is not good for business because it erodes company culture and imbalances participation, personality, character, and imagination. Hybrid working is the way to go, but businesses must rebuild confidence and collaboration, fuelling the team spirit and instilling a sense of purpose.

Rebuilding with practical steps

To maximize in-office time, you should be intentional about what kind of work is scheduled for those days. Employees and teams should have a to-do list and focus on those things, working on separate company projects remotely.

When teams focus on tasks, they communicate and collaborate better. Meetings, brainstorming sessions and catch-ups bring workers together, giving everyone a voice and shifting the culture back to teamwork.

However, you must also make in-office time appealing – it is no good dragging people into the office for work they can do at home. The work you set should be office-reliant, or you should provide tools and technology that make work much simpler in the office. This isn’t about pandering to employees who don’t want to be there – it’s about making the office a rewarding place to go for everyone.

Make a conscious effort to unite people and go big on events and activities that create connections. Workers are happy when they have a voice and even happier when they have someone to listen to it.