A new study by Kahoot!, the global learning platform company, and HR research and advisory firm, Workplace Intelligence, has found that existing perceptions of remote workers will represent a challenge to company culture in the post-pandemic and hybrid workplace.
While most companies will adopt a hybrid model where employees can split their time between remote and office work, survey responses indicated that remote workers tend to be seen as less connected to colleagues, less likely to be included in important discussions, and may receive fewer training opportunities. Conversely, office workers are deemed more likely to get regular raises and promotions and remain with the company for longer.
Vast majority of employees want to feel more connected
Findings from the report (which can be downloaded for free here) suggest that for the hybrid approach to be successful, businesses must work to reverse these perceptions and promote a healthy corporate culture where everyone feels equally included and able to succeed.
The survey found that technology will be key in this regard, but specifically technology that, through fun, interpersonal engagement, drives an increased sense of emotional connectedness among employees whether they are physically or virtually present, or a mix of both.
This was borne out in the report’s findings where, for example, an overwhelming majority of employees (91%) surveyed stated that they want to feel more connected to their coworkers.
Among the report’s other most pertinent findings are:
- 77% of employees surveyed want to work remotely at least part of the time after the pandemic with nearly 53% preferring a hybrid model.
- However, the hybrid model could create a two-tier system favoring those who attend the office. Case in point: 83% of HR leaders surveyed say face-to-face communication is important to be successful at their company.
- With remote work here to stay, 84% of HR leaders say that the adoption of collaboration and employee engagement technologies will increase over the next year.
- But for the hybrid workplace to succeed, technology that supports efficiency won’t be enough — technology that drives emotional connectedness will be key, since 91% of employees want to feel more connected to their teammates.
- The ability to socialize also contributes to employee connectedness, according to 72% of employees who say it’s important that they can have fun with their colleagues during the workday.
- Just 57% of workers (but 79% of HR leaders) rate their collaboration and employee engagement tools as “excellent” or “above average”, indicating a potential perception gap among employers.
Essential part of a holistic package
While the report’s findings point to technologies that are inclusive and enable emotional connections with colleagues will play a key role in building and sustaining a healthy hybrid corporate culture, the authors were clear that it is not a panacea alone. Technologies such as Kahoot!’s employee engagement product, Kahoot! 360 Spirit, should perform an essential function within a holistic employee engagement approach.
“We can see that the hybrid workplace will present some cultural challenges for employees and employers,” said James Micklethwait, VP Kahoot! at Work, “but this new report also points to genuinely viable solutions to this with inclusive, emotionally engaging technology at the forefront. While Kahoot!’s core strength has always been connecting people in person, the last 18 months have shown just how successful Kahoot! is at driving the same sense of inclusivity and emotional connection remotely. What we’re really looking forward to now is seeing tools such as Kahoot! 360 Spirit not just connecting remote and office workers, but also bringing them together emotionally and in a fun way to the benefit of company culture and ultimately business outcomes.”
Also commenting was report co-author and Managing Partner, Workplace Intelligence, Dan Schawbel, who said, “The shift to remote work during the pandemic helped eliminate some of the biases against virtual employees, but our survey revealed that most companies still have a long way to go,” adding that “businesses that want to succeed within the hybrid model need to address these issues, or they’ll risk losing their best talent to companies who do prioritize the fair treatment of all workers. While technology is not a panacea for company culture issues, it can be an integral part of a more holistic approach.”
Research findings are based on a survey of 1,626 HR Leaders and employees conducted by Savanta, Inc. between July 6 – July 16, 2021. The study targeted respondents who were working full-time, 18 to 65 years of age, and living in the US. Respondents were invited to take part via email and were provided with a small monetary incentive for doing so.
Kahoot! is on a mission to make learning awesome! We want to empower everyone, including children, students, and employees to unlock their full learning potential. Our learning platform makes it easy for any individual or corporation to create, share, and play learning games that drive compelling engagement. Launched in 2013, Kahoot!’s vision is to build the leading learning platform in the world. In the last 12 months, 300 million games have been played on the Kahoot! platform with 1.9 billion participating players in more than 200 countries. The Kahoot! family also includes the leading US K-12 EdTech learning platform Clever, award-winning DragonBox math learning apps, the Poio learn to read app, the Drops language learning apps, the Actimo and Motimate employee engagement and corporate platforms and Whiteboard.fi, the online whiteboard tool for all educators, teachers and classrooms. The Kahoot! Group is headquartered in Oslo, Norway with offices in the US, the UK, France, Finland, Estonia, Denmark and Spain. Kahoot! is currently listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker KAHOT. Let’s play!
About Workplace Intelligence
Workplace Intelligence, LLC is an HR research and advisory firm helping leaders adapt to trends, drive performance, and prepare for the future. Our mission is to create more intelligent workplaces using data-based insights. For more information go to our website and subscribe to our LinkedIn newsletter.