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Creative Office Cultures to Help Boost Employee Engagements

by Shafiqah Samarasam. |

Work. Work. Work. 

We all know the drill - reach by 9, check your email, meeting, get the tasks done, get on a call with a client, another meeting, another round of email checks and leave the office by 6. But what does this lead to? Most probably an office with disengaged employees. 

The current manner of work culture has been greatly revolutionised, allowing work to be part of our lives and not our life. I had read up on international companies creating comfortable and ‘natural’ working spaces for their employees and wondering what it would be like for me when I embark in my own working career. Now that I have started working, I have learnt that a company culture is something fluid. 

The past three months of being in my company has taught me that I am amongst caring and involved individuals; and the trait is not solely eminent in their work but it is also one that transverses in their daily lives. 

Some of the office cultures I have found that have greatly boosted employee engagements are through these things: 

Daily Check-ins

This may seem trivial and may sound like it would take precious time from our day. I had the impression that it was using up the time I needed for my work but I have started to be more appreciative of it as it allows me to understand and keep myself up to date with the team. Even for a short ten minutes, the face to face interaction allows us to take in the information and put it into our own work. We would usually have our daily catch ups first thing in the morning before we all start our work – my seniors also take the opportunity to regroup for an idea and give our thoughts in order to develop it further. The daily catch ups are also crucial in growing the juniors like myself as we are the ones who are made to talk and present, which drives us to also want to prep and improve our presentation levels. 

Starting and Ending Emails 

Since we were made to start adapting to the life of working from home, my company’s global CEO has been actively sending out emails for the start of the week as a way to encourage everyone. What I feel sets her apart is how she is able to plant herself among everyone and be eloquent and humble at the same time. Not to mention, the end of the week emails to simply officiate the weekends have been interesting where we share songs or podcasts we’d like to listen to. My company’s Regional President also takes the time to send shout-out emails to the team for bagging a pitch or even simply getting to the end of the work week. These emails are a way of letting all of us know that we’re in it together. As a junior, I feel a sense of connection and recognition being able to read these daily emails just as a form of reflection of our days. These emails have helped me shift my perspective to not just understand that everyone in the organisation is actively playing their role to help everyone and themselves. In fact, it gives one the drive to know that they play a role in the movement of the organisation. 

Everyone’s employee of the month!

We have all heard of the employee of the month - the coveted role one can claim if they work hard enough for the month. Sure, it does feel amazing. However, I have come to learn that the manner in which it is done for my company has made everyone feel amazing. A small bucket is placed at the lounge area of the office where everyone can write anything about anyone. The little notes are read aloud every town hall and it makes everyone feel good. Someone is applauded for leading a team, another person is applauded for being altruistic and another person is just applauded for being themselves and bringing laughter to the workplace. 

A little bonus that helps to create cool culture in my office is the small team that helps to come up with ideas or activities to bring everyone together. The team members change with time and with every team, new ideas are born which creates a trajectory for new interests in office. For instance, one team can direct the office to more environmental activities while other groups focus on art. In a way, this allows everyone to play their part or project their interests better. This too does not leave the ‘bonding’ time to just the HR alone. 

Sure, some of these ideas aren’t groundbreaking but I have come to understand that the great takeaway from this is that our team creates cool office cultures. We don’t depend on trends or a system, but we put this idea on the individuals themselves to understand, nurture and grow the idea better. I have understood how crucial these office cultures are to create connection; And, connection is honed by individuals who want to succeed and grow themselves. To everyone out there, your position does not matter, whether you are starting out or even if  you have gained tremendous experience, work to create these office cultures and contribute your ideas so that you can feel belonged in your office.

You can find out more about the writer on Instagram.

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