Getting working culture right is essential to hiring, supporting and retaining workers

working cultureAs workers continue to adjust workstyles to fit with their new priorities, a PwC survey reveals nearly two-thirds of workers are on the hunt for a new job. Many employers are scrambling for strategies to attract top talent and retain their employees. But actively developing working culture and designing new ways to secure the best talent and look after it requires first listening and reacting to the impact the changing work landscape is having on employees’ mental and physical health, as well as understanding and prioritising new and sought-after benefits.

Just having a working culture is not enough – every workplace has one. It must be a positive working culture, one that potential recruits want to be a part of, and which is designed to reduce the amount of stress placed on workers during working hours. Candidates will do their research so living by these values is essential.

It’s even more vital, at this time of the Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting and the skills gap, to secure the brightest and best talent by making yourself the most attractive business to work for. Working culture is everything and when it comes to vying for the most sought-after skills, businesses have to be in it to win it.

This means leaders must understand what drives today’s workers to want to be at work, prioritise mental and physical health, and have a strong grasp of what is not only legally, but also culturally acceptable in modern workplaces.

Flexibility is no longer just a ‘draw’; it’s essential. In Ergotron’s own survey of 1000 workers, 88 percent of employees agree that the flexibility to work from home or the office has increased their job satisfaction. Employers who embrace the hybrid work environment or remote on a surface level will hire or keep workers short term.

Workers also want to be part of a company that promotes healthy working habits, as part of a healthier working culture with leaders that actively champion employee wellbeing.

Worker provisioning appears to have dropped off the radar since the initial hiatus of the pandemic. Workers want cool and relevant tech apps, the right training and support, and large enough screen sizes which are appropriate for roles. They also want flexible tech which they can take with them between workspaces.


Ways to attract and support top talent

There are three main areas to address in order to keep workers happy and healthy at work:

  1. Promoting physical wellbeing at work

How an employee feels at a given moment during the workday directly impacts his or her performance and how well he or she completes the job. It is scientifically known that exercise can help increase productivity. However, even when working from home, employees are largely sedentary. Dedicating time to regularly step away from work to take a walk or stretch the body is a critical step to reducing long-term aches and pains. Using an activity app such as Strava can encourage a remote team to collectively get involved with regular exercise.

Since movement is an essential part of improving employees’ daily routines, taking more breaks from work during the 8-hour day, with time spent alternating between sitting and standing is most effective. It’s critical for employers to promote health and wellness activities during the day, such as going for a midday walk, working from a standing desk, or taking a few minutes to work out in a home gym, and leaders should model this behaviour to normalise moving frequently throughout the day.

  1. Offering flexibility in working hours

An organisation’s leaders need to recognise both the benefits and shortcomings of the remote work environment. The last two years have made many employees question whether they are working from home or living at work with 40 percent of employees reporting they work extended hours. Truly embracing the flexibility that working from home can bring to their employees will see greater staff motivation. When executed well, employees can feel more energised and balanced.

Even though some employees are dedicating more time to their work, if they’re able to fit it in and around other aspects of their lives, they feel the positive effects of a better work/life balance. One suggestion might be to ensure meetings don’t take place early morning and late afternoon to avoid school drop off times. Other employers have shortened the working day. Knowing your employees and the busy lifestyles they juggle will help to plan what works for each business.

  1. Boosting workplace culture through voluntary benefits

The pandemic has driven more employers to offer voluntary benefits. Getting this right can make or break effective talent acquisition. Flexible working arrangements have renewed collaboration and connection among colleagues. Some businesses have built such a strong working culture that workers are electing to return to the physical office.

As attracting and retaining talent remains top of mind, business leaders should consider providing allowances or reimbursements for ergonomic furniture, which can include flexible equipment such as standing desks and monitor arms as well as wellness programmes. Creating environments that make workers more comfortable is essential, whether it’s reducing noise, offering a room with lots of natural light and greenery or with your pet by your side.

Take steps forward, not backwards

The pandemic accelerated many efficiencies in our work and lifestyles such that we’d never dream of going back to the way things were. It empowered many employees to get up and move, adopting healthier habits than they had while in the office. Maintaining and building on the benefits that flexibility and healthy working practices brings is the future of work.

Companies that allow their employees to set healthy boundaries and be comfortable and productive wherever they are – whether in a traditional office space or working remotely – will keep them for the long-term.