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How COVID-19 has affected company culture and how it might change in the future

The way we work may be changed for good in the wake of COVID-19. At the very least, it’s a topic that is fresh on the minds of many business owners, human resources professionals, economists, employees, and even within staffing agencies in Pennsylvania. Some companies have shifted policies, workspaces have been reimagined or scrapped altogether, and connecting as a team has been given a new, virtual, look. Hiring has also been subjected to new challenges that could not have been predicted at the beginning of this year, forcing staffing agencies and businesses to polish their video conferencing skills when communicating with applicants or new hires.

And with all of these interruptions in the normal working cycle, where does that leave company culture? How should companies adapt their business practices, policies and benefits to ensure employees are supported? Is it possible to sustain a culture when teams aren’t physically working together? The answers are complicated and could still shift as the economy reopens. But what many companies have found is that company culture is just as important to focus on now, and perhaps more than ever before.

Working virtually has created a new type of relationship between coworkers

The most obvious way that company culture has changed has been in the way that employees work with each other. For the past several months, companies not deemed essential businesses have been working virtually. Team meetings once held in conference rooms turned into group phone calls or were managed through video chats using programs like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. This was the case for many staffing agencies in Pennsylvania as well, TriStarr included. A physical connection to an office space could no longer be counted on to establish working relationships and culture. Instead, trust in each other as coworkers became an even more important part of team work. For some companies, working virtually has made their employees become even closer and more vulnerable with each other than in the past, as the need to connect has been stronger. This has been a positive aspect amid the current stressful working situation that could shape the future of team bonding.

The stigma of working from home has changed

It is no secret that a more relaxed work culture generally brings higher team morale along with it. Some employers were never keen on flexibility when it came to working from home as it was often thought to be a less productive working environment. Thanks to COVID-19, those opinions were forced to change. An online article published by Forbes noted that perhaps the greatest silver lining for many businesses has been that a lot of work really can be done remotely. Even for staffing agencies in Pennsylvania like TriStarr, the thought of having to rely on virtual interviews and hiring practices was never ideal. Now, however, businesses know they can adapt if needed, and it’s likely that when offices do reopen, the thought of establishing a flexible work-from-home plan as part of a work culture perk won’t be so scary.

Management styles and leadership skills are being put to the test

One of the largest aspects of work culture is how a business is run, and, in part, what type of leadership skills are being used to run it. Because the current pandemic prompted businesses to change how they work overnight, many employees found themselves dealing with a new level of stress and anxiety that was challenging to handle. Approaching this uncertainty with patience and optimism has been found to be the most successful way to support shaken coworkers. By maintaining business as usual, teams are more apt to follow suit and continue working to their best ability, knowing their management team is doing all they can to find balance in the new normal.

A unique challenge for some business owners and management teams has been losing a sense of control that is commonly found within the ecosystem of office space. As managers help to build work culture through how they interact with their subordinates on a daily basis, working from home presents a roadblock. Many managers are having to give away a bit of that control and re-approach their management style in order to not only lead the way they feel comfortable, but that works for remote employees.

New hires will need new skills

Staffing agencies in Pennsylvania and across the country, as well as internal hiring teams, have had to change their approach in reviewing applicants during this time. Of course, this work has changed in having interviews remotely, but, emphasis on a virtual skillset could also be important to some companies, especially any who are looking at temp-staffing solutions. Someone who may be perfect for a role in a normal company setting may no longer be the best fit for the current virtual company settings. Recruiting candidates that have a remote work background may be a trend in staffing as the pandemic unfolds, as they would already be trained on how to work responsibly from home.

Work culture will continue to change as the pandemic unfolds, but it will remain a necessary aspect of what any company offers as part of a healthy working environment. Although it’s an uncertain time for businesses, TriStarr has seen this time as an opportunity to improve upon work culture and to strengthen it even further. Whether this change in working remotely will be temporary or long-lasting, it will be beneficial for all businesses to examine what worked well and what didn’t both in terms of function and in workplace happiness. And for any company looking to hire in the future, establishing a solid business culture will be crucial in bringing in the right talent and building up the talent that’s already been hired.

TriStarr is located in Lancaster, PA and offers a variety of hiring and recruiting services. Considered one of the best staffing agencies in Pennsylvania, TriStarr has expertise in HR consulting, temp-staffing, and temp-to-hire placements. Currently, our offices are open by appointment only. To view open job listings, apply online, or to learn more information about our services, please visit our website or contact us today.