Effective Ways to Nurture Office Culture in a Hybrid Working Model

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 03/04/2022
hybrid office culture

This blog post is for the business owners and managing directors who are concerned about how will the adoption of the hybrid working model reflect on their office culture. We understand this being a challenge many hoped to pass together with the necessity of fully remote working, therefore it has not been previously addressed. But now is the time to revisit it and learn it’s not as complicated as it seems.




Although unexpected and therefore causing major troubles for historically fully office-based businesses, remote working was perceived as a temporary measure imposed by the government. However, since it was not cancelled at once but was being lifted gradually, companies also had to adjust to the fact going back to the norm was not as direct as being tasked to work from home. This has given birth to the work model known as a hybrid when few employees operate from the site and others remain remote on interchanging days.

Curiously, something that was supposed to be a compromise has now been adopted as a permanent solution by the majority of high-growing revenue organisations. Smaller enterprises, naturally, seeing this success are keen to follow. But this raises a natural question: what happens to the office culture as we’ve known when the team is no longer fully office based? The answer is simple - similarly to how the workplace approach did, it is evolving. And in this article, we will be helping you to kickstart the evolution. 

Hybrid Workplace is the Norm

Having first arisen as a necessity for businesses to re-enter their premises, the hybrid working style has proven to be a highly effective approach. In fact, so effective many businesses had adopted it full-time even after the work-from-home regiment has been lifted. Many employees found it to be more compatible with their lifestyles than the traditional 9-to-5 module and therefore the surveys of various sources are now showing many potential candidates would decline a job if it wasn’t hybrid. Additionally, more than half of the employees expressed determination to either start looking for a new position or quit on the spot if they’re required to go back into the office full-time.

In other words, we can see that this approach has shaped the work landscape of today and is predicted to impact the future. However, since it’s still rather new, there are a few questions boggling the minds of business owners. The key one being is how to build an office culture in a hybrid workplace?

Address the Foundation

The first and key step to improving office culture in general is outlining what it is. Given that the hybrid environment poses the challenge of your team rarely meeting to collaborate in person, it’s particularly important to have that understanding consistent across the company. Simply put, you cannot optimise something without having it first. It may appear to be a no-brainer to clearly define one’s office culture until you try - many people, to their surprise, learn it is quite challenging. 

Establishing and Communicating Company Values

The first step in instilling the alignment in terms of the office culture is introducing your staff to key business values. It does not need to be a lengthy read; in other words, you don’t need to write an entire ‘About Us’ page aimed at your staff for onboarding purposes. All you need are a mission statement and a vision statement. Neither has to be longer than two sentences - you want to be as straightforward and clear as possible.

The mission statement is to outline your ‘why?’ - why the business exists and what is its purpose. Of course, every company aims to generate revenue, but that’s never the reason. As an example, at Timesheet Portal our mission statement is that we seek to help companies speed up the pay and bill processes by removing as much manual data insertion as possible. This means that we prioritise our clientele and are trying to be as useful to them as we can. Our business has been built based on the insights, feedback and needs of our clients, therefore being able to serve them in a timely, empathetic and value-driven way is one of our top values.

The vision statement is aimed at the future development of the business, something every employee knows they must strive to. As an example, your company’s vision statement could be to help users across the globe as opposed to being a local business. This is not a specific goal, but rather a long-term indicator of success which should be the basis of goal setting in your company. 

Invest in People

Of course, to attract and retain top talent, you need to invest in people; be this by offering a great benefits package or additional training. But our narrative in this paragraph is a bit different - what we mean is investing in tools that improve the communication, alignment and performance of your teams. Collaboration tools such as CRM, video call platforms and others are a must for hybrid offices and we have recently shared some of our favourite ones.

The reason we think that investing in software equals investing in people is pretty simple. You can go to the concert of the world’s best orchestra; but if some of the musicians have high-grade instruments, others have beginner-level ones and some have none at all, they will not sound their best. Even if each of them is a world-renowned musical virtuoso. This is how things are across all the industries. Unless you invest in high-grade tools for your staff, you won’t be able to reap all of their potential. Therefore when you invest in good collaboration software for the hybrid working model, you really invest in your people. 

Staff at the Heart of Your Business

To continue with what’s stated above - your employees are your most valuable asset. It goes without saying you, as an employer, need to support them in their growth. This is why we will talk about things less obvious than team-building exercises. Things that are very specific and very important to being successful in adopting a functional and success-driving hybrid working model office culture. 

More Emphasis on Time Off

Months of fully remote working have highlighted that when people are not in the office full-time, they are less likely to take time off. It may not seem like a bad thing at the first glance: the more your staff work, the more they will achieve, right? As paradoxical as it sounds, it’s actually the other way around. First of all, you need to remember that you have a legal obligation to ensure your workers claim their minimum holiday entitlement. Secondly, lack of rest translates into burnout, loss of productivity and growing dissatisfaction with the job.

There are many reasons why workers don’t claim the holiday days, ranging from unrealistic workloads to feeling pressured by their peers. And it’s much more difficult to keep track of who’s off and who’s not in the hybrid environment as you’re used to not seeing everyone in the office. In other words, you may not even be aware there’s a problem and be therefore subjected to all the negative consequences. Basically, you cannot address the issue you don’t know is there until it reaches the boiling point. The only way around this is to adopt a centralised holiday management system. Not only does it keep you in the loop, but also gives the rest of the team a chance to adjust their schedules over the visibility of their colleagues being off. Not to mention, it’s a much more convenient way of requesting/approving time off than lengthy email threads. 

Office Hours Do Not Equal Productivity 

The Hubstaff study has revealed that most people don’t experience their ‘peak hours’ during the 9-to-5 time frame. This could lead to another known productivity statistic that an average employee is only productive for 2 hours 23 minutes a day. In other words, by pushing your staff into adhering to the standard company work times, you might be severely damaging the productivity of your team. And while the hybrid working model sure offers a layer of flexibility, you should go a step further if you want to see some noticeable results.

The flexitime approach basically means that your employees are able to select the hours in which they work. This way they will be able to take advantage of their peak productivity hour or build their schedule better in accordance with their off-work life. However, your salaried employees are not the contractors; meaning they are either salaried or paid on an hourly basis instead of being paid for the deliverables. Similarly to how it is with the unlimited holiday, the success of full freedom in regards to choosing their work hours will highly depend on the team. For example, you won’t have a good team collaboration if barely anyone works at the same time. We suggest imposing some basic rules like giving staff a 2-3 hours window in which they can start work and their finishing time will be ruled in accordance to it. 

Flexible Workplaces Build the Future

Since the hybrid model is still pretty new and praised for its flexibility, there are little to no rules on how to make it ‘right’. At the end of the day, the approach built upon the idea of the team members finding their optional work preferences for increased productivity is very personal to every company. Its fluidity and lack of definite frames drive progress through innovation and can therefore be easily named the approach to a workplace of the future.

Hybrid Office is What You Make It 

With the business market being highly competitive across all industries, the one-fits-all approach simply doesn’t work. You have to be unique in every way possible, including your internal processes and office culture, to be noticed. Unlike fully remote or fully office-based approaches, the hybrid working model offers endless possibilities to optimise and adjust through the software you adopt. This is why the functionality and customisability of the tool are just as important as its job-to-be-done.

We pride ourselves on the fact that each module of Timesheet Portal is highly customisable and no company will be using it in the same way. From unique time tracking and pay margin calculations to branding of invoices and other documents, our software serves your needs in the way you choose it. And other tools you want to incorporate into your hybrid office operation strategy should be similar in that regard. To put it in a simple comparison, the software solutions you choose are the building blocks of the hybrid workplace for they will be responsible for the communication, collaboration, process fluidity and other pillars on which your office culture rests.


One of the challenges that raises from the vastly praised hybrid working model is the nurturing of the office culture. Mostly because your team is never fully in the office together. The key problem, however, is overcoming this mindset rather than finding the teams to bring your employees on the same page in regards to company values. Flexibility has proven to be more effective than strict requirements of everyday in-person presence, and there are no definite rights or wrongs when adopting it.

As long as you’re clear about the company values and the shared mission, the wide market of collaboration and team performance tracking tools can help you build a flourishing office culture. Employees that are happy with their work environment are notoriously more willing to stay and give their all to the job they enjoy. Not to mention, being considerate of their needs and preferences showcases you as a mindful boss, enabling you to establish closer relationships with your staff easier.

Are you ready to boost your office culture? We will help.

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Timesheet Portal online software provided by Anfold Software Ltd, a registered company in the UK.