Canadian Lawyer

November 2022

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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46 www.canadianlawyermag.com FEATURE WORKPLACE CULTURE The global pandemic has changed the way much of the world works. Colin D. Ellis explains why organizations need to redesign workplace culture in order to embrace hybrid working CULTURE, or the 'way we do things around here,' is – and always has been – the biggest determinant of team and organizational success. When times are good, culture is invisible, save for the smiles on people's faces, the dedication with which they approach their work, their determination to get the best out of each other, and how they collect- ively celebrate their successes. When times are bad, culture shows itself everywhere. O.C. Tanner's 2021 Global Culture Report found that stagnant cultures – i.e. those in which employees were disengaged and demonstrated poor behaviours – were 10 times more likely to be negatively affected in a crisis, and many organizations are still suffering the effects that the pandemic has wrought on the way they operate. Conversely, the organizations that thrived during the pandemic were the ones that recognized that the way work was done had changed significantly, and as a result the micro experiences between staff would have to change too. They focused not only on the wellbeing of staff but also the interactions between them. They recognized the fear and Why working culture needs to change anxiety that people felt, and created a space where it was both OK to talk about it and still bring their most productive selves to work. In short, these organizations focused less on the tactical day-to-day of work and took a proactive approach to building emotional connections between people and redefining the culture they needed to be successful. If you're moving to a hybrid working model, you need to do that too. Cultures that were previously designed for a model in which people were inter- acting face-to-face when located in the same space are no longer applicable. For hybrid working to be effective, the working culture has to be redesigned to suit this model. When redefining the culture required for hybrid working, organizations need to consider the following: Personality and communication The relationships between individuals are critical for productive work in a hybrid world, and this starts with people understanding themselves. The pandemic has affected everyone in different ways, so it's important to recognize this and for people to re-evaluate who they are now and how this has affected Cultures that were previously designed for a model in which people were interacting face-to-face when located in the same space are no longer applicable

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