Flexible working causing company culture concerns

HR teams are concerned about the impact flexible working will have on company culture.

According to LinkedIn research, 83% of HR professionals say their companies are shifting to enable flexible working in the future, however 50% are concerned that this may impact company culture.

HR may have reason for concern as 39% of C-level executives said they believe that company culture has already been damaged or diluted due to remote working during the pandemic.

Thirty-seven per cent of business leaders said they are worried about employee mental health, while 35% reported fearing that employees may be bored or demotivated due to the continued time away from workplaces.

Janine Chamberlin, senior director at LinkedIn, told HR magazine: “Leaders and HR professionals are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact the extended period of remote working is having on organisational culture and employee morale.”

She said she believes the relationships and trust that employees have formed over months or years of working together in-person can be harder to build virtually, particularly for new employees or people moving internally to different roles or functions where they will have entirely new teams.

“This can ultimately have an impact on business performance,” she said.

“Furthermore, the significant ways companies have had to adapt during the pandemic may feel new or disorienting to some employees. Clear and regular communication is key to keeping workforces updated during times of change or upheaval,” added Chamberlin.

LinkedIn’s report The Future of Recruiting also highlighted how recruiting and hiring practices will adapt due to the rise of flexible and remote working.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of HR and talent professionals said they believe that the move to remote working will help companies improve access to diverse talent pools and candidates from under-represented groups, and 70% said their organisation is committed to improving diverse hiring.

More than two-thirds (68%) believe virtual interviews will become standard, and nearly a third (32%) are implementing virtual onboarding programmes for new employees.

Furthermore, 16% said they are creating new employee compensation and benefit packages for those that are going to be working remotely.

The report surveyed over 1,500 HR and talent professionals around the world, including nearly 170 in the UK.