A hybrid office does offer the best of both worlds. When employees get the option to split their work week between home and office, they enjoy greater flexibility in managing their time and daily routines. It is especially useful for those employees who also have childcare or caregiving responsibilities.
But hybrid work, too, is not without its challenges. Especially if employees get to pick the days they can come into the office. A major benefit of working in the office is the social interaction and team bonding it fosters. But if employees go into work on the same days as their friends, it may lead to creation of workplace cliques and harm your work culture.
What’s wrong if some employees get along better than others?
Nothing. If your team gets along and works well together that is great for your business. It increases morale and productivity at work. But cliques, by definition, are based on exclusion. They may have a negative effect on the work environment.
How do cliques negatively affect the workplace?
Formation of groups on your team is bad for collaboration and creativity. It may discourage original ideas and make employees reluctant to work with or socialize outside of the clique. It may also be alienating for new employees and introverted workers. Workplace productivity may also be affected as clique members are more likely to spend more time socializing on the days they come into work.
What can employers do to discourage cliques at work?
There are a number of steps employers can take to prevent formation of cliques in the workplace:
Set clear hybrid work policies
Your HR policy on hybrid work should set clear expectations for your staff. It should clarify when employees are required to work from office and when from home. It should also state whether employees are allowed to choose the days they can come into work.
Fix a schedule to encourage team collaboration
Alternatively, employers can set up a hybrid work schedule for the team. But if you’d like your team to have the freedom to pick their days to come into work, you may consider fixing one day when everyone is in at work and able to interact and get to know each other.
Have a buddy system in place for new recruits
Pairing your new employees with a work buddy is a good strategy to help them adjust to a new workplace and feel welcomed. The work buddy can help answer any questions the new recruit may have about the work process and/or the company culture.
Review your recruitment policy
When recruiting, make sure you select candidates who are a good cultural fit for your company. A cultural fit means they share the values and beliefs of your business. It does not mean homogeneity. A diverse team is just as important. It helps bring in fresh ideas, perspectives and a wide range of skills and experiences to your workplace.
Do you have questions related to HR and staff management?
Our experts can help you with company policies as well as with any HR or health and safety advice you may need. To learn more about how our services can benefit your business, call an expert today at 1 (833) 247-3652.