A post-COVID mixed model of working from home and in office can foster corporate culture, synergy, and brand value, both internally and externally.

Recently, tech giants such as Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter have told staff that remote work from home would be a permanent option, prompted by COVID-19.

In the early months of the Pandemic, many found working from home was more productive with less commute time to the office.  Half a year later, people began to realize that not having a clear boundary between work and life can have a negative effect. People are now missing being together in the office working environment, to some extent. 

Bonding is key for a brand, internally and externally

To brand is to bond.  A successful brand not only bonds EXTERNALLY with their followers, buyers, and loyal fans, but also INTERNALLY with employees, management and staff at all levels. 

Bonding is a contact sport: People must be sharing physical space and time, seeing and talking IN PERSON instead of virtually.

A brand is what people believe in, as the essence of the brand. What the brand stands for is the reason why people choose to work for the brand or buy the brand. Brand values are an organization’s hiring and firing criteria as well as its culture.  Bonding is key for fostering SHARED brand values, experience and culture within a company.  

Externally, bonding is also important for a brand’s customer experience:  Going to the Apple Store has an EXPERIENCE element that a delivered package cannot replicate. Christmas shopping is an EXPERIENCE where our eyes and ears are feasted with holiday colors and music on the streets and in stores, rather than merely clicking items on a computer.  That’s why the Germans were adamant about keeping their traditional Christmas open markets this Christmas Season, after the German government was about to ban them due to COVID. Wear masks please!

The work place is not merely an organizational machine where each individual is a mechanical part. It should be a place where support, teamwork, motivation, and discipline drive both the organization and all its human resources to grow.

We humans have a primordial need to be in a community, in work or in life, to feel whole.

Synergy, community, and teamwork are part of work experience

People need people, physically next to each other, to support, inspire, and motivate each other. Working on your own for a prolonged period of time can lead to more frequent trips to the refrigerator and adding to your waistline.  People can experience depression, isolation and mental illness after working alone in an isolated environment.

What is Zoom fatigue?  To many, it’s just another way of saying: “I feel isolated.”

Zoom meetings and other types of virtual virtual conferencing cannot substitute physically sharing an office space with team members.  It is just not the same. 

It’s okay to wear masks and be near each other to get work done. People still can talk to each other and work together on a project or a task.  The synergy is in sparking inspiration and drawing on each other’s energy as a collective whole.

Zoom meetings and other types of  cannot substitute being physically sharing an office space with team members. 

Before COVID, I tried to use a virtual assistant.  I concluded then that I’d rather train a local assistant who comes in and sits in the same office with me regularly.   By sitting next to each other and seeing what we are doing  on our respective computer screens, we can instantly exchange ideas and information, ask questions, and get feedback.  During breaks, we chat about exercise tips, share jokes, snacks, treats.  As his duties grow, I groom this “real” person into a higher level position as my company grows.  Virtual assistants can handle tasks, but I want my employees to share, bond, and synergize with each other and with the leadership, for the brand, with the brand, of the brand. 10 Plus Brand.

A mixed model of office working and home working

The post Coronavirus world is most likely a balance between office working and remote working from home.  How many days at home, how many days in the office per week is up to each organization.  It is unrealistic to expect either to return to pre-COVID model or completely work from home every day of the week.  Having a company office environment and schedule is vital for incubating a brand’s internal bonding experience, loyalty and culture, which will in turn maintain the brand’s external value and glamour for its customers, followers and fans. 

Written by Joanne Tan, CEO and Brand Strategist of 10 Plus Brand. 

© Joanne Tan, all rights reserved.

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