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Is lack of togetherness a price worth paying for remote working?

Georgia Portwain, Culture and Engagement Strategist - O.C. Tanner

More than a quarter of U.K employees (27 per cent) feel like outsiders at work with a third (34 per cent) not considering their workplace to be a ‘community’. This is despite the majority of U.K. employees (65 per cent) wanting to feel a strong sense of belonging at work. These are the findings from a report* which collected and analysed the perspectives of over 36,000 employees, leaders, HR practitioners, and business executives from 20 countries around the world, including 4,653 from the U.K.

According to the report, there are eight key factors that provide a workplace with a strong sense of community, including shared goals, commitment, communication, feedback, camaraderie, trust, adaptation and unity. Of these, U.K. employees ranked camaraderie/ relationship with team members as the most important aspect for nurturing belonging (cited by 73 per cent of respondents).

“Thriving cultures have a strong sense of community that brings and holds employees together” says Georgia Portwain, Culture and Engagement Strategist from workplace culture expert O.C. Tanner. “Employees who feel that they belong will stay at the company for longer, will be more resilient to change and are more likely to deliver great work.”

The findings reveal that organisations that score high on the ‘community index’ are 100 per cent more likely to have employees that produce aspirational levels of great work, with a 58 per cent lower probability of their employees actively looking for another job.

Despite such compelling reasons to build a workplace community, just 52 per cent of U.K. employees believe that creating a community is a priority for their organisational leaders.

Portwain adds, “Leaders need to recognise that having a strong and sustaining workplace community is the foundation of organisational success, and so they must find ways to bring their people together and create an environment of trust, unity and appreciation.”

*O.C. Tanner’s 2023 Global Culture

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