Study: 37% believe the pandemic has improved their workplace

A July study discovered that company culture had changed because of the pandemic, but surprisingly, a significant number of people feel that things have actually improved.

 

 

When the pandemic reaction kicked off, most companies suddenly had to transition to remote working, with no timeline as to when—or if—things would return to normal again. How could companies hope to maintain the intangible yet powerful foundation of their workplace: company culture?

A new study from Quartz and Qualtrics, a firm that helps companies manage employee experience, found that the impact on culture in workplaces globally hasn’t been as heavily hit as initially expected. In fact, more people said their workplace culture had improved during the pandemic than said it had deteriorated.

37% of the 2,100 participants in the study said their workplace culture had improved since the start of the pandemic, compared to 15% who said it had deteriorated. The remaining 52% reported little change in their experiences. The respondents were employed adults from Australia, the USA, Singapore, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Hong Kong.

Quartz/Qualtrics gave the respondents a list of attributes they might ascribe to their company and asked them whether they had increased, decreased, or remained unchanged during the pandemic. A greater number of respondents reported that positive attributes (e.g. supportiveness, kindness etc.) had increased than said they had decreased. On the flip side, when it came to negative attributes, those who had reported an increase still outnumbered those who perceived a decrease…but by a smaller margin.

Is culture really improving, though? It is hard to draw such a conclusion from quantitative results, though there are other indicators that suggest it is.

 

37% of the 2,100 participants in the study said their workplace culture had improved since the start of the pandemic, compared to 15% who said it had deteriorated. The remaining 52% reported little change in their experiences.

 

For starters, we are wasting less time. A working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that despite our fetish for zoom meetings, the average meeting length is shorter and we’re collectively spending less time in them. Firms are also reporting an increase in communication, and flexibility. Furthermore, our empathy is growing as we see a more intimate and personal side to our colleagues in meetings.

And while uncertainty is a word with strong connotations to the pandemic, it seems the shake-up has been clarifying, reinforcing how people feel towards their employer and fellow employees. 

70% of respondents gave their company a positive rating when it came to company culture pre-pandemic, and they were more likely to say it had improved. Those who already saw their company culture in a negative light were more likely to say it had since deteriorated. The split suggests that a robust culture sees companies through the tough times, while furthering the divide amongst bad teams.

 

 

 

 

 

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