Guest post courtesy of: Megan Webb-Morgan
Office culture is defined as the philosophy, values, and behavior that together constitutes the unique style and policies of a company. Your company culture can be a positive element of your business that encourages productivity and employee satisfaction.
However, it can also have the opposite effect: draining your employees of energy and enthusiasm. If you’re thinking employees still rely on water cooler gossip for work “culture” you’re wrong. In order to create a more positive, transparent, and productive work environment, you may need to make changes to your culture – and the right technology can help.
Enterprise Social Networks
According to the Harvard Business Review, one of the most important elements of office culture is communication. Poor communication leads to conflict, misaligned priorities, and lack of consistency between teams and departments.
Considered “Facebook for business,” employees use the platform as a means of communication inside of and between different departments, helping them to align goals, increase productivity, and promote interdepartmental cooperation and collaboration.
Since all conversations are open, everyone can see what everyone else is working on, provide input, and align their own work to fit better with company-wide efforts.
The internal workings of the company become more transparent. Employees feel like they have more of a stake in the company and can see how their actions benefit the whole.
Everyone has an equal voice – from the CEO to the mail room clerks – and everyone can contribute something valuable to the discussion.
Time is money in the business world, and when given the choice between communicating and saving time, most employees will choose the latter. After all – your employees already receive emails from coworkers, managers, customers, clients, and business partners.
Sending yet another email to a coworker that will go unanswered for three hours is time-consuming. Picking up the phone to call them, thus interrupting their own work, is equally frustrating, especially when it’s just a quick question.
Chat clients – whether cloud-based, located within the email client, or installed on the desktop – help employees communicate more efficiently. They can ask and answer a question within seconds, without interrupting their workflow.
Many chat clients allow users to transmit files through the program, which increases the quality of the discussion and helps promote teamwork and collaboration.
File Sharing Tools
Your office culture will impact how well your employees work in a team. Teamwork is essential for many of the projects your business needs done – from designing marketing campaigns to qualifying new sales leads. The way that your business facilitates that collaboration is indicative of the health of your office culture; effective collaboration, in turn, feeds back into your culture in a positive way.
File sharing technology helps your employees collaborate more effectively. You can also use file storage options to store documents and databases that your employees access on a regular basis. Using cloud file sharing makes it easy for multiple individuals to share files, edit files together, and keep multiple versions of those files organized in a comprehensive way.
Cloud-based file storage replaces the disorder and mayhem of multiple people sharing multiple versions of a file over email with one single document that everyone can access. Team members can read and edit files at the same time from different computers with no confusion over finding the right “final version” amongst various email inboxes.
The technology that you use in your business can have a profound effect on your office culture. If you want to make improvements to your culture, choose technology that facilitates transparency, communication, and teamwork.