Hybrid working or the flexible combination of remote and on-site working, has become the norm in many companies around the world. This new form brings with it many benefits, such as greater flexibility and work-life balance. However, one of the main challenges associated with it is building a sense of team membership among those working fully out of the office.
The future has accelerated
As the HRM Institute highlights in its report “Employer Branding in Poland 2023, “ the future has accelerated. And this is due to intensely influential social, digital, business and technological trends.
“What’s changing is both the way we perform our duties, as well as where, when, how we work together, and the people we work with. If this pace of change continues, there is a good chance that within the next decade work will bear little resemblance to that of today.” – report, pp. 5.
The whole process was significantly accelerated by the pandemic, during which a change in the work model was necessary. It is due to these experiences that many companies have now decided to move fully to remote work or have introduced a hybrid model. What’s more, it has now become one of the most desirable, as well as decisive, factors that candidates are guided by during their job search.
“(…) those professional groups that can work remotely or hybrid are very much looking forward to it. It is one of the top attributes that determine the attractiveness of an employer. Many times candidates reject a job offer because of the need to work onsite. Employees no longer only want to work remotely, but also to work for a specific employer from different corners of the world.” – report pp. 6.
A challenge for HR departments
Employees working remotely often feel isolated and less connected to the company or team. The lack of daily face-to-face interaction, non-linear communication and opportunities to participate in informal meetings or company events make it more difficult to build a sense of community and bonding among all team members.
That’s why it’s important to ensure that a new person’s sense of belonging to the team is built as early as in the onboarding process. It is worth emphasizing at the outset that the person is welcome there, and moreover that his presence is needed there! However, how do you achieve this at a distance?
Corporate gifting and welcome packs
One solution that can help solve this problem is to use the practice of corporate gifting, and as part of this, create welcome packs for new employees. Corporate gifting is a form of recognition and thanks for their work, and in this case also a warm welcome to the new place.
Creating welcome packs that include company items as well as essential office equipment and accessories can help inspire a sense of becoming part of a company’s team and improve the onboarding process itself. Of course, in addition to welcome packs throughout the process, it is important to remember that the most important thing is to properly and comprehensively introduce the person to the company’s work and activities.
However, let’s not forget about the company’s previous employees! If such a practice is introduced after some time, it is also crucial to provide company merchandise to those who have been part of the team for a while!
Does it even work?
Adopting this approach to building a sense of team has a number of benefits.
Receiving a welcome pack evokes the feeling of being part of a team and bonding with the company. Remote employees will feel more integrated and connected to the company’s mission and values, especially if there is a greeting card dedicated to them.
In the long run, it can also affect their motivation and commitment to the company. Providing the necessary equipment, office accessories and a gift in the form of corporate merchandise right from the start can encourage them to act efficiently as a result.
In addition, it has its advantages, promoting your brand. Personalized company items such as hoodies, T-shirts, bags or mugs can act as promotional tools for the company when remote employees use them in public places, include them in their photos or take them with them on trips. It is a reliable tool in employer branding.
Learn more about the use of corporate gifting in employer branding here.
The introduction of hybrid or fully remote working brings with it challenges in building a sense of team membership. Corporate gifting and welcome packs are effective tools that can help solve this problem. Providing employees with personalized corporate items and essential office equipment and accessories will not only inspire a sense of belonging, but can also increase their motivation and commitment, making them brand ambassadors at the same time.