The Way Things Used to Be
During the pandemic, life and work changed rapidly. Appointments needed to be conducted remotely, which resulted in some employees never even meeting each other in person. At 1Kosmos we were sure to have regular video conferences and virtual happy hours to provide company updates and foster personal connections. However, the virtual working model posed its share of challenges.
With a large organization and a rapidly shifting economy, working together purposefully and seeing accurate results is tricky. All companies slowed down or halted during this time because company culture and working together is essential for ensuring your company’s success.
During the pandemic, our motto was “come together.” It was essential to remind our team that we need to work together still and rely on one another no matter what. Although we successfully stuck together during the most challenging times, nothing beats finally feeling the spark of collective and creative energy when finally working together again.
Zoom and video conferencing make it easy for us to communicate regularly, but there’s no substitute for meeting in person when collaboration and understanding each other is critical. Sitting in the same room together, you can know the person, learn what they like, and whiteboard and brainstorm ideas that can be easily missed over the phone or via video chat.
Sitting with the team over a couple of days gave so much insight into what our employees would like out of our company, how we can increase productivity, and help with more interactions between the teams.
In addition to employees, our interactions with our customers in India have also been limited. This face-to-face interaction with your customer base is crucial, and the pandemic damaged many company-customer relationships. The market in India is moving at a rapid speed and adopting a digital identity and security is at the forefront there.
One of our core values is “Service to our customers”. Having an opportunity to meet our customers in India, learn about their environments, and get their feedback was refreshing. Meeting with our prospects face-to-face allows us to better tap into exactly where we need to provide value as a company.
Recently, we invited all our employees who lived across India to visit our office for an entire week. In addition, we also got a chance to meet some of our customers and prospects in India.
The best part of this trip was when we held a day-long company session. In this session, we took the time to re-introduce the company to our team and exchange ideas on collaborating better in a hybrid environment. This was exciting, and so many of the team members shared incredibly insightful questions and thoughts.
One of the most interesting questions was: “I believe the 1Kosmos culture and values have been upheld well and resonate strongly with our customers. But with such a fast-growing organization, how do we maintain our culture and prioritize employee enablement? ”
The answer, in my opinion, is pretty simple – encourage asking questions. The simple mantra here is that a person learns more by asking questions rather than knowing the answers. To that extent, we have fostered multiple platforms/calls where we share information and encourage questions to be asked.
The more asked questions mean that everyone is on the same page about areas the company needs to continue to grow.
During this day-long event, we also learned so much about our team through the team-building activities. Usually, we tend to focus on the individual through interviews, and we try to understand what a person is best at in their day. Instead, we focused on team building and how to best effectively work as a team. This is another reason why a hybrid work environment is essential for new growth as a company.
Shifting Towards a New Hybrid Work Environment
We’ve learned that the best work environment is a hybrid of both in-person and remote activities. You can’t have a great company culture without teamwork and operating together. Although all employees successfully continued working through remote work during the pandemic, this isn’t sustainable for long-term growth.
A hybrid work environment allows for reflection and creativity both alone and together. It is proven that a better balance between home and work life results in increased productivity and satisfaction. Working completely remote did have its benefits. We want to continue reaping those benefits while also adding back that crucial team collaboration.
The pandemic forced us to take a step back and prioritize exactly what is most important in our lives. This was health, family, or personal growth for many of us. A hybrid work environment provides the right balance between taking care of yourself and prioritizing your health and wellness while also beginning to lean back into growing together in a fast-paced world.