Healthy social interaction is essential when you're working with your colleagues. Unfortunately, many companies underestimate this aspect. In doing so, it has an enormous impact on the employees and on the success of the company.
"When you work with people whom you like and you admire because they're so good at what they do, it doesn't feel like work. It's like you're playing." - Stan Lee
The social development of the labor market
Young (especially at heart!), dynamic, easy-going, likable - these are the usual suspects in the marketing vocabulary of many start-up companies. And it's no coincidence. If there's one thing start-ups are known for, it's these kinds of - often positive - attributes. (Whether they're true for every company can't be said for sure, of course. But let's hope so!)
If you try to imagine a modern company that takes these attributes seriously, you probably can't get past visions that resemble a stock photo: A relaxed working environment with flat hierarchies, with colleagues, not just employees, who are spread out across the spacious, open offices, playing billiards together, at the video game console or the foosball table, laughing and chatting, and who sometimes drop into the comfortable armchair to work on their laptop.
The New Work culture, in other words, has become more and more popular during the past few years and has already spread to classic companies in various industries (even when the journey is far from complete).
More attention to social interaction
New Work means focusing more on people, their needs and demands. This also includes opportunities to freely set their own working hours and to have a say in determining their own workplace or location. And, of course, the offices are designed with different human needs in mind.
On the one hand, there are the open offices, which allow employees to spontaneously talk and collaborate with each other and therefore form "playgrounds" where creativity and innovation can blossom together. At the same time, there are also quiet places for people who need to concentrate, or for those who prefer a quiet way of working or are looking for something different.
Communication and social interaction are basic human needs
Social happenings (which are all interactions between at least two people) are also an important theme of the New Work culture. After all, people are social animals, with a strong need for social proximity and communication. Spontaneous chats, even if "only" in the hallway (or while making coffee), should therefore be allowed and encouraged in every company.
At lunchtime, employees at companies that have adopted the New Work culture usually eat together. In addition, events are regularly organized with the aim of strengthening the social interaction between colleagues. This can be in the form of joint company celebrations, theme or anniversary parties, but also joint movie and game nights or day trips.
These kinds of events often lead to the nice result that the company's own colleagues actively help shape the company culture. For example, a yoga group could be formed or a book club could be organized. The company starts to come alive. Professional acquaintances can become real friends.
That foosball or billiard tables can be found in the offices of these New Work companies is no surprise. These are often a sort of hub where colleagues can talk to each other informally, get a break from the daily work routine and have the opportunity to relax and network socially. Work is important, but ultimately, the people are the company. To make sure the company is doing well, it is vital that the people are doing well; their needs need to be met. That's why it's absolutely essential to create possibilities to nurture the people in your own company.
A healthy social work environment improves the quality of work
According to the French sociologist and social philosopher Pierre Bourdieu, there are three types of capital: social capital, cultural capital and economic capital.
Social capital is, so to speak, a person's social network. With cultural capital, Bourdieu means everything that has to do with knowledge and education. This can be intelligence, a school degree, books, movies, educational titles, and so on. The economic capital are money and goods that (can) have a monetary value.
Important to note is that these types of capital are related to each other, especially the economic capital, which can be turned into social and cultural capital.
Bourdieu's model can also be applied to the world of work
By investing (money) into an optimal working environment with adequate equipment and fitting framework conditions for networking and good, lively social interaction, colleagues can reach their potential. They can put more time and energy into conversations, developing ideas, learning new skills and expanding on their existing ones.
It is also important to offer enough training opportunities. When you have a certain budget that you can use to visit seminars, read books about your specialty or enroll in a training course, you grow with your role (and maybe even beyond it!)
This way, the economic capital transforms into cultural and social capital for all the people who work for the company. This is how you foster innovation and grow both the people and the company.
Last but not least, intrinsic motivation should not be forgotten: when the people are doing well, they like coming to work. If they feel like their personal needs and requirements are seen, understood and even taken into account, their loyalty to the company increases. Basically: who is treated well by the company will, in return, treat the company well.
The dangers of a pandemic to the New Work culture
And just when many companies had understood the benefits of the New Work culture and created optimal working spaces, the pandemic hit and prevented people from using them.
On the one hand, this has opened the eyes of many companies to the fact that working at home is a perfectly satisfactory solution - at least when it comes to the amount of work done. This in turn created more flexibility, something that the New Work culture actually promotes.
But alongside this development, the pandemic also brought dangers for the New Work culture. Working from home, all advantages that we just listed no longer apply. Suddenly, the office and all the people that belong to it, were gone. The new work reality was: sitting in front of your laptop at home, alone. A spontaneous chat with colleagues at the coffee machine is history and the only ideas that you hear are inside your own head.
Linchpin Hey makes social relationships stronger - even when working remotely!
That's why it's very important, especially now, to protect this culture. Now that we're missing the physical social proximity so much, we have to make sure that there are innovative ideas for how we can stay connected socially and create a sense of community, even when we're in different cities or even countries. We must not forget about the people behind the monitors.
That's where Linchpin Hey, our new social intranet for the cloud, comes in. Linchpin Hey is all about you and your colleagues. Our mission is to strengthen social interaction in companies, to focus on people - both now, during the pandemic, and in the general future of the working world.
Precisely because spontaneous shouts across half the office are no longer possible and you won't encounter any colleagues walking through your home (unless you work together with your partner, of course), Linchpin Hey offers many social features that focus on communication, collaboration and appreciation. Colleagues can keep each other up to date and celebrate personal achievements.
It's not even necessary to always talk about work. Linchpin Hey should be a place that connects work and social interaction. Maybe one day, you'll find a short message about a virtual conference on your dashboard and the next day, someone posts a cute picture of their cat "helping" to get their work done, and you find out that you have something in common with one of your colleagues.
The social features of Linchpin Hey
Linchpin Hey offers many social features. News and Posts provide more "classic" communication. You can celebrate your successes with your colleagues, share exciting messages, discuss topics relevant to your work or maybe just tell everyone a funny anecdote about yourself. Events motivate people to help shape the company culture, exchange ideas with colleagues and share their own knowledge - from yoga classes and book clubs to company events and training courses.
Work together, celebrate together
No matter whether it's a birthday or a work anniversary, it should be celebrated! That's why Linchpin Hey reminds you of any upcoming anniversaries and birthdays. Plus, you can immediately congratulate the colleague in question and save yourself the angry looks in the (possibly also digital) hallway. You're welcome!
Is a new colleague starting soon? Great! Linchpin Hey also reminds you of that, so you as a crew can give the "new guy/girl" a warm welcome.
You can also simply send a "HeyFive", because who doesn't like getting some recognition and a few kind words? We believe it's important to show people that you haven't forgotten them and their valuable work and that you continue to value them highly. And that they are not reduced to a profile picture or avatar.
Try Linchpin Hey for free
You can try Linchpin Hey for free at any time. Grab some colleagues and start improving the social interactions among you!
Want to learn more about Linchpin Hey or Linchpin Intranet Suite for Atlassian Data Center? We would be happy to talk to you about your requirements and use cases, and invite you to schedule a demonstration. Just get in touch with us!