How consumer behaviour is inspiring hybrid workplace culture

home workplace and video

It took the shocking, deadly and rare incidence of a global pandemic to force us all into a new paradigm shift, nowhere more-so than in the workplace.

Well, shift happens, as they say, but thankfully, technology continues to break new dawns in office culture allowing us to interact in new ways.

Video conferencing came into its own during our enforced lockdowns, with millions joining Zoom and other such platforms, so we could meet colleagues and clients and keep on working. 

But there’s so much more video can do and be in the office space, and Joe Thomas, Co-Founder and CEO at asynchronous video messaging platform, Loom, says it’s being driven by consumer behaviour…

Joe Thomas, Loom CEO and CoFounder
Joe Thomas, Loom CEO and CoFounder

As we move into an era of mixed work, from remote to in-person and everything in between – it’s important to carefully develop company culture to suit new ways of working. 

While business leaders often lean towards adopting typical incentives, such as duvet days, developing a robust company culture in a hybrid environment isn’t a one-size fits all approach. 

In today’s modern workplaces, each company – and therefore every workplace culture – is unique. It’s therefore important to adopt an experimental approach and provide employees with new tools and space to drive cultural remixes on their own accord.

One way they can do this is by looking at consumer behaviour. 

Enterprise behaviour has often taken inspiration from the consumer world––especially apparent when it comes to popular video platforms like TikTok. 

With the support of business communication technology such as Slack and Loom, there are now more tools to encourage consumer-inspired behaviour in hybrid workplaces, especially when it comes to building connection and affinity. 

loom screen
New video platforms like Loom are changing the way we work in the hybrid era.

The desired effect is allowing employees to communicate naturally within the modern workplace and therefore, experience genuine moments of connection. 

In turn, company culture mirrors its people and their values, individuality, and behaviours.

But what lessons can marketing and advertising leaders take from the consumer tech world in order to nurture and maintain workplace culture, without forcing interaction?

Similarities between the consumer and enterprise worlds

Modern workplaces are increasingly being influenced by consumer behaviour – a trend that has been advanced by today’s ‘digitally available’ culture and the younger, tech-savvy workforce.

Being ‘digitally available’ within the consumer world means there’s an expectation for technology to be readily accessible from anywhere in the world. 

The technology also needs to be sociable, collaborative, and fun to incentivise people to use it. The same expectations apply within marketing and advertising businesses. 

Their technology needs to be uncomplicated and simple, as research says that excessively complex technology can negatively impact productivity and engagement levels. 

And with the media industry being ‘always on’ and global, they need their tech stack to be reliable and flexible to service across different time zones.

Similar to what we see on social media and messaging platforms, readily-available tech promotes a continuous loop of interaction and connection-building in the workplace, which can reinforce purpose and community among hybrid employees.

available tech
Strong connections: Technology allows to to connect in ways not previously available.

Researchers say it’s important to keep an informal awareness of what’s happening in the office and to maintain a sense of community. 

Having access to the right set of communication tools allows employees to forge authentic human connection. 

Once this is facilitated, they can benefit from increased collaboration, camaraderie, and communication – the three essential ingredients in facilitating modern company culture.

What’s more is that many enterprise communication technology platforms are enabling businesses to promote a culture that encourages people to be themselves. 

The days of being ‘corporate’ and perfectly polished are diminishing, as the work and life split (in other words, the gap between the consumer and enterprise worlds) has been blurred. 

As a result, modern work has embraced flexibility and freedom so people can work and communicate in ways that make most sense for the individual.

It’s why creating space for expressive interaction is essential.

The power of video

Video can be an effective channel for expressive interaction. In the last two years, video has become a more familiar form of communication for consumers, from Zoom quizzes to TikTok dances. 

It unifies people by capturing authentic human perspective in ways the written word can’t, such as through body language.

zoom call
Zoom room: We all got into video conferencing during the pandemic.

In the consumer world, barriers associated with video, such as accessibility and usability, have been flattened by the ability to post live videos, edit video content, and share content quickly and easily. 

And now, businesses can replicate these same benefits of generating collaboration and connection across teams via deploying video, like asynchronous (or async) video. 

Loom’s fully hybrid workforce has embraced the medium by sharing garden tours, parody Twitter demos, and original songs. 

These didn’t come from top-down corporate incentives, but from organic engagement with others through video. 

By empowering people to leverage async video in a creative and experimental fashion, cultural remixes will occur organically, which will prove powerful in how company culture evolves as the hybrid workplace is reinvented.

Turning experiments into habit

Video is under-utilised at work, and still has a way to go compared to where it’s at in the consumer world.

To encourage its adoption, video needs to become an integral part of everyday behaviour.

This happens in two steps: the ‘magic moment’ and the ‘habit moment.’

The ‘magic moment’ is when the user realises how easily and quickly they can create a video. It can be difficult for people to understand the value of video if they’ve not used it at least once.

While the ‘habit moment’ takes place when the user recognises the benefits behind creating videos on an ongoing basis, such as diminishing meeting fatigue and improving productivity.

To create the ‘habit moment’ in the hybrid workplace setting, the tech must be available across every platform to encourage teams to work collaboratively. 

tech habits
Daily routine: Video creation needs to become as habitual as your morning tea.

Creating a video should create a ‘viral’ reaction amongst teams, similar to that in the consumer world where users are encouraged to share native content hosted on the platform.

As consumer behaviour proves, authentic communication, creativity, a sense of community, and collaboration are vital when building connection. 

Employees sharing a bit about themselves via video – work-related or not – can go a long way in defining workplace culture in this new era of modern work.