What comes to mind when you think about ‘traditional office culture’?

Is it an image of worker bees sat at their desks, eyes down and fingers tapping? Or is it of a friendlier, chattier environment, with people swapping stories and sharing workplace gossip around the watercooler?

A recent survey* found that a third of UK workers are concerned that this “good old-fashioned ‘watercooler talk'” is in danger of extinction. Why?

Well, according to the survey results, the increased uptake of flexible working options is to blame.

Are flexible working practices really threatening office culture?

This was the debate that Flexible Boss magazine initiated. The authors of the survey warned that some workers have found themselves sat alone in an office for much of the day because their colleagues have been working remotely or changed their working patterns.

We were delighted when Flexible Boss asked us to contribute to the discussion and share our views and experiences.

We’ve long been advocates of flexible working, but maintaining a happy and productive office culture is also a priority for us.

So where did we stand?

Karen, Hireserve’s Operations Director, contributed to the debate

“The fear that flexible working might result in the loss of traditional office culture is scaremongering. From the days when we drew pictures on our cave walls to the technology of today, we’ve continued to find better ways to communicate.  Now we can talk and work across time zones and borders. Surely that’s a fantastic door to open…”

Karen also made the point that, without the right people, there is no such thing as traditional office culture, because it’s impossible to generate it if your people don’t gel.

On the flipside, if you have a team of fantastic people, they will be able to generate a wonderful working culture no matter where or when they’re completing tasks – as their engagement, communication skills and passion for the business and one another will shine through.

Where do you stand?

To read the full article, head over to Flexible Boss now and read Karen and other experts’ views on: Is flexible work destroying the office?

We’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂

Find out more

How do you define flexible working?

Meet the team that make our office culture so brilliant

The secret to truly agile working

*Find out more about the survey from Direct365 here

About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.