Take a moment to think about how much time, effort and money went into making the places we work feel like anything but a workplace: offices packed with ping pong tables and gaming set-ups, hosted social mixers and ditched dress codes. Because while employees expect work-life division in their schedule, they want a workplace that feels like somewhere they’d spend their personal time. One that feels like home.
So, on paper, the sudden shift to a remote workforce could be a win for businesses. Suddenly casual Friday starts on Monday, the commute is a cakewalk, and every ‘home office’ is pet-friendly.
Most employees have enjoyed the change in where they work: not only do the majority not expect to go back to an office five days a week, they don’t plan to ever again.
So why then, does company morale feel like it’s at an all-time low?
Companies face a culture crash-out
Surprise, surprise: office culture was less about the ping pong table and more about who was standing on the other side. Less time in the office means fewer break room chats, happy hour laughs, and inter-departmental mingling.
But it’s not just the fun we’re losing, it’s also the work. Bosses and colleagues have fewer opportunities to see fellow employees in action and recognise their efforts. Employees are working harder than ever, with record numbers reporting burnout… but does anybody notice or care?
The growing number of resignations and reshuffles paint a bleak picture. Company culture is in crisis, and the tried and true morale boosters just can’t keep up. But this rapid change in the workplace creates opportunities for leaders to innovate how they recognise employees—with help from the latest fintech platforms.
Meeting the ‘anywhere’ workplace with ‘anytime’ rewards.
The fact that Shouta Biz was launched mid-pandemic speaks to the changing demand for workplace rewards. This enterprise offshoot of the Aussie-based nano-gifting platform gives companies an easy way to customize and send gifts to employees, clients and prospects across Australia.
Workplace rewards are far from new, but the rise of remote work creates new challenges for sourcing and sending them. You can’t post a batch of gifts to all your workforce and expect them to all receive it at the same time. You also can’t send employees gift cards to the same restaurant if they’re spread across three states.
Shouta Biz is built around this new way of working, with fintech at its core. Its digital gifts can be sent simultaneously to anywhere in Australia, and recipients can redeem their reward wherever Mastercard is accepted. Fintech offers personalised recognition without the in-person meetup, making it the perfect fit for leaders of remote workforces, like Marketboomer CEO Nathan Gyaneshwar.
Getting workplace gifting up to speed and down to scale
Marketboomer simplifies procurement for hotel groups by bringing top vendors together in a single online marketplace. It’s a start-up, and it moves the way start-ups do: very fast. But also, nearly wholly remote. Initially, Gyaneshwar wanted to highlight the hustle of star employees through quarterly gift cards sent to their homes, but getting the gifts custom-printed and posted was surprisingly time-consuming, limiting the number of employees who could be recognised and the net effect on company culture.
With Shouta Biz, Gyaneshwar had a fintech platform that could finally keep up. Now, it only takes seconds to recognise all-star employees with their rewards. Better yet, the flexibility of Shouta’s digital Mastercard meant Marketboomer’s leaders could gift multiple employees the same kind of reward, but leave it to their individual employees to decide when or where they redeemed it.
“Marketboomer has used Shouta Biz as a tool to provide an immediate recognition, reward or thoughtful touchpoint and stay connected with our remote team day to day,” Gyaneshwar said. He has shifted from rewarding employees to once-quarterly to once they do something worth celebrating. And he’s not the only leader turning to fintech solutions to give company culture a boost.
Tapping into the flexibility of fintech
From back-as-normal to fully remote to hybrid, workplaces of all kinds are adapting Shouta Biz’s fintech to keep their team connected.
After a financial organisation merged with another, leaders at one company used Shouta Biz to gift the newly combined team with virtual Mastercards they could use to meet up and connect with their new teammates.
Others are using it to reignite the tradition of celebrating office birthdays, taking advantage of the platform’s scheduling capability to plan personalised birthday gifts for the whole team, all in one go.
What’s on the frontier for workplace fintech
The pandemic didn’t just revolutionise the way we work, but what people expect from their workplace. Despite this shift, company culture still comes above all. Employees still thrive on recognition and connection, it’s just the delivery that’s different.
With platforms like Shouta Biz helping businesses revive their employee recognition programs, there’s never been a better time for leaders to build fintech into their company’s day-to-day culture.
About the Author: Carly Shamgar is the Founder of Shouta.