It is not only the physical presence of a place but a sense of culture and belonging that defines what a community in the workplace is. It is about more than just being in the same office space — it involves genuine relationships and understanding among everyone, allowing them to work together towards shared goals.
It is a team-oriented environment where ideas, know-how, and resources are shared among colleagues to solve problems and increase performance, creating a healthy and productive work atmosphere for everyone.
What makes a community thrive in the workplace?
What makes a community thrive in the workplace is the strong sense of belonging, trust, respect, and inclusion that creates a vibrant environment of support and purpose — and encourages people to interact with one another in a meaningful way.
Here are 12 examples of community:
1. A Culture of genuine friendship
A workplace with a culture of genuine community and colleague friendship can provide an incredibly productive environment.
People in these workplaces don’t just focus on their jobs; they form authentic relationships that help build trust, respect, and camaraderie.
With a strong bond between coworkers, there is an elevated level of collaboration and inspiration from those around them.
Success naturally follows when colleagues become more than work acquaintances but true friends in the workplace.
2. Employees create their own culture
Employees who remain in the same workplace for many years inevitably create their own culture. They develop habits, approaches, and even their own words to describe common aspects of their job.
Such people often become each other’s most prominent advocates, find deep satisfaction in their work and develop loyalty to their colleagues. They take ownership of their work and look out for each other.
That kind of cohesive community hardly emerges overnight — but when it does, it can drive change and make a company function better than ever.
Close-knit communities among coworkers make working in the same place an exciting adventure.
3. Employees of all levels have access to help or advice
A thriving professional community in the workplace can affect employee engagement, collaboration, and progress toward company goals.
There is comfort in knowing that no matter what level an individual falls into on the organizational chart, everyone is working together for a common purpose.
For example, employees of all levels feel comfortable reaching out to anyone for help or advice — it could be seeking mentorship and guidance from senior managers without reservation or offering assistance to newer team members when needed.
Knowing that supportive individuals are willing to listen to you or provide guidance creates a positive work environment.
Establishing this sense of community helps foster an environment of trust and motivation in which everyone gets respect regardless of their role or level.
4. There’s a shared sense of belonging
Many workplaces can be unwelcoming and suffer from an unspoken competitive culture that breeds feelings of insecurity and exclusion — but it does not have to be this way.
It can be daunting when you are new to a workplace and feel out of place, but a thriving sense of community can help make this transition much easier.
Working together in a harmonious, supportive and productive environment is necessary to ensure the success of any business.
The community of a successful workplace is built on a shared sense of belonging and inclusiveness amongst all employees, regardless of their position or time within the workplace.
When morale is high due to the sense of community, it creates an atmosphere that promotes open communication, innovation, efficiency, and fun.
5. New employees are welcomed into the fold
A healthy working environment is a welcoming environment for everyone, starting at the moment when new employees arrive.
You can quickly tell if a company encourages a sense of community in the workplace by how managers introduce new employees.
A great example is when new employees are welcomed into their new position with open arms and given plenty of ongoing support as they transition or adjust to their roles.
In such a workplace, experienced employees often take it upon themselves to mentor, guide, and support new team members — introducing them to their colleagues.
Skilled employees often take an active role in onboarding and training their new colleagues, eagerly passing along knowledge and reinforcing that everyone’s input matters in this workplace.
This makes new employees feel welcome, allowing them to build confidence in their new workspace.
6. Employees voluntarily meet every day to go over their goals
Employees demonstrate a unique sense of community in the workplace daily as they eagerly come together in the morning and right before the end of their shifts.
This brings a feeling of commitment, which is reflected by signs of support and agency among the team members.
Employees look to one another for helpful tips, advice, and guidance on various tasks throughout the day, knowing they have each other’s backs no matter the circumstance.
This strong sense of community extends far beyond just sharing ideas but is an encouraging sign of respect and unity in any workplace.
7. People from different backgrounds work well together
Employees across a wide range of backgrounds become good friends at work. Every day, they eagerly come together in the morning and evening to greet each other warmly, share stories, have lunch, and even exchange pointers on how to solve problems.
Employees of diverse backgrounds bring valuable perspectives that can significantly enhance their capabilities and unify their team despite their different cultures.
It creates an atmosphere where everyone feels welcomed, respected, and acknowledged for their contributions regardless of cultural background or other differences.
A productive sense of community can thrive when there is a genuine appreciation for all individuals that come together from varying walks of life.
8. Employees hold each other accountable
Responsibility and accountability are two crucial traits that form the foundations of any thriving community in the workplace.
Accountability encourages people to question their own decisions and contemplate and teach others the correct way of handling things.
That sense of ownership creates constructive feedback loops, motivating those around them to strive for better results.
As such, employees provide guidance that allows them to work more efficiently without constantly relying on their managers.
When employees approach each other with an open attitude and hold each other accountable for their actions, it leads to an incredibly cohesive working environment that yields positive results.
9. Different departments often collaborate on projects
Examples of community include relationships between colleagues built on collaboration among departments.
A sense of community can be seen when employees from different departments spontaneously collaborate on projects that fall outside their traditional roles.
For example, marketing individuals have incredible insight into trends and customer preferences, which a sales team might find incredibly useful for product planning.
Similarly, a design team could benefit from Human Resources’ understanding of employee retention patterns.
So, when departmental boundaries are removed, employees can better understand each other and form a productive sense of community.
That allows them to grow and learn more, not just about the working culture but also about accomplishing organizational objectives faster.
10. Employees conform to an unofficial rule
Work can often be a place filled with stress and deadlines, but in an ideal workplace, there is a sense of community.
Everyone has their responsibility and role, but they create an unofficial rule that no one can talk about work past 7 pm.
Instead, the rule encourages team members to leave work behind, finish time, and strictly focus on activities that help them rest and recuperate.
Conversations often shift towards socializing and getting to know each other better — which works wonders — employees often report feeling energized whenever they come the following day.
It is an excellent example of using an idea from within the workplace to build a productive sense of community that motivates employees beyond what official policies can do.
11. People developed a close-knit group willing to help each other
Many workplaces strive to work together in harmony, and a few successfully achieve it. An example of a workplace that has fostered an incredibly productive sense of community emphasizes the importance of being there for each other.
The team may consist of people from different backgrounds and stages in life. However, they can still develop a close-knit group that wants to see each other succeed personally and professionally.
They can embrace collaboration — rather than working in silos. They can also look out for each other, finding constructive solutions that benefit everyone on the team and beyond.
Being a part of this team means never feeling alone or left behind, as someone is always willing to help.
12. Employees have their tradition
One example of a community in the workplace is having a weekly tradition, such as meeting up for drinks every Friday afternoon.
Everyone in the workplace, from managers to employees, gathers together, often forgetting about any tensions that may have developed during the week.
Despite the occasional disagreements and the importance of productivity in the workplace, Friday afternoons are seen as a time for everyone to relax and unwind before starting up again on Monday.
Everyone looks forward to it — an essential part of a vibrant workplace culture that consistently achieves its goals.
Read also: 16 Good Examples of Teamwork
Creating a community in the workplace is essential to fostering a positive working environment and increasing productivity.
Establishing a sense of camaraderie among colleagues helps promote strong connections, which leads to better communication and collaboration for achieving common goals.