This article about how to keep/instill/grow a corporate culture in a distributed work model made me do a happy dance.
A combination of forced work from home (pandemic style) and choice (working for myself) gave me real insight (like many) and a further interest in the alignment between culture, HR, leadership and internal communications.
When I hear senior executives note that they can’t temperature check the health and culture of their organisation without being able to walk the floors and see people I think it’s a lazy and old-fashioned attitude. It’s also not inclusive.
Though I get it – face to face contact is amazing – managing a team during a pandemic I found that while collaboration in a remote environment does take some additional work – a distributed team is really just like any other team, whether they work face-to-face or not.
The author notes that “corporate culture is more than creating a friendly break room with comfortable chairs and bringing in a box of doughnuts on Friday – developing it means intentionally engaging employees, educating them, and providing venues for interactions, knowledge sharing and training.”
Culture is what creates a real sense of trust and engagement, he says. This is a challenge in many organisations regardless of where their employees work. The consequences of COVID-19 has just highlighted this more.
This article provides great data that indicates not only was teleworking increasing prior to COVID19 for employees as well as gig workers, but that self-employed and home-based self-employed population has grown. Add partners, third-party providers and freelancers outside of the corporate structure to the ecosystem and traditional structures including internal communications will be challenged and fail.
Despite the oft-stated importance of culture, building, maintaining and living it and whatever values are important to an organisation, it takes work – from all levels – an appropriate investment including commitment and budget, an understanding of how it connects to real life and more than lip service.
Collectively, we need to get our shit together. I can put my hand up and say my own attitude to running teams, supporting and leading organisations and living remote work life has changed markedly, and needed to. This is not reinventing the wheel and expectations have never been higher as the world shifts in post-pandemic reality.