How remote working is transforming company culture
Remote working has been in the technology ecosystem for many years. I have personally been doing partial remote work for the last ten to twenty years and what I have found is surprising. Most individuals are not used to this style of work which is accelerating a nationwide transformation of company culture.
Individuals that are not familiar with on the road or working from home are having issues understanding that work comes first. Due to this transformation workers are finding they cannot handle being on their own - this comes as a surprise for most individuals and organisations. Most executives felt that this would be an easy shift allowing employees to work from home and to still have constant communication.
Unfortunately, what executives and companies have found is that the corporate culture has changed, and individuals are not communicating with each other as well as they should be. All the Zoom teams and other facial meeting sites may be up and running but are not being used in the most effective way. I attribute this to we as a society being creatures of habit requiring habitual activities such as meeting at a water cooler, having a conversation around a coffee pot, or going into a conference room to chat. Employees are used to specific activities at certain times with specific people.
Creative people need more time together. We at Approyo have opened up unlimited Zoom office hours for everyone. I learned that employees need to be able to provide details about projects with marketing, photography, video, and audio in a way that allows them to share their common value of art, growth and education. Having these individuals in the Zoom team meetings on a continuous basis outside of their one-on-one relationships is vital to fostering growth, guidance, and team structure.
Analytical folk such as accountants, lawyers and sales people are not necessarily worried about face time. Instead they are worried about making sure they get their work done in a structured manner but still accomplishing what needs to be done for them, their job role, and the company. They are used to adhering to a very strict structure and it's typically behind a door away from everyone else. As long as they can still do that in their home office, no matter if it's at a kitchen table or living room couch, they will succeed.
Then you have people like myself. As the CEO of the company I'm used to flying all around the world meeting with customers, staff, partners and prospects who are looking for information. Because I am someone who needs to be anywhere and everywhere at a moment's notice, I have gravitated toward the use of Microsoft Teams and have been able to transform my capabilities in the corporate culture to fit into the technology that is readily available for myself and the company.
Now, would I like to be in Berlin or Brussels or London for meetings and dinners? Absolutely, but I also feel that taking two steps back and focusing on the culture and capabilities of our company enables me to help my staff, clients, and our partners with our revitalised culture of excitement and growth.
Prior to the pandemic we used to be a very family orientated organisation. Anyone and everyone had access to me, but this is not possible anymore with the shift to remote culture. Now we focus on being a 'grown up company' addressing the employee needs that will help us overcome these trying times.
Has our corporate culture changed for better or worse? Only time will tell as these are unprecedented times. Across the technology industry corporate cultures are going to change drastically for the next several months, maybe even years.
Organisations such as Google, Facebook and Apple have told their employees they can stay home for the next year or two. This was a major event changing culture as younger individuals who had been working at these organisations were used to a certain type of life in a certain structure. We're seeing corporate culture change at those organisations but also the culture around their lifestyles, home and office. Nothing will be the same again.