Remote Work and Organizational Culture – Are They Compatible?

 In Business, Communication, DiSC®, Human Resources, Leadership, Recovery

As 2021 is half way over and the majority of offices are still working remotely, we have to ask, ‘Are remote workplaces and organizational culture compatible?’ Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the term company culture was becoming a trend in the workplace. But now we have to look into how remote working has had an effect on organizational culture. Is remote workplace culture on its way to becoming the new trend?

What is Company Culture, Exactly?

Company culture defines the proper way to act, react, communicate, and collaborate within an organization. This is established by a standard of shared beliefs and values of the leaders and shareholders, and is reinforced by all levels of management, trickling down to all employees. These beliefs and values are not affected by the pandemic; however, a company’s ability to instill these values in their employees has been affected by the lack of in-person communication and physical collaboration.

According to, remote workplace culture can be maintained if employers establish a virtual environment in which employees still feel connected and protected by the organization.

A survey conducted by TELUS International found that 51% of remote employees feel less connected to their company culture as a result of the pandemic. What do people miss from the in-person workplace? Survey results showed that 57% miss the small talk and interacting with colleagues; 53% miss collaborating in-person with a team; and 50% miss the clear separation between work and home.

How to Improve Company Culture in a Post-Pandemic World

Company culture, vision, and collaboration among employees are more important than ever in 2021, and leaders will have to work harder to ensure that common beliefs and values remain strong, even at a distance. Here are four actions that can be taken to not only hold the standard of company, culture, but also to improve it:

  1. Develop trusting relationships between employers and employees by keeping an open line of communication, either in-person or virtually 
  2. Reinforce proper and appropriate behavior that aligns with the workplace’s best practices
  3. Remain transparent and open in communication with all levels of management
  4. Encourage a healthy work-life balance with yourself and all team members
  5. Monitor employee mental health and avoid burnout (we discuss how remote work impacts emotional intelligence here)

Aspects of a company culture are always present in day-to-day happenings, such as interacting with colleagues or making decisions. One way that MIT Sloan Management Review recommends improving company culture is by making the culture visible by ‘calling it out.’ The beliefs about how an organization does things are revealed through its employees’ practices. Leaders need to prioritize encouraging their organizations best practices to ensure that the company culture holds to its standard.

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