Virtual employment: How is your company culture impacted?

Written by
Nancy Jones

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One of the interesting results of implementing alternative workplace strategies has been its impact on company culture.

This can be viewed as a positive development as it has forced many leaders to reassess and redefine what they want their business culture to be.

But what is the impact and how are organizations using flexible working arrangements as an opportunity to redefine themselves?

More flexibility, less organic rapport

More companies are instituting policies allowing and encouraging employees to work hybrid or fully remotely. This includes Meta (Facebook), Airbnb, 3M, Atlassian, Lyft, SAP, Slack, Spotify, and VMware.

Many are taking a cue from employees who want to work in a fully virtual world, choosing to close offices and manage remotely. But studies are showing that the number one issue of concern for executives and managers is that going fully hybrid or remote may cause a deterioration of company culture, employee connectedness, and engagement.

It it clear that fully remote work can result in less casual and typically spontaneous interactions that build rapport – specifically for younger or more entry-level workers who have not yet built a solid business network or mentor relationships.

Additional relationship development among colleagues can be impacted without the benefit of team building, sharing ideas, brainstorming, and working collaboratively that daily in-person communications provide.

How many best practices or process efficiencies have been debated or created in the lunchroom or over coffee? It’s a safer, more informal way to be productive and engaged.

Conducting tough management conversations can also be negatively impacted, particularly with more junior supervisors and managers who may have grown up in a tech-based world and struggle with effective interpersonal interactions. Trying to host the conversations online or by telephone can be a whole new challenge.

Get creative, get feedback

The cultural issue is a big one, yet one that can be addressed. To combat cultural concerns, leadership needs to encourage and use creative thinking skills like never before.

Many organizations are taking a proactive approach to expand communications with employees to determine their desires and needs. Employee roundtables and informally facilitated employee groups can, and will, provide myriad ideas, suggestions, and approaches.

Thinking outlandishly can lead to valid, and valuable, cultural initiatives. As a result, these are the organizations that are learning from their own people how to navigate this approach to work.

And maybe that’s the key – focusing on ways to develop interactions by including employees in the process. After all, who better understands the challenges than the people being impacted?

We can help you create and implement a strategy for addressing your cultural concerns. To find out more about this and our finance and technology services, reach out to Insource Services at or 781-235-1490.