Article written by Marketing Team
Corporate culture and telework: out of sight, out of mind?
Telecommuting is now a reality for many companies, to the point where it has become a necessary condition for some people. While the issue of employee productivity, which in some cases has even increased, is no longer a concern, the issue that persists is that of maintaining the corporate culture from a distance.
Corporate culture gives an organization its unique identity and can be instrumental in the well-being and engagement of employees, giving them a sense of purpose and belonging in their jobs. It can also foster creativity and collective intelligence, which is much easier to achieve when employees can interact directly and spontaneously (at coffee, lunch, between meetings…).
More wolf or more lion?
Homo Sapiens did not evolve as a lone wolf. We are, like the lion, a deeply social species. Human interactions are essential because they satisfy our emotional, social and personal needs. People need to feel connected to each other, to receive affection, recognition and a sense of belonging. In a professional setting as well, social interactions can help build confidence, self-esteem and communication skills. Hard to do in your living room in your pajamas! In addition, social relationships can provide emotional support for dealing with life’s challenges and opportunities to learn new things and grow as an individual. Ultimately, social interactions play an important role in allowing people to feel loved, valued and connected to one another.
What about humanizing the workplace?
The challenge of maintaining a corporate culture at a distance is complex and requires constant effort. Instilling these values in new remote employees can be an almost insurmountable challenge. It is important to be able to see each other in person from time to time to strengthen the bonds. Shared activities such as cooking, playing sports together or participating in charitable initiatives can help strengthen the corporate culture based on shared values. Professional exchanges throughout the day, as well as discussions at other levels, can also strengthen the bond between employees. In short, companies can promote initiatives that foster social interaction among employees, even from a distance, and humanize the work environment.
Large companies like Google have adopted strategies to maintain their corporate culture remotely. Google conveys its values to its remote employees by using newsletters, opinion polls and giving employees some freedom in managing their time. The company also held a virtual festival last summer to reinforce its culture. Other smaller companies have also adopted strategies to keep their corporate culture at bay. For example, online retail platform QoQa has launched remote initiatives to strengthen the bonds between its employees, such as video conferencing workshops, detailed an article in Le Temps.
It is important to note that the application of these measures may vary depending on the size, administrative management and sector of activity of the company. Smaller companies may prefer more informal initiatives that focus on personal interaction, while larger companies may opt for more structured and hierarchical events. Either way, the goal is to create a welcoming work environment and foster personal relationships between employees, even from a distance.
At Synergix, for example, we work to ensure that the team can take advantage of all the spontaneity that face-to-face meetings offer, whether it’s team lunches, massages, time by the lake in the summer, or impromptu happy hours. Our mission is to ensure that every team member continues to enjoy coming to the office.
Corporate culture at a distance: a universal challenge
Maintaining a remote corporate culture is a universal challenge for all companies that have adopted telecommuting. Telecommuting has disrupted traditional work models and companies must adapt to meet the needs of their employees and maintain their corporate culture. To do this, companies must be creative and adapt to changes in the marketplace and working conditions.
How telecommuting is managed does not define a successful corporate culture. Seamless onboarding of new employees, clear management of expectations and an environment that fosters caring and personal development are key elements of a successful corporate culture.
Regardless of the configuration a company chooses, these elements remain the foundation of a culture that encourages employee productivity, well-being and loyalty.
There is no right or wrong situation
In sum, corporate culture is a challenge for all companies that have adopted telecommuting. Companies must be innovative and adapt to changes in the market and working conditions to maintain their corporate culture.
It takes a lot of creativity to successfully bring this dynamic to the remote setting.