Working From Home, The New Norm? Or, Culture Killer?

While advancements in technology have made it easy for businesses to run at full WFH capacities amidst a global pandemic, what are the real ramifications to a business’ culture? To a team member’s career?

1/3 of workers feel disconnected from a company culture when working from home.

In today’s world, we are constantly amazed at how businesses, humans and governments are able to adjust, be nimble and attempt to put their “best foot forward” in an effort to keep afloat. Technologies,innovations and empathy have kept the world sane, in an ever-changing, unprecedentedenvironment we live in.  Welcome to 2020.

While advancements in technology have made it easy forbusinesses to run at full WFH capacities amidst a global pandemic, what are thereal ramifications to a business’ culture? To a team member’s career?

How does that physical disconnect truly weigh on the short-term and long-term success of a culture? Does the culture dilute or worse, disappear?

The crumbling of a workplace culture may very well be in thefuture if a business is not more deliberate and intentional about creating thesame formalities and customs virtually. Zoom calls and meetups when possibleallow teams to feel more connected. And even though these technologies attemptto replicate what once was in-person, are they just as effective?

Immersing oneself in the culture is completely differentthan watching the culture from afar. And while the end result may be the same-the experience is different. This, in the long-run may influence employees negatively,and detach them from the business, its people, its values, mission and culture.

Here’s two examplesfor you to digest:

a.      Sitting in a piazza in Rome, smelling the richnotes of a freshly made espresso. You are surrounded by bakeries and shoppes,an accordion is playing a little further down the cobblestone and you aresitting with your life-long best friend. You’re about to indulge in a coffeeand a freshly baked chocolate croissant.

b.     You’re sitting at home, on your comfortablecouch. You turn on your Nespresso and are about to take out a croissant from theplastic packaging you bought from your local grocery store.

Immersing yourself in a culture can truly help you achieve,feel connected and vibrant. Even though the end result was that you drank anespresso and ate a flakey, chocolatey croissant, which experience was moreenriched? Which is more memorable, where did you feel connected, how was theexperience?

What I am trying to point out here is, while WFH isnecessary, convenient and essential for some – being in your workplaceenvironment has a positive influence on your teams and your inner vitality.Being able to hear conversations from others that may bring you your ownmotivation, seeing others vigorously and excitedly head into a meeting, arandom discussion that you are brought into because of your area of expertise,which leads to a new success story. These are all moments that occur and happenorganically because you are in one location physically, and all for the samepurpose. I believe it is true that when you are face-to-face with a fellow teammember or leader, in the environment to which you are all there for a commongoal, generates a sense of loyalty or commitmentto the culture.

54% of employees say a strong sense of community keeps them at their current company.

We do not know what’s in store for the rest of 2020 and intothe future. I do anticipate that the world will start putting a premium onin-person experiences; events, shows, meetings and conferences. Humans thriveon interaction, connection and emotional experiences, it’s good for the brain,the soul and heart. Our senses need to be used, we need to feel enriched.

What are your experiences with WFH? How is your business operatingin an era of covid-19?

Drop your comments below.

Tony Gareri,

CEO, Roma Moulding

Tony Gareri

CEO & Culture Enthusiast

Drawing from firsthand experiences, Tony addresses how a culture evolution can lead to improved business results and happier work environments.

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