As I speak to senior executives in financial firms, I hear a lot of concerns about the difficulties of maintaining corporate culture in an era of remote work. Employees used to absorb the organization's culture by coming to the office and observing the behavior of its leaders — how they dress, how they talk and how they treat their subordinates. But subtle nuances of body language and voice intonation can easily be lost on remote workers facing a day of back-to-back video calls.
The cultural paradigm of remote work is still being defined. However, if you follow the four steps below for remote work, plus periodic requirements for in-person meetings, you can create a vibrant culture well designed for your organization.
While company culture is hard to define, it is clearly different from organization to organization. Some companies put a high priority on spending time with family. Other companies encourage employees to be entrepreneurial and take calculated risks. Still, other companies are dedicated to building long-term relations with their customers, even at the expense of lower quarterly profits. As companies recognize that remote work is here to stay, either full or part time, managers need to proactively take actions to preserve and reinforce the key elements of their corporate culture.
These are the four steps to defining corporate culture in the new remote work environment: