When the COVID-19 pandemic forced companies to close their doors, sending employees home to work remotely, many leaders worried about the long-tail effects on culture, employee engagement, and morale.
As it turns out, some of those concerns were unfounded. Recent research has found that, if anything, the companies that offer remote work options have stronger cultures and higher levels of employee engagement.
At first blush, this may seem surprising… but maybe it shouldn’t be. After all, there are some pretty clear ways in which remote work has benefited work culture. Let’s look at a few examples.
How Has Remote Work Improved Workplace Culture?
1) Remote work is a win for diversity.
One of the implications of a decentralized work environment is that hiring managers are no longer bound by geography. They don’t have to hire based on who’s local, but rather can recruit the most skilled employees from anywhere in the country, or even anywhere in the world.
This has created an opportunity for hiring managers to seek employees from more diverse backgrounds, including employees hailing from different industries or professional spheres. And by bringing in more diverse teams, employees can enhance their creativity, improve their reputation, and better market themselves to diverse communities.
2) Remote work has contributed to digital transformation.
The pandemic forced many companies to rethink their approach to technology, and to do so quickly. With employees working in disparate locations, it became critical for all team members to develop an aptitude for collaborative technologies. And, it became equally critical for corporate IT teams to enact robust information security and cloud storage policies.
In other words, many companies were forced into employee-centric digital revolutions, which continue to benefit them in the form of improved automation, efficient workflows, and more seamless communication between team members.
3) Remote work provides employees with flexibility.
We’re all heard of phenomena like “quiet quitting” and the “Great Resignation.” These are both significant issues that companies can address by providing their employees with greater flexibility.
Remote work provides exactly that. For employees who are motivated by autonomy and independence, or who simply need the ability to be more adaptive to the needs of their families, the option to work remotely can be a huge boon. This in turn helps with employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention.
Embracing Change in the Workplace
It’s clear that remote work is here to stay, and while it may not be the best option for every company, there are plenty of positive ways in which remote work has benefited workplace culture on the whole.
Trying to decide how your business will engage these trends? We’d love to be a part of that conversation and would invite you to take a 10 question assessment to learn more about your people strategy.