Not long ago the traditional work environment was considered to be too restrictive by thousands of employees in big corporations, especially in the IT outsourcing, and software development industry. Now we’ve suddenly shifted to remote work, and merged our home and office space. In between restructuring our schedule, personal life, and doing our job, some aspects seem to be losing ground – like company culture.
We’ve continued to stay connected in so many ways, yet we’re disconnected from the whole.
Will this context push companies to find new enterprise software solutions, and methods to keep their employees in the culture bubble or will the concept be reduced to minimum elements?
In search of the ideal work environment
The old fashion 9 to 5 schedule is being disputed by Millenials and Generation Z for some years now. Flexible hours, creative spaces, or working full-time off site are considered to be alternatives to the conservative pattern.
But which one is the best? Which one sustains the company culture better? Can it satisfy both employee and company needs?
Big companies already face the challenge of creating a cohesive and easy-to-adopt culture, while having office across nations. Now being part of the biggest work from home experiment as we speak, is expanding corporate culture limits.
Some say giving up the common space is equalizing everyone. No more exclusion. Online calls include everyone and collaboration is more encouraged.
Others claim that unplanned interaction that only happens when you are in the same space, contribute to building relationships that lead later on to a well-connected culture. You cannot plan to ask someone how are their kids doing, or about their sick mother. Back in the office days, that could just occur by the coffee machine.
A balanced version would probably include office days for face-to-face time, flexible schedule, or even off-site days to experiment with other environments and stimulate creativity.
As a discussion opened by James L. Heskett, UPS Foundation Professor of Business Logistics says about remote work: “Its success is dependent, on the one hand, on an effective culture fostered by senior executives who embrace the notion of remote work. On the other hand, remote work can provide an alternative to a toxic office culture resulting from management neglect.”
Nevertheless, right now the options are reduced to mostly to WFH.
Migration – temporary phenomena?
Coronavirus is a virus that was actually born in a very populated city, unfortunately. And it has widely spread mostly in the big cities, because of the favorable conditions.
As a consequence restaurants, bars, concerts, cultural events, and mostly all activities that kept the urban site appealing, have been shut down. This made people rethink where they want to spend their daily life, as The Independent shows. Since they can’t enjoy too much of the big city life or work from the office, they no longer have a justification for the cost of living.
Many employees with families, decided to leave the city bubble and move to the suburbs or countryside. Since working only requires an internet connection, the benefits of a peaceful life seem to worth more.
Though organizational culture needs to restructure in the current situation and is challenging both management and employees to readapt their ways of interaction, it could only mean evolution. The required effort to keep ourselves connected is actually the main engine of engagement.
Above all, embracing remote work could redistribute economic opportunity. The migration will determine investments in smaller cities, which will lead to a growing economy and visibility. The possibility of working remotely could give those who cannot afford living in big cities a chance to better jobs and thus, better living.