Picture: 123RF/ALEKSANDR DAVYDOV
Picture: 123RF/ALEKSANDR DAVYDOV

The things we associate with company culture are usually a result of interactions with people in the same space, so remote working has had a direct effect on how we experience culture, says Talent Magnet MD Amanda Mitton.

“It’s very difficult to cultivate a “vibe” when people are working remotely, but certainly not impossible. In fact, rather than being the death of company culture, a lockdown offers companies an opportunity to “disengage culture from gimmicks and grandiosity, and to focus on the aspects that actually matter”.

“Culture is about values, about the way in which people work, how they get that work done and how they are recognised, appreciated and compensated for that work. When culture is defined as a set of values and behaviours that seek to favour all parties, it is very possible to maintain that culture from a distance.”

Mitton advises the following:

  • Companies can try to blend working from home and the office, based on workers’ concerns and preferences about coming into work. “This is a good strategy to keep culture and collaboration alive in this digital world.”

  • Organise regular meetings (virtual, real and a combination of the two) to maintain contact and entrench working relationships.

  • As the custodians and enforcers of the culture, management needs to take deliberate actions that contribute to the kind of culture that will benefit the organisation and its people. 

  • The casual conversations and informal brainstorming sessions that take place organically when people work in the same space remain important, so it is up to the organisation to ensure that effective communication tools are available to replicate this as much as possible. 

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