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Building Cultures of Integrity in Remote and Hybrid Environments

Historically, culture was built and spread from a cultural base. These cultural bases usually had a geographic or environmental component and, more often than not, entailed groups of individuals coming together collectively to be more than just their individual contributions. As we evolved in the ways in which we communicate, collective experiences were spread more widely. Even though these cultures were more broadly disbursed, the common approaches and collective still held strong as the core of the culture.

In 2020, many people experienced the loss of a workplace environment as a regular force in our lives. At the core of this rapid shift was the question: Does a culture of integrity survive when common environments no longer exist? What we learned is that it’s possible for organizations to survive—and thrive—with employees who are fully remote or have hybrid working arrangements. In fact, research shows that teleworkers are more productive, demonstrate stronger performance, call in sick less, and stay longer. Additionally, organizations save $11,000 per year on average per part-time telecommuter.[2]

What’s more, many employees who’ve been home for a year or more may be reticent to return to the office full time, appreciating the flexibility, time savings, and costs savings remote work offers. In fact, a survey from Enterprise Technology Research suggests the number of employees permanently working remotely globally will double in 2021—from 16.4% to 34.4%. And the same survey indicated that about 72% of the global workforce of the companies surveyed is currently working remotely.[3]

As a result, many companies are considering making the move to remote a permanent one—or at least offering the flexibility of remote or hybrid work to their employees. Sounds like everyone wins, right?

Well, that actually depends a great deal on your company’s culture.

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