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.

Beginning 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 multiple years are now reticent to return to the office full time, appreciating the flexibility, time savings, and costs savings remote work offers. According to projections from data scientists at Ladders, 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022, and remote opportunities will continue to increase through 2023.[3] Globally, 16% of companies are already fully remote with many more offering hybrid workplaces.[4]

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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