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Creating Culture in a Hybrid World

“One of the greatest barriers to connection is the cultural importance we place on ‘going it alone.’ Somehow, we’ve come to equate success with not needing anyone. Many of us are willing to extend a helping hand, but we’re very reluctant to reach out for help when we need it ourselves. It’s as if we’ve divided the world into ‘those who offer help’ and ‘those who need help.’ The truth is that we are both." ~Brene Brown

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a significant shift in the way businesses operate. The pandemic forced many companies to adopt remote work policies as a way of ensuring the safety of their employees. While remote work has been around for some time, it has never been on this scale. As the world slowly returns to some sense of normalcy, it's evident that remote work is here to stay.

One of the challenges of remote work is creating and maintaining a corporate culture. Corporate culture refers to the shared values, beliefs, and practices that characterize an organization. It's what sets a company apart from its competitors and defines its identity. In this article, we'll explore how businesses can create and maintain a corporate culture through remote work.

  • Develop a clear set of values and communicate them effectively

The first step in creating a corporate culture is developing a clear set of values. These values should align with the company's mission, vision, and goals. Remote work presents a unique challenge in that employees may feel disconnected from the company's mission and values. To mitigate this, companies should communicate their values effectively. This could be done through regular town hall meetings, team meetings, and other communication channels.

  • Emphasize communication and collaboration

Remote work can be isolating, which is why it's important to emphasize communication and collaboration. Encourage employees to communicate regularly and provide them with the tools they need to do so. This could include video conferencing tools, instant messaging, and project management software. By fostering communication and collaboration, you can create a sense of community and teamwork that is essential for a strong corporate culture.

  • Provide opportunities for social interaction

Social interaction is an essential component of corporate culture. When employees work remotely, they miss out on the casual conversations and interactions that happen in an office setting. To overcome this, companies should provide opportunities for social interaction. This could be through virtual happy hours, team-building activities, or even online games. By providing opportunities for social interaction, you can create a sense of camaraderie and belonging.

  • Encourage work-life balance

Remote work can blur the lines between work and personal life. This can lead to burnout and a negative impact on mental health. To create a positive corporate culture, companies should encourage work-life balance. This could be through flexible work schedules, wellness programs, or other initiatives that promote employee well-being. By prioritizing work-life balance, you can create a culture that values and supports its employees.

  • Lead by example

Creating a corporate culture through remote work starts with leadership. Leaders should model the behavior they want to see in their employees. This could be by communicating clearly, collaborating effectively, and prioritizing work-life balance. By leading by example, leaders can set the tone for the entire organization.

In organizations today, remote work presents a unique challenge in creating and maintaining a corporate culture. However, by developing a clear set of values, emphasizing communication and collaboration, providing opportunities for social interaction, encouraging work-life balance, and leading by example, companies can create a strong and positive corporate culture that thrives in a remote work environment.

**Erika Weed is a doctoral candidate at The George Washington University, studying leadership and trying to reconcile the seemingly competing goals of happiness and success, for herself and others.

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