A new MIT study tells us that over 90% of workers find that the culture at their company has benefited from remote and hybrid workplaces. However, in this same study, it was found that 60% of workers believe that companies need to have most of their employees in-person to maintain the corporate culture.
There is clearly a disconnect between these two numbers, meaning that the reality of remote work is that it does not impact company culture negatively, but there is still a desire to connect with co-workers at the office. Maintaining a human element to your workplace is essential, especially for Gen Z employees who are just entering the workforce without any in-person experience.
We know that remote work is not harming employee productivity, but as a society we are still very split on separating our beliefs from the actual effects it has on company culture. It is possible, and indeed seems to be the case in this study, that while workers find that remote work has not impacted their company culture, there is still a need to see people in person.
What this tells us is that after two and a half years of working from home or occasionally working in the office is that it is completely normal to want to spend more time with people outside of Zoom meetings! Feeling as though you still have a company culture and wanting to see your coworkers in-person can both be true.
Companies must be creative to balance both of these truths. Even with remote workplaces, coworkers should be able to gather now and then for company outings or for in-person team meetings at employees’ convenience. So long as managers encourage the possibility to get together in-person, employees will feel comfortable suggesting getting together when necessary.
Is remote work destroying company culture? No, but it is apparent that workers want to see their coworkers face-to-face, even if it is only now and then.