BLI Leadership | Future Ready | Leadership / Management

How to Maintain a Great Culture in a Remote Work Environment

The biggest question from leaders today after, "when are we going back to the office?" is "how do I maintain a great culture in this remote, flex, work-from-home world we find ourselves in?"

In our polling across our membership we are hearing that many are still uncertain about when and how they will be returning to the office. About 50% are back at some level (25% - 100%), 36% are offering flexibility, and 11% shift rotation. Other research predicts a permanent shift.

A recent CBS News article, Employees aren't afraid of going back to the office - they like working from home and the survey from Korn Ferry capture this well: 

  • 53 percent say it is either only somewhat likely or not likely that they will return when the offices re-open.
  • Only 14 percent say returning to the office every day will be mandatory.
  • The majority of respondents (58 percent) say they are more productive when working virtually, even if there are distractions such as a spouse and children at home.

Which sets up the third biggest question, How is real work productivity during the "largest work-from-home experiment in history"?

So, I turned to one of the foremost experts in the field, Jody Thompson, CEO of CultureRx(R) and co-founder of ROWE(TM) Results-Only Work Environment, about how culture changes, why change is difficult, and what the future work environment looks like.

Her tips:

  1. Manage the work not the people;
  2. Be clear about the results and deadlines - Don't let them swim in a sea of asaps;
  3. Be much more intentional and planned about the work (project management);
  4. Clarity and alignment around direction (purpose and values);
  5. Culture matters a lot and is what you decide it to be.
  6. Rinse and repeat.

Start here:

  •  Start with mindset and intention;
  • Culture change starts at the top and spreads from the middle from the managers out;
  • Ask this question: Does everybody understand CLEARLY what the work and the measurable results need to be?
  • Make it about the work, not the location (avoid when you are logging in).

Whatever you do don't call your people "flexies".

Listen to my full interview with Jody Thompson from our #FutureReady Live series on LinkedIn Live:


If you want more of Jody, listen to her #FutureProof podcast with Bill Sheridan here.

And as if on cue the cover story of the Nov-Dec Harvard Business Review magazine is dedicated to The Work-from-Anywhere Future (WFA) and feature a great article titled, Our Work-from-Anywhere Future.

More #WFA #WFH Remote Work Resources:

Tune into the Future with our Future-Proof podcasts with Bill Sheridan


Tom Hood