Working from home is a likely eventuality for many businesses across the world. Even without a pandemic, it looks like relegating many employees to home will be at least part of the future of the modern workplace. Working from home is a great idea on paper for companies; if employees maintain some productivity, it can save a lot of overhead cost and make the business a much more scalable and flexible machine.
However, the tech that enables people to work from home might actually be eroding the value of that arrangement by creating a long-term problem that might cripple many businesses from the inside out. The real problem with working from home is company culture.
The Importance of the Institution
When everybody is in an office, it is easy to keep an eye on your co-workers and your boss to see how you’re working. The issue, one would think, would be about productivity and efficiency. Normally companies like to maximize their efficiency, which means controlling employees effectively. This is not particularly possible from home without a dedicated intranet system. With that you will be able to monitor employee work but also adapt your efficiency incentives to the virtual workstation. Tools like gamification will likely be the key to combatting this issue of efficiency control in the long term.
The difficulty with working from home from the point of a company is the sheer difficulty of maintaining a cohesive and strong company culture while a significant proportion of employees are remotely located. Remote work tools like Simpplr will likely be the main protector of company culture in the long term; it’s a modern intranet tool that highlights important communications and facilitates communication throughout a company – whether that’s between departments or just as by acting as a virtual water cooler.
However, only a limited number of companies will have the investment capacity or the foresight to take these crucial measures to protect company culture.
Why is Company Culture so Valuable?
Loosely speaking, a company culture is the shared ethos, values, goals and attitudes of an organization. It dictates why each employee is doing what they do. The individual spirit of every employee combines to create the whole company culture – the personality of the organization, in other words. Many companies work extremely hard to craft their company culture, but how they do so might not translate well to the online realm. Hence working online poses a difficulty to both established companies and new companies looking to give themselves a sustainable competitive edge.
Company culture is very important when considering interactions with employees. Companies that actively manage their culture have a 40% higher employee retention rate, but most importantly, companies with strong cultures have a 72% higher employee engagement rate. This will mean that employees are more motivated, have more flow and simply work better with each other and the organization as a whole. Companies with more engaged employees are more profitable in the long run, which is why company culture can often be the difference between long-term success and failure.