What Remote Work Means For Redefining Your Culture

As we’ve been talking a great deal about remote work and how we expect it is here to stay post-pandemic, the first impression would seem that company culture is the loser of this evolution. At Roy Talman & Associates, we’ve always gone beyond viewing people through the lens of a job description to look for a great cultural fit. But what will that culture represent when a decent portion of our team no longer needs to come to the office? How does a company cope with that?

Put another way, how does a candidate evaluate a company on culture…when that environment may be less populated than ever?

We suspect that many cultures will change. There surely has to be an emphasis on measurable accomplishments when you work remotely. Before, it was easy to run into an employee in the hallway any day of the week and quickly discover what they were working on. Now, that window into performance won’t come as easily. Fortunately, this might be an area where an explosion of tools will help companies evaluate performance from remote workers. In addition, when bandwidth increases sufficiently, we’re going to have much more interaction in groups. The problem with Zoom is that, while it is good in a one-on-one setting, the experience starts breaking down very quickly, even when you add just three or four people – and it’s still one person talking. A big jump in bandwidth capability can make this experience much more inviting to teams.

The Hybrid Culture / “Bootcamp” Approach

With such changes, the definition of a company culture might start changing. This is not to say you will forego interactions in person altogether, of course. Instead, you could have an emphasis on getting together once a quarter for four or five days of intense interaction rather than seeing each other daily.

Seeing people quarterly, in a setting much like a “bootcamp” with a particular theme, can bring together people across several days, learning specific things based on a goal. Put the energy of making this change into a three-to-four-day model where you’re getting together and then returning to where you live after that. The potential here is that many of us could make real progress while still having some semblance of culture.


Talman Advantage #7: We Already Know Many People At The Top

The built-in advantage of being a more specialized recruiter for over three decades is that Roy Talman & Associates established many strong relationships with senior leaders in the C-suite and Director level. How do we truly leverage that? Prior to your interview, we can provide you terrific insight on the person’s background, the questions they’re likely to ask you and even a few clues into why prior candidates were likely rejected.

A recruiter that equips you with more information in advance of the interview? That just might make all the difference – if you talk to Talman first.


The Productivity – Cultural Tradeoff

I believe that when we emerge from COVID and put it behind us, the improvement and productivity we should be left with will be tremendous. For one, we can expect to have far less commuting, but that’s not the only measurement of change. People may be working longer hours at home and/or more productive because they’re working at their preferred pace. So a variety of us may no longer be physically together as much as we once were, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be even more productive as a cohesive unit.

Think about it. Does physical closeness guarantee greater productivity? Not really. Can we be remote yet even more productive than we once were, maintaining a unified team that feels ever more on the same page? Yes. We can. Let’s illustrate.

We’ve previously spoken about the change in lifestyle that may come about from remote work. So let’s say you have a software developer who presently works a certain number of hours per week in the traditional office setting. But when you take the time and expense of daily commuting out of the equation, several hours can be put back into the day of productive work. If they spend an extra two hours at home per day, five days a week, that’s 10 hours per week, 40 hours per month. You just added an entire week’s worth of increased productivity into that software developer’s schedule per month, all while enabling them to live the life they want. Some could take this concept to a whole other level by working in another state or country to get more for their money while being more productive. If the technological bandwidth can accommodate that, who’s to say that this isn’t a better option?

Therefore, in the changing landscape of remote work, productivity might be measured not in terms of dollars produced per day or per hour but by how many hours need to be worked to obtain one’s ideal standard of living. The way we measure a thriving culture can change too – not by how we feel and work together in physical proximity but how we consistently interact and achieve as a team, regardless of location.

In this sense, as an employer, you might find that not only might your workers achieve far greater productivity and happiness to live life on their terms but that their loyalty to your team is even greater too. Call that an improvement to your culture – a culture with expanded boundaries.

A lot goes into the culture you’ve built and the culture that may evolve from here. For every chapter, it’s good to know there’s a highly seasoned technical recruiter who knows what you’re all about. From your mission and management structure to the technologies you’re embracing and the markets you’re entering. For over 30 years, Roy Talman & Associates has partnered with firms just like yours to successfully identify the top-tier candidates made for where you’re heading next.

It’s why more companies in the technical space trust us to keep up with their changes without missing a beat. And a big reason why you should Talk To Talman First.