Summary of How to Sustain Your Organization’s Culture When Everyone Is Remote

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How to Sustain Your Organization’s Culture When Everyone Is Remote summary
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Cambridge University Professor Jennifer Howard-Grenville explains in the MIT Sloan Management Review that corporate culture is much more than the physical elements of an office. With more people working remotely, companies must focus on the core elements of their culture in order to sustain it. While video meetings give employees less of an ability to emulate your company culture, managers can find ways to support and expand culture with remote workers. This article provides a useful backgrounder for managers who lead remote teams.

About the Author

Jennifer Howard-Grenville, a professor at the University of Cambridge’s business school, specializes in organizational studies and change.



Working remotely long-term makes sustaining corporate culture difficult, but you can help your virtual workforce feel included.

Many observers lauded IBM for having 40% of its employees work remotely in 2009; eight years later, it brought “thousands” of staff members back to its physical offices. Now, the Covid-19 pandemic has sent many employees back home to work remotely, a situation that may become permanent for some.

Giant IBM brought remote workers back together in its offices after eight years because its leaders realized that human in-office interaction supports corporate culture, creativity and problem solving. People understand one another better if they share non-verbal communication and common experiences. Without in-person interactions to cement a company’s shared “beliefs and practices,” managers and staff must innovate to highlight those mutual experiences. Unfortunately, written statements defining culture...

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