Remote working threat to company culture

The findings of a new survey suggest the vast majority of employees appreciate the difficulties full-time remote working causes when trying to develop a strong workplace culture.

O.C. Tanner’s 2022 Global Culture Report analysed the perspectives of more than 38,000 employees, leaders, HR practitioners and executives from 21 countries, including more than 2,500 respondents from the UK. Among the findings were:

  • More than eight out of ten UK workers believe people who work remotely full time cannot meaningfully connect with an organisation’s culture
  • Only one in every six UK employees said time in the office is unnecessary for fostering company culture.

While this shows that most workers do clearly believe time in the office is an integral element in establishing organisational culture, the research did report a notable divergence in opinion when it comes to how often employees need to be office based to achieve this.

The most commonly quoted figure was two days per week, with 20% of respondents saying this would be sufficient to feel connected to a company’s culture. However, 16% felt just one day a week would be sufficient, while 18% said three days per week, and 6% of respondents actually felt just one day a month would be enough.

Commenting on the report’s findings, MD of O.C. Tanner Europe, Robert Ordever said, “It’s no surprise workers can see the difficulties of developing a strong connection to organisational culture when fully remote working. Being physically together in the office allows for collaboration, innovation and connection. In fact, the office is vital for facilitating social interaction, storytelling and memory making, all of which nurture a strong workplace culture… For the sake of organisational culture as well as overall business success, it’s important that a balance remains between home and office working, avoiding a shift towards total remote working.”