Ice Cubicle: Why Working Remotely Improves Company Culture

Rebecca K —  January 2, 2014

Two topics have each earned a lot of attention this year – working remotely, and company culture. However, there has not been enough attention paid to how these topics are so closely related.

Culture is the unity of beliefs, values and customs. We all want this dream team. But what do the best employees do? They leave. Why? They’re unhappy. However, too many articles point the finger in the wrong direction. They say it’s due to a lack of challenge. They say it’s because of bad management. They say it’s a lack of purpose.

Is it? For the average person, the truth is much less complicated.

No job is perfect. Most great employees may likely accept a lack of challenge, or having to answer to a bad manager, in exchange for a secure position, the right career trajectory and steady, decent compensation. People aren’t as daring and audacious as these articles would have us believe.

Most workers don’t feel entitled to perfection or the chance to change the world. However, we do feel entitled to logic. We need things to make sense.

It’s likely that many great employees quit because they’re literally sick and tired. It’s not the job – it’s travelling for hours, not getting enough sleep and not eating right. It’s missing their friends and family.

It’s anger. And we’re driven to quit by emotion.

Why do we finally quit? What pushes us over the edge? It’s that extra hour of sleep we can never get. It’s another stressed out traffic jam. It’s the awful weather. We quit when things no longer makes sense.

Great employees finally leave when the sacrifice is no longer worth it. At the same time, by offering the option to work remotely, businesses will decrease their turnover rate, retain more of their best and brightest employees and ultimately improve their company culture.

According to a recent World At Work survey, 64% of respondents said that remote working flexibility has had a positive or extremely positive impact on employee engagement, while 30% were neutral and only 6% said that it has a negative effect. At the same time, 77% of the “positive or extremely positive” respondents fall into the very low category of employee turnover (0-5%).

There’s a clear correlation between remote working, employee engagement and retention. Again, an exceptional company culture is not the result of interesting things. It’s the result of a team of outstanding employees. They stay because the sacrifice is now worth it. The balance now makes sense.

That’s why, at ShareDesk, we are such strong advocates for sharing flexible office space. Everybody wins. What do you think? Does working remotely improve company culture? Let us know your thoughts.

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Rebecca K

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