- The latest Transforming Business survey asked respondents if their company has experienced a change in corporate culture in the past 12 months.
- Many respondents indicated positive changes in the work culture, but still expressed frustration with the challenges of working remotely.
- Visit the Insider’s Transforming Business home page for more stories.
The year 2020 saw an unprecedented number of office and head office buildings shut down in compliance with social distancing restrictions and other public health concerns. As the pandemic continues, businesses are still wondering how to keep their employees connected and the teams that run efficiently. Among white-collar workers, the response to remote working has been mixed, despite the many tools available that have made the transition away from physical offices extremely convenient for most office managers.
The latest Transforming Business survey found that as work life has become more flexible and less hectic for many white-collar workers, some workers have noted that this shift has come with some unfortunate tradeoffs. The past year shed light on the pros and cons of remote working arrangements for almost all of the 614 business leaders surveyed in multiple regions, including North America, Europe and Asia.
More time with family and friends
When asked if their company has experienced a change in corporate culture due to the pandemic or other external factors, 538 of 614 respondents answered “not really”. However, a few went on to describe how the pandemic and the massive shift to remote working has affected their business atmosphere in more positive ways. Their responses have been kept anonymous for the sake of privacy.
A respondent from the United States said his business “is family oriented and understands the challenges our employees face.”
As the pandemic was in full swing last spring, HR staff, office managers and executives had to adapt their new virtual offices and business practices to be more flexible with the home life of employees, especially those with young children and struggled to find child care. and navigate school closures for months. Another US respondent said the pandemic had made their business “More respectful of people’s family challenges.”
Besides employee relations, the pandemic has also affected business operations in many industries.
One interviewee in the United States said their business had focused on “More people than product.” For many retail and consumer-oriented businesses around the world, the lack of social interaction and restrictions on in-person sales have prompted many businesses to focus and rethink their approach to customer service.
Less time spent bonding with colleagues
A few survey respondents indicated that there had been negative impacts of the culture change observed in their businesses. Specifically, the lack of interaction with colleagues was a concern.
A US respondent told Insider, “We have our meeting less often and we don’t have fun meeting together, so we sort of disassociate ourselves from colleagues who aren’t working on the same project. “
This disconnection between colleagues can have a negative impact on productivity and corporate culture. Some business leaders have encouraged their employees to work from their desks.
Another respondent from Canada said: “There is more leniency in working from home, but they would much prefer to have us in the office; in fact, people who work in the office receive bonuses like food and gifts. “
This SurveyMonkey Audience survey targeted people who work in a management function in their company according to the audience panel. They included respondents from Hong Kong (n = 50), Singapore (n = 50), United States (n = 207), Canada (n = 104), France (n = 52), United Kingdom United (n = 51), Germany (n = 50) and India (n = 50), with local translations in Germany and France. Respondents are encouraged to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital surveys tend to favor people with internet access. SurveyMonkey Audience does not attempt to weight its sample based on race or income. Survey data collected a total of 614 respondents on March 3-4, 2021.