What does localization mean for company culture in 2022?

As businesses transition to a fully remote workforce, return to the in-person office, or settle into a hybrid model, the question of what “local” means to an organization has never been more fluid.

A company’s identity is often at least partially defined by the city of its headquarters, absorbing regional attitudes and flavors into its culture. But when staff disperse geographically, does this culture become diluted? Is it more difficult to maintain a cohesive culture in a remote or hybrid environment – ​​or does it allow the freedom to shape a more inclusive culture less bound by geographic insularity? And how does an organization’s “local” approach affect its ability to attract and retain employees?

Across the country, talent and HR professionals are grappling with these issues, and there is no single solution that works for all companies. What’s best for one organization may not be for another, so it’s worth considering a variety of approaches and making it clear to potential candidates how (or if) location matters.

For the month of February, Technical.ly’s report explored the theme of What local means now, according to our editorial calendar. For some additional insights, we asked our Technical talent companies the following question:

How is location a factor in your organization’s culture?

Here are some responses from their recruiting teams, and if you like what you see, follow the links to the Company Culture pages to learn more and explore open positions.

Elizabeth Massing, director of human resources for the Baltimore-based business services company, said, “A lot of people wonder why we never moved the organization to a bigger, more modern space, but we always saw the Our unique historic buildings bring a lot of creative beauty and pride into our daily lives – and they remind us of the incredible things that are possible when you have a real passion for your work.Losing the inspiration and influence of our location physics was tough at first, but our culture has always been about creating new ideas and adapting to daily challenges.Our strong community base has allowed us to continue to be intentional in our communications and team experiences. We’ve also taken some exciting steps to innovate the way we work, including a new hybrid model and even expl open up opportunities in the metaverse. »

“Audacy made a conscious choice to invest in establishing its new headquarters in the heart of Philadelphia – we are located on the Schuylkill strategically between the Innovation District and the heart of downtown and local government. Our fantastic location gives access to the brightest talent, the latest ideas and technology and keeps us connected to the heart of the city.

“Our crew members value the time spent in our office, so we tried to find a centralized location for suburban Philadelphia employees and those in the city. Because we are located out of town, this allows for a easier commute and ample parking.We are very conscious of commute times, so if employees have more than 45 minutes, they are welcome to work entirely remotely if they wish.”

A bare-handed staff meeting at Infinite Blue. (Courtesy picture)

“At Kleer, we support our employees in their desire or need for teleworking. However, we believe that sometimes it is essential to come together physically as a company to preserve the culture of our organization. The past two years have changed our perspective on place, but have not changed our belief that it is important to share a workspace with our colleagues, to come together to exchange ideas or to meet in a local bowling to share some laughs.

“We had a pretty drastic change years ago when we moved from Galloway to Philadelphia. Galloway was a much less densely populated area, so we found that many of the hires we made had to be relocated to the area; it created a pretty close bond at work because a lot of people didn’t have a social circle outside of work. In Philadelphia, I noticed a much stronger connection to the city where we work. More employees are local to the office, have backgrounds in the area, and therefore seem to have a lot more natural connections based on common backgrounds, not just common situations in their current lives. Both situations add to the culture of the company, but it seems that being in a more populated area gives employees a more organic connection to each other, as there are more connections with each other. others.

Inside Linode’s old town office. (Courtesy picture)

“Although we have been fully remote since March 2020, our team is still based primarily in the DMV region, where we make a point of supporting our local community. That being said, our team appreciates the flexibility of working remotely and the opportunities it provides for walking trips, cozy getaways, and of course the joy of snuggling up at home with pets in pajamas. Just as some people these days extol the virtues of the metaverse, we at SmartLogic aren’t particularly interested in our team literally spending all their time staring at screens. Take this cross-country road trip, escape to the woods; as long as you can get a connection no matter where you work from.

“We will always be a Philadelphia-based company; our soul, our heart and our efforts to improve our community are concentrated here. However, in order to compete and retain top talent in this world forever changed by COVID, we had to pivot our hiring model to a “remote first” strategy.

“The physical location of our team members is no longer a primary consideration for us. What has become paramount is ensuring the team feels connected. We need to be more intentional in our cultural efforts and operationalize empathy for our entire team, no matter where they live.

“Management strives to actively maintain reasonably similar opportunities for career development within the company, access to professional development opportunities and access to leadership across three time zones. We actively and consistently consult with all team members to ensure that our vision of an inclusive culture is the reality our employees experience, wherever they are.

“Our team has grown beautifully over this time and enjoys the freedom of workplace that does not limit their career at Tactile. We are proof that with careful thought, the challenges of being a geographically dispersed team can be fully raised and transformed into assets.

The Tactile Group team. (Courtesy picture)

“Tempest’s main office in downtown Philadelphia is located just blocks from one of our biggest clients, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and one of the best meeting facilities in the country, the Pennsylvania Convention Center. We are an independent company that embodies the values ​​of our local community: independent thinking, passion and perseverance. Like all Philadelphians, Tempest understands the importance of the tourism industry to the vitality of the city we proudly call home.

“We have quickly become a hybrid company, with more than 40% of our new hires over the past year residing outside of the Philadelphia metro area. Nonetheless, Philadelphia will always be an important part of our culture. We continue to participate in local events and lend our talents to local organizations as our network expands across the country. We also take great pride in showing visiting Thinkers all that Philly has to offer while exploring how to engage with their local design and technology communities.

Ryan Sweigart, Sr. Manager of Testing & Optimization at the fashion retail company, shared, “Our location is the foundation of our culture here at URBN, but at the same time, it doesn’t limit our culture. Our inspiring and beautiful home office in Philadelphia embodies what defines much of URBN and modern Philadelphia. Vision, hard work and sheer grittiness transformed the Navy Yard’s post-industrial past into something special, the heart of URBN. This transformation could not have happened without people everywhere coming together and aligning with the goal of doing something great. Each area of ​​the campus is unique and reflects the diversity of origins, ideas and cultures that make up URBN. Combined, these unique spaces create a cohesive, creative and inspiring experience that brings everyone together. It’s URBN.

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Want to find a new local or remote technical role? Discover all Technical.ly Talent companies here and learn more about their cultures and vacancies.

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