Myth: Returning to the Office to Protect Culture

As companies have been asking employees to return to the office, one of the reasons has been that being together is important for "company culture". This rather amorphous term is used for a reason, in that no one can argue it.

Or can they? As a matter of fact, a recent study by Gartner might be a good argument against returning to the office full time.

A recent study of employees that have been working a hybrid schedule indicated that 76% of employees thing that working remotely at least part of the time has made the company culture better (either a little or a lot). That is significant number.

How can this be?

There are a few possible explanations. First is that executives have an overly rosy picture of what the culture was before the pandemic. If they thought it was good, then it makes sense that they would want to return to the office. Based on some other studies I've seen, executives are fooling themselves. What they think is a good culture is average or bad to the employee.

Second, it could be that the culture has nothing to do with the location. It was the people and the way they worked together. The could continue that work virtually in the same way, so the culture was better because some of the stress of going to the office (commute, etc.) left and the way everyone worked together stayed the same.

This is a great example that we need to understand what really impacts the company culture. It might be the location - or it might not.