There’s no doubt that the pandemic has changed the world of work in a myriad of ways. From the sudden shift to remote work to finding new ways to manage, communicate with, and evaluate employees from afar, companies have had to be ever resourceful to adapt to the new normal.
Many businesses have successfully navigated the technical aspects of transitioning to remote work. But, how have their company cultures fared amid all the changes? Most importantly, what changes have employees noticed in company culture since COVID-19?
Quartz and Qualtrics conducted a study of 2,100 adults around the world to understand how employees’ experiences of company culture, inclusion, and burnout have changed since the beginning of the pandemic.
Impact on Company Culture
In some ways, a remote company culture is inherently different from that of an in-person company. So, how have company cultures fared since the coronavirus?
While 70% of respondents reported a positive company culture prior to the pandemic, 37% say their company culture has actually improved since COVID-19. Millennials were twice as likely as baby boomers, and men were 39% more likely than women to report an improved company culture since the pandemic.
Of those who reported an improved company culture, reasons given for the improvement include increased kindness (80%), more generosity (71%), more transparency (62%), and increased support (71%).
Some respondents have also experienced increased connectedness in their work, with 48% feeling more connected to coworkers, and 51% feeling more loyal to their organization. Fifty-two percent of respondents say that their work now has more purpose.
When asked what their companies are doing to strengthen their culture, the top five respondent answers were:
- Sending regular emails
- Finding ways for employees to connect
- Increasing contact with managers
- Organizing virtual social events
- Utilizing informal chat channels
Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
The pandemic has coincided with social and racial injustice movements that have highlighted the roles of businesses in supporting diversity and inclusion (D&I). How have companies responded?
The majority, 61%, of respondents say their company’s diversity and inclusion efforts have improved since the start of COVID-19, and 48% report increased efforts in response to Black Lives Matter. Overall, 73% are satisfied with their organization’s D&I efforts.
Eighty-six percent of respondents agree that their company treats people of all races equally, while 83% say all genders, and 81% say all sexual orientations are treated equally.
Job Burnout and COVID-19
Burnout can happen anytime there’s chronic workplace stress, but the pandemic has exacerbated the situation for many, with 47% feeling burned out since the start of COVID-19. Respondents under the age of 40 are 89% more likely to have felt burnout than those over 55.
Fortunately, 49% say that their companies have taken steps to help workers avoid burnout, such as:
- Offering flexible working hours
- Adjusting performance goals and expectations
- Providing remote work resources
- Giving employees access to counseling and mental health benefits
- Proving more paid time off
As it pertains to where and how people work, 58% of respondents say their employers will allow more flexible working hours post-pandemic, and 55% say they’ll have more flexibility in regards to where they work.
Moving Forward Remotely
When asked if they are ready to return to the office, most would like to continue—55% prefer working from home, and 68% would like to work remotely some or all of the time after the pandemic. While only 50% of baby boomers want to keep working from home, 72% of millennials hope to work remotely after COVID-19.
Over half (51%) of respondents say their company is being flexible about when they need to return to the office, but 35% report that their employers won’t give them a choice on when they need to return to in-person work.
Make Remote Work a Success
At least for the foreseeable future, remote work is here to stay, and companies have a prime opportunity to shape their employees’ experiences for the better. For more resources on how to make remote work really work, read the Remote.co blog. And for advice from hundreds of companies who’ve successfully integrated remote work, check out our Remote Companies Q&A.
By Emily Courtney | September 10, 2020 | Categories: Remote Management
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