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Maintaining Company Culture While Working Remotely

Working from home and social distancing makes it hard for staff to interact. These strategies help employees to keep connecting.

Work from home

Over the course of the past 11 months, our facility management world of work has been put to the test by the restrictions placed on the workforce and the reliance on conducting business remotely.

During conversations on remote work strategies, my mantra has been we are not going to experience a "new normal" anytime soon, but rather a new frontier on how we will work in the future. Although the calvary is coming in the form of a vaccine, this new frontier embraces the continuance of remote work as a standard workplace practice. The best estimate is that at least 25 to 30 percent of the workforce will continue to work from home multiple days a week in 2021 and beyond.

The remote workplace practice comes with some obstacles for our facility management organizations. Keeping culture alive and thriving requires commitment and dedication. Facility management organizations have been known for having distinctive cultures and it is important to continue that reputation. Staff feel so strongly about their culture that when they are asked to provide a definition, they often characterize it in the following way:

  • Culture is the way things work around here;
  • Culture is how we interact with one another as colleagues; and
  • Culture is what people do when no one is watching them.

Think about your remote FM workplace or even one where staff can enter the workplace physically but must maintain significant distance from one another. It is difficult to envision how any of those three points are achieved under today's circumstances. Though challenging, sustaining a strong facility management culture is not an unattainable goal. It takes work to create opportunities for the FM department's "soul" to shine through.

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