Company culture matters. It’s simple: People want to work in a place where they feel respected and inspired. A place where they can learn from peers and mentors. A place where they can recognize the positive outcomes of their hard work.
As a business owner, it’s always been one of my goals to build the type of work environment in which I’d want to work. And while it’s something that must be continuously worked on, I feel confident that the atmosphere inside the walls of The Pita Group is what you’d expect it to be by talking to others about us, seeing our branding, looking at our website or working with us on a project.
One reason our Pita culture is so vibrant and strong is because of our tight-knit team. We have worked hard to cultivate a group of highly skilled individuals who are truly able to put their egos aside and work together to make the impossible happen. We work closely for long hours, every day, which allows us to provide a consistent level of quality and experience to our clients.
It makes me wonder, however, how companies’ brands and cultures are being affected as the recent trend in telecommuting increases and more people choose to or are required to work from home. How are companies fostering the interpersonal relationships necessary to create a work environment that truly reflects their brand promise?
A 2012 survey from Reuters found that approximately one in five workers worldwide telecommute frequently, working remotely from their office or communicating by email, phone or online chats. Among these telecommuters, 34 percent said they would telecommute full-time if they could.
Telecommuting is no longer just a human resources or operations concern. It now affects marketing and communications and the core fabric of a company’s brand. It’s a trend that will continue to grow, and we’ll find ourselves more often communicating from phone to phone or screen to screen.
As it does, I believe having a strong company brand strategy, both internally and externally, will be more critical than ever. Communicators will need to work hard to develop a brand promise that transcends physical location. Employers will need to better articulate what the brand means and the opportunities employees have to bring the brand to life. Employees will need to truly believe in the brand and recognize its intrinsic impact and value.
Bottom line: the company brand will not go away when the corporate walls come down. Instead, it will be more important than ever. We need to prepare our brands today for this increasingly mobile and diverse workforce. It’s time to devote the resources necessary to not only define and differentiate your brand promise, but also to mold your brand to future business and cultural models. Strengthen the connective tissue that ties the various components of your brand together, and it will be adaptable enough to grow and change with your workforce.
Share your thoughts and predictions on telecommuting and brand culture below.