How to build a thriving flexible, remote work culture
As yet another survey highlights the stark disconnect between what employers and their staff want when it comes to remote working, 360Learning has released a report that aims to address the myths surrounding flexible working and how to implement it successfully as a business.
When studies show that 83% of employees think the shift to remote work has been successful for their company, but 65% of CEOs want staff back in the office full-time, there is a disconnect between employee and employer expectations around remote and flexible working.
Called Your Life, Your Way: How to Create the Flexible Working Culture Your Teams Need to Thrive – the report takes a deep dive into the recent evolution of flexible working trends. It details the five working models that have emerged as workforces adapt in a post-Covid world and how these models are impacting productivity, personal growth and business success. The report also reveals the seven biggest roadblocks holding companies back when it comes to flexible working and outlines a practical blueprint for how to tackle them while fostering a thriving company culture head-on.
The perpetuating myth
Since Covid-19 forced the hand of many businesses to adopt working-from-home practices, survey after survey has found leaders are still opposed to remote working. Only last month, a KPMG report of more than 1,300 CEOs worldwide found that 65% of them want their staff back in the office 9-5 by 2025, mainly because they worry about the impact that remote working has on company culture and productivity.
This is despite studies repeatedly showing that employee satisfaction is higher under flexible working conditions which makes these employees more engaged, more productive, and more likely to remain loyal to a company. In the Your Life, Your Way report, 360Learning points to a study of 30,000 employees that shows work productivity increases by 47% when people are empowered to work from home.
Autonomy and asynchronicity
As a remote-first hybrid firm, 360Learning has been at the coalface of this shift, and the myths that surround it, for years. In a bid to meet the demands of both its current talent, and the talent it hopes to attract in the future, the company has developed and adopted a unique approach to building company culture across its global workforce.
360Learning’s Convexity blueprint – outlined in the report – is the company’s teamwork system to deliver exponential impact, implement low authority, and promote a fully flexible lifestyle for individuals. By dividing responsibilities into subsets that are Mutually Exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive (MECE), placing high expectations for people to succeed, and keeping everyone on track with transparency and accountability, Convexity empowers an autonomous work culture.
In times of skills and talent shortages, the shift to autonomous, trust-based working and learning has been shown to be a strategic step into the future of business. In 360Learning’s Great Resignation report, it found that not being allowed to work from home was cited as one of the top three reasons employees were likely to quit a job. In addition, in a separate 360Learning study employees were found to benefit from more effective learning experiences when they could flexibly integrate training into their individual workflow instead of following set deadlines.
Not only does the report outline why autonomy and asynchronous working are the pillars upon which strong remote company cultures are built, but it reveals how this approach can help improve trust, communication and learning across the board.
It shows how this, in turn, can lead to stronger decision-making, greater creativity and productivity, fewer interruptions and a reduced risk of stress and burnout. It’s also been shown to make the workforce more equitable and could hold the key to improving diversity and inclusion.
The company culture blueprint
Through its own work, 360Learning has identified a number of proven ways to build a company culture among a remote workforce.
These range from:
• Committing to transparency in all company communications to avoid information silos
• Combining low authority with high accountability to ensure everyone is empowered to make decisions and push projects forward
• Clear performance management systems to measure results, reward business impact and discourage presenteeism
• Building remote-first working habits including reducing the number of synchronous meetings and recording and sharing written notes for full transparency
• Strengthen collaboration, internal knowledge sharing and idea cross-pollination with a strong learning culture
These strategies not only help to foster a thriving culture, regardless of where and when people work, but they have shown to boost recruitment for 360Learning itself. When surveyed, Convexity is one of the key reasons people want to join 360Learning with its employees in particular valuing the transparency and flexibility it brings to the workplace.
The report additionally identifies the seven roadblocks that typically hold companies back from embracing the benefits that come from remote and flexible working from hesitation and doubt at the leadership level, a lack of trust, and over-reliance on synchronous meetings and how to tackle this to implement a successful flexible working culture.
Nick Hernandez, Chief Executive Officer at 360Learning, said: “Convexity is our ever-evolving teamwork system for delivering exponential business impact with low authority – enabling a fully flexible lifestyle for our teams. For the first time, this latest report details how and why this approach has proved so successful for us, and how we believe it’s the future of work. By releasing our blueprint, we hope to make it easier for companies everywhere to design a flexible working culture to attract and retain the best talent for their business.”