In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the working world is now adapted to how businesses operate in the not-so-new-normal. While March 2020 seems like a lifetime ago, one remnant of the pandemic appears to be here to stay: remote and hybrid work. However, this is still a continued topic of discussion as many businesses are now working towards bringing people back to the office, or implementing a hybrid-first model, versus the remote-first that many are currently operating within.
Through all of these changes, one question continues to be top-of-mind: what are the impacts of remote and hybrid work on organizational culture?
NAVEX recently surveyed over 1,300 risk and compliance (R&C) leaders across the globe to delve into compliance program maturity, priorities, struggles, and more. In this survey, we also asked about how remote work impacted culture. This article discusses our findings, including the positive cultural impacts of remote- and hybrid-work models on corporate culture.
How common is remote work?
The 2023 State of R&C report presents a remarkable shift in work dynamics. This year’s report revealed a whopping 93% of organizations have at least some employees working remotely.
This is in contrast to the previous year's data, when 30% anticipated a return to in-office work and 56% predicted a hybrid model, the current figures underscore the endurance of remote work.
Broken down by percentage of remote workers, we see 58% of organizations have at least a quarter of their workforce still working from home.
Understanding the dynamics of remote work is important for compliance leaders as there are special considerations to account for with remote work. For example, remote workers typically have less supervision, which can make it more difficult to ensure policy and code of conduct expectations are adhered to.
How does remote work impact culture?
Now that the growing pains of adjusting to the nuances of remote work, like the many video chat meetings and remote onboarding challenges are behind us, we can ask ourselves how remote work impacts culture.
There is an abundance of stories about how remote work has positively impacted the workforce. Commonly, remote workers cite an improved work-life balance, enhanced flexibility, and savings in both time and expenses. On the less-than-positive side, there are some challenges with having a dispersed workforce, like working through time zone disparities and a sense of disconnectedness in the absence of in-person meetings.
All that said, the survey results lean towards the positive when asked what the effects of remote work are. Last year, 62% of our survey respondents said this flexible working arrangement, work from home, or hybrid work had a positive impact on culture. This year, the number continues to rise with nearly three-quarters (73%) stating it has a somewhat or very positive impact on culture.
Refining the results further on some specific regions also bears interesting results, with respondents in France and Germany indicating a somewhat or very positive impact on culture (83% and 79% respectively).
What is the future of remote work?
Now that the pandemic has become endemic, many organizations are looking to bring more people back into the office in at least a hybrid capacity. However, this topic is controversial and remains contentious, with much of the workforce reluctant to trade the flexibility of remote work for a daily commute.
If we pulled out our Magic 8 Ball and asked if remote and hybrid work is here to stay, what would it say? For some organizations, “signs point to yes” seems like a likely response. For most, “cannot predict now” is probably more accurate.
What is clear is that the ability for many to work either remote or hybrid has changed the way the workforce views their work. It has also changed the way organizations are hiring, allowing for a much broader applicant pool and a more global workforce.
What is the state of risk and compliance in 2023?
The risk and compliance function has certainly evolved in recent years. This year’s report yields fascinating findings about how R&C leaders are adapting to the new risk and regulatory environment. For the full scoop, download the report now!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What are the cultural benefits of remote and hybrid work models according to the 2023 R&C report?
The 2023 R&C report highlights overwhelmingly positive cultural impacts of remote and hybrid work models. Survey results show that nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents believe these models have a very positive or somewhat positive influence on corporate culture. Notably, specific regions, including France and Germany, report even higher percentages (83% and 79%, respectively).
2. How prevalent is remote work among organizations in 2023?
Remote work has become the norm in 2023, with 93% of organizations having at least some employees working remotely. This represents a significant shift from previous years and reflects the enduring popularity of remote work models.
3. What benefits and challenges do remote work models bring, as per the survey results?
The survey indicates that remote work offers several benefits, including improved work-life balance, enhanced flexibility, and significant time and cost savings due to the elimination of daily commutes. However, challenges include managing time zone differences and addressing the sense of disconnection that may arise without in-person meetings.
4. What's the future of remote work, and how are organizations adapting?
The future of remote work remains uncertain. While many organizations plan a return to hybrid office models, there is reluctance among employees to relinquish the flexibility offered by remote work. The report suggests that remote work has transformed how organizations view work , which may have resulted in broader applicant pools and more globalized workforces.