19 Oct Corporate Puff Piece, Line 1
Image created by me using Canva.
Corporate Puff Piece, Line 1. Your party is waiting for you at the service desk.
“Is hybrid work good for team culture?”
They answer their own question pretty quickly in the blurb:
“Hybrid work really is good for office culture, and there’s research to prove it. Around 23% of people who work both remote and in-person in the US feel connected to their colleagues and organizations, compared to just 20% of overall workers, according to Gallup. Those positive feelings could translate to less burnout, higher retention and better productivity. On the downside, however, Gallup found that some managers are struggling to connect with their teams and may need additional support in order to best adapt to their newly hybrid teams.”
So let’s hop over to Gallup and see what this research has to say. Interestingly, when we click on the link to the Gallup story, we don’t see some headline like, “Here’s why an overwhelming number of workers love the hybrid model.” Instead we find, “Don’t Confuse ‘Being in the Office’ With ‘Culture'” (https://www.gallup.com/workplace/401576/dont-confuse-office-culture.aspx)
Now let’s get to the meat and potatoes:
“This may shock you: Hybrid workers — among all types of employees — are doing the best when it comes to feeling connected to their organization’s culture, according to a recent Gallup analysis. Twenty-three percent of U.S. hybrid workers strongly agree that they feel connected to their organization, compared with 20% of employees overall.” (emphasis mine)
No, it doesn’t shock me at all because IMO, those number suck.
This is like saying, “Hey, lookie here! Hybrid, the so-called hell of half measures, is the best of a bad situation!” So because 23% of hybrid workers – which is nowhere near a vast majority – say that they feel connected to an organization’s culture, we’re all supposed to turn cartwheels? Uh, no. Imma pass.
I guess this is supposed to look good: a) because that’s what Corpo America wants; and b) because it’s three points higher in the survey than the 20% of employees overall who say they feel connected to their employer’s culture.
“The reality is that the office never equaled culture. Gallup data show that, despite significant lip service and investment in ‘company culture’ over the years, there’s very little to show for it. Only two in 10 U.S. workers feel connected to their organization’s culture. While in-person interactions are powerful, they alone were never enough to create the magic of connectedness.”
Oh Gawd. Here we go again with that awful corporate cult-speak. “The magic of connectedness.” Gettin’ real close to “one of us… one of us… one of us…”
“Earlier this month, Mr. Handler and the firm’s president Brian Friedman sent out a memo urging employees to start improving their attendance levels for the sake of their junior colleagues craving community.
‘For those who have not been in the office regularly yet, we understand that it might seem daunting combined with a sense of comfort that has set in for many to work primarily from home,’ they wrote. ‘Yet, we strongly believe the negatives of these realities are far outweighed by the magic of being together in person.'”
😆 Sorry, I’m trying to catch my breath. 🤣
“But not all employees have bought into the magic — or are willing to pretend they think it’s real. And many company leaders have tried to strike a balance, promoting the benefits of in-person collaboration without outright mandating that workers be part of it.”
Bingo. The emperor is naked. He isn’t wearing any clothes now and never was before.
So… riddle me this: if the office never equaled company culture, why are these companies pushing RTO so hard? Why are they TELLING employees that they need to come back because, ya know, culture? Something is fishy here if you ask me.
“Notably, Gallup’s analysis finds that managers are experiencing the hybrid workplace differently than other roles within an organization. Hybrid managers feel less connected to their company culture than do remote or on-site managers. They also feel less connected than hybrid leaders.
Why might this be?
Much of remote and hybrid work planning has focused on helping the individual contributor. During the worst parts of the pandemic, managers were tasked with making sure their teams had everything they needed to be productive, from equipment to schedule flexibility to communications from leadership. Individual contributors have been able to minimize many of the distractions of the office, allowing them more focused time or the ability to get their work done in greater comfort.
Managers, on the other hand, are responsible for creating an equitable and engaging work environment for their teams. They are in charge of interpreting company values and culture in a wholly new paradigm of work, creating an optimal environment in a new frontier.”
Here’s a radical thought. Why not disseminate the process of “creating the company culture” and allow it to occur organically? Instead of putting the onus on managers who – let’s face it – may not even be competent or engaged themselves, why not allow EVERYONE to contribute and to decide as equitably as possible how the culture should be? If 75% of the people working for you do not want asinine Friday happy hours, why force it in the name of company culture?
In any case, I don’t think 23% of hybrid workers giving us a thumbs up is good enough for me to say, “OK, cool. Looks like hybrid work is working well.”
As one poster on Reddit observed:
“Why all the love for hybrid WFH?
Here is my question. Why does anyone want a hybrid WFH job? Maximizing the productivity of the minions is literally the job description of management. So if you hit your KPIs better at home its their responsibility to notice and adjust. If they want you in the office and it negatively impacts your productivity, why do you care? If I have to do 1 day a week onsite, my employer is dictating where I live.”
Well, yes. Exactly. It’s not about productivity, my good person. It’s about CONTROL.