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Remote Working: Did You Forget the Culture Back in The Office?

Blog: NASSCOM Official Blog

With challenging situations like the CoVID-19, IT businesses today are facing unprecedented times, thus forcing numerous changes in the way they function. One of the most crucial aspects is that of the workforce –  a majority of which has had to work remotely. Over the last few months, when almost 99 percent of the workforce is connected from the safety of their homes,  the success of Business Continuity Plans across organizations through Remote Working has made decision-makers start thinking about adopting this new mode of execution as a strategic step to reduce cost and increase productivity. 

Remote working today is ideally being seen as one of the biggest workplace revolutions in history. Remote work policies are radically changing the way we interact with each other, and organizations that learn how to manage it will be successful in the future. A large number of organizations have already come out with their long term plans around this. In India, IT majors like TCS have already declared that by 2025, they intend to have close to 75 percent of their 450,000 employees globally (including 350,000 lakh in India) to work from home, up from the industry average of close to 20 percent today. This new model called 25/25 aims at needing a smaller office space than occupied today and eventually positively impacts the P and L for an organization. Once biggies in the industry begin with this revolutionary idea, a lot of organizations are definitely going to follow suit.

While Remote working is shortly going to be the new normal, organizations will struggle in this new mode of execution if they are not able to move the office culture too remote. Company culture influences every aspect of any organization, and that is no different in the case of remote work. Being mindful of this when embarking on a distributed team model is a great first step to avoiding the impact of remote working on company culture.   

Taking your office culture remote

A crucial challenge of remote working that all organizations need to purposefully work on is to ensure that the office culture that they have created over the years is preserved during remote working. Here are some tips to carry the office culture home:

  1. Create your office culture and values if you don’t have them ready or refine them further if needed. Document them well and make them public. Do ensure that every employee, working in the office or remotely, is well aligned with these. That will go a long way in establishing trust in a distributed team
  2. Standardize processes and practices across geographies and offices.  Pay special attention to processes around Onboarding and Exits. A remote employee should have the same onboarding experience as any other in-office employee. 
  3. Focus more on Team Building activities. Informal meetings like Cafetaria chitchats, fun activities, and even celebrations should be continued even if you move remotely, even though virtual.
  4. Even for distributed teams, occasional in-person meet-ups are a must. Create informal meet-ups at regular intervals.  Use these occasions to also do things that help foster the company culture
  5. Explore digital tools for collaboration and fun among team members.
  6. Communicating wisely is the key You just cannot over-communicate in a distributed setup.

Once you ensure the above, remote working will certainly pay-off for your organizations. Let us now look at how home / remote working, integrated with the office culture, could create huge benefits for organizations and how they could prepare themselves for the big move.

Why Remote Working?

Remote Working in itself is not a new concept and many organizations have already adopted it for the significant advantages it brings in:

Reduction in Infrastructure

A lot of IT organizations spend significant amounts on Office Space rentals. There are further costs involved in maintaining these offices, including electricity, security, people commute, etc. Allowing people to work remotely from home definitely helps organizations save significant costs on Infrastructure and will allow them to utilize this money in other initiatives. 

Benefits to Customers

The cost saved by IT service organizations through Remote Working could also get passed to the clients and this would make them more competitive and cost-effective on the cost of services provided.

Access to Global Talent 

With remote working, organizations need not restrict themselves to local talent. They can look for the best talent available across the globe. With next-generation job portals driven by the internet, talent hunting has now literally become “Glocal”. Hiring globally also enhances an organization’s brand and makes it visible beyond local markets.

Enhanced Productivity   

Employees working from home tend to put in more working hours as compared to working from the office as they are able to save significant time on commuting. Also, the flexibility of working across the day rather than just working during office hours also helps them plan their work in a better way, thus resulting in longer working hours and increased output. 

Reduced Attrition  

Work-from-home opportunities give employees a better work-life balance and hence they tend to stick to the organization for a longer duration. This leads to higher retention and reduced attrition for the companies and they are able to retain highly productive and performing employees.

Enhanced Flexibility on Work Schedules   

Remote working helps employees plan their work schedules in accordance with their family constraints and that helps them strike a perfect work-life balance. They have the flexibility to adjust their work hours and take breaks at will to take care of their social and home responsibilities. This flexibility allows them to spend more time with their loved ones. 

Reduced Stress   

There are interesting studies that suggest that long commutes and horrific peak hour traffic does tend to sap away the energy out of employees and cause a lot of stress. This has a cascading effect on their focus at work and the time spent with family, once they are back home. Work from home spares them from this agony. 

Customized Workspace   

When you work from home, you are no more bound to the corporate and urbane workspaces. You can choose to have your workspace customized the way you want. You can have your favorite plants surrounding you and your favorite music being played in the background and that will add more comfort to your working style and indirectly enhance productivity!

Healthy Body & Healthy Mind   

Working from home also gives employees more time to take care of themselves. The time saved from commuting could be utilized to focus on health. Some yoga, some meditation, and some good home cooked food shall certainly help your body and mind become more vigilant and active. No long hour sitting will also help you improve your body posture. 

Are you Prepared for Culture-driven Remote Working?

When we talk about remote working, it is a paradigm shift from the way we have been working traditionally and hence all the stakeholders of the business need to be prepared to adapt to this next-generation execution-style. They should however also strive to preserve the office culture and exhibit the same values while working remotely, as they would exhibit otherwise from office. The primary stakeholders in IT-Services businesses are the following:

Let us look at how each of these stakeholders needs to be prepared to carry the office culture into remote working:


Any IT organization needs to adapt to the remote mindset before moving to remote working. Organizations need to take care of the following before moving to remote working:


There is a different mindset required for employees too in order to work efficiently remotely. Following are some preparations that employees need to ensure before working remotely from home:


Managers have a significant role to play in the success of remote working. They need to alter their style of management to suit Remote Working. They should strive to preserve the office culture in their teams. Some of the best practices that managers can apply are:

Essential Tools for Remote Working

While Remote Working offers a number of advantages to all the stakeholders involved, the organizations need to ensure that appropriate tools, that match their culture,  are made available to its employees and managers to preserve the office culture and make the most out of remote working. There are a plethora of tools out there – listed below a few that will not only enhance the Remote Workers’ efficiency but will also simplify the process to manage them, keeping them productive, aligned to company culture & values and growing professionally:

In Conclusion

While the current Covid-19 situation has forced many organizations to switch to remote working, the success of this mode of working has already prompted many organizations to re-look at their working models and move more towards remote working as a long term solution. Even employees may now be more attracted to organizations that provide remote working options as it gives them good flexibility and spares them from the painful commute. While remote working is proving its worth, organizations should be careful and well prepared before moving to it and ensure that the company culture and values don’t get diluted in this new mode of execution. They should ideally experiment with a step-by-step approach before moving to a fully Remote Working model. However, one thing is quite clear, that the first mover’s advantage will definitely be reaped by players who jump onto the bandwagon at the earliest. 


About the Author

Ajay Mulkalwar is an IT veteran with over 26 years of IT exposure.  He has managed Project Management functions for multiple multinational IT companies and has led several initiatives around Innovation, Operational Excellence, Agile, and Knowledge Sharing. He was a Guest Editor for the Newsletter on Innovation for Computer Society of India (CSI) and has authored several whitepapers including one on Innovation published by NASSCOM. He currently heads the Delivery Management function for Globant, India. 

About Globant

A digitally native company where innovation, design, and engineering meet scale, Globant is a disruptor in the professional services arena. We leverage the latest technologies and methodologies in the digital and cognitive space to help organizations transform in every aspect. A pure-play in the digital and cognitive fields, Globant has a global presence with delivery centers in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia through which we offer a deep knowledge in the latest trends and technologies. With over 12,500 professionals present in 16 countries working for companies like Google, EA, and BBVA among others, we are featured as a business case study at Harvard, MIT, and Stanford apart from being a member of the Cybersecurity Tech Accord (2019).

For more information, visit

The post Remote Working: Did You Forget the Culture Back in The Office? appeared first on NASSCOM Community |The Official Community of Indian IT Industry.

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