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The Future of Company Culture

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Fostering a successful remote or hybrid company culture is a challenging yet rewarding task. For this to be successful, technology and programs are required to support a positive and productive work environment. Digital tools can help dispersed teams stay connected and collaborate. However, it is important to note that these tools are not the only solution to enable a successful remote company culture. Dedicated leaders are crucial for leveraging technology to align their company’s programs, policies, and initiatives with their values and apply them to the work environment, whether fully remote or hybrid. At JLL Spark, we are investing in a new generation of tools to address the needs of JLL and its clients as they explore this new way of work. 

 Company culture is shaped by the values and policies of the organization and serves as a guide for employee behavior. A strong company culture is especially important to building a productive environment for a fully remote employee base, but company leaders are faced with challenges such as maintaining work-life balance and effective communication across global teams. A hybrid work environment presents additional challenges such as workplace efficiency when balancing flexible schedules. Both formats carry additional requirements that include technology and security management, productivity measurement, and treating both remote and office-based employees equitably.  

 During my operational career, I led the expansion and management of satellite offices for two different companies, Zeel in New York and EAT Club in Palo Alto, California. Both companies were determined to create their company culture at headquarters and reflect the same values and behaviors across remote locations. While it seemed straightforward to draw values from leadership and adapt to a local office, at times it was difficult to accurately convey the founder’s ambitions and work principles to our remote team. The physical separation hindered water cooler interactions that provided learning opportunities for employees to absorb unspoken aspects of the company. Since then, our industry has evolved to incorporate tools that address some of the biggest challenges that remote or hybrid companies face, including: 

  1. Tenant experience platforms: HqO*, Cove
  1. Space access tools: Desana, SwiftConnect*, Hubble*, Upflex 
  1. Communication tools: Slack, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp 
  1. Project management tools: Asana, Trello, 
  1. Video conferencing tools: Shared Studios, Google Meet, Zoom 
  1. Time tracking and productivity tools: Toggl, RescueTime 
  1. Employee engagement and recognition platforms: Bonusly, 15Five 
  1. Virtual team building and social activities platforms: Avo*, Donut, Remo
    * a JLL Spark portfolio company 

These tools can help remote teams stay connected, collaborate effectively, and foster a positive company culture, even when working from different locations. As hybrid work trends continue to grow, the bridge between office and remote employees will require the use of many of these products. Again, it is important to remember that technology alone is not enough. Effective implementation requires a focused and committed approach from leadership that will guide employees’ behavior and decision-making. With technology to enable a solid team and leaders to exemplify company values, employees will learn how to handle unexpected situations, share ideas and issues, and act appropriately when executive leadership is not present.  

 Ultimately, building a successful hybrid or remote company culture is a complex and dynamic process that requires a combination of technology and company values. It is essential for companies to invest in the right tools to support remote collaboration and communication to promote creativity and productivity in the workplace. Strong company culture is all about building relationships, fostering trust, and creating a sense of community, even when working from different locations. At JLL Spark, we are constantly examining these challenges and seek to invest in a variety of important tools to support the evolving future of work. 

Written by Laurent Grill, partner at JLL Spark

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