COVID-19 – Impact on Corporate/Office Culture

My wonderful mother-in-law recently shared an article with me from The Atlantic called "Never Go Back to the Office:- The coronavirus killed corporate culture. Get used to working from home". The article talks about significant changes to corporate culture as a result of COVID-19 and focuses on the reality that most businesses that don't "have to" won't want to re-open offices anytime soon and probably shouldn't. I agree with the article in general, but it got me thinking about the actual impact an office has in developing cultures, habits, and tools/mechanisms for ideation and collaboration and how that influences how work is done. Office culture and the way we collaborate is often the reason why a company operates in specific ways and are often the tools/process and unsaid rules of how work is produced and how talent is nurtured. So when this environment is stripped away quickly, can the people, culture, and work output adapt quickly enough and compensate? Every company is different and some will adapt better than others. But beyond the company is always the people and how they interact, communicate, generate solutions and ideas. We are largely a social society and we often best convey ideas and stories best face to face. This is how we are taught by our parents, how we interact with our friends, training by our schools and universities, and how most companies (not all) conduct work pre-covid-19. Are we recognizing how different this is for some, but more importantly, as companies are we helping folks adapt quickly enough so we can get the same level of thinking and output from our people before the environment moved from the office to work from home (WFH)?

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