People Matters PM April 2022

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managers believed that working from home had a positive impact on them in terms of performance and well-being. We have seen this ourselves at DigitalOcean, where after two years of working remotely and encouraging time off, we have recorded over 30% improvement in productivity. We’ve been fostering happy employees, who are giving the flexibility to work in the environment that best suits them, enabling us to achieve our goals and grow our business.

Companies need to adopt a measured approach about how they foster a culture, retain employees and collaborate. One of the main concerns we hear about remote work is that employees won't be able to connect virtually the same way they can when interacting in person, and that will result in damage to company culture. The companies that create sustainable cultures are those that have a clear vision of why they exist. They work actively to promote and live by a set of shared values. And they use those values as a social contract to drive consistent execution as a team. When companies set about working towards a shared

when COVID-19 is more manageable. After two or three years of dramatic lifestyle changes, for those who can work remotely, there is no going back to the old office environment. Rather than trying to go back to our pre-COVID-19 work environment, I think in the future, we should look at this time as a catalyst for a change in the way we view the integration of our professional and personal lives. Leveraging the powerful development of technology tools has enabled

The companies that create sustainable cultures are those that have a clear vision of why they exist. They work actively to promote and live by a set of shared values ees to focus on their physical and mental health and ensuring everyone has a comfortable at-home setup goes a long way in creating a successful remote environment. HR personnel should implement these benefits and regularly collect feedback on what is doing well and how it can be improved.

Considering COVID-19 as a catalyst of change, not a temporary switch

It is tempting to think of the current times as temporary and to believe that things will return to "normal"

productive engagement that eliminates the barrier of a physical office as the sole mechanism to drive business results. By rethinking our approach to company culture and redefining the mission, values and convenience of achieving business goals, we can focus on great customer service, creating better products, generating stronger results and achieving better and lasting employee satisfaction.

Employee engagement

Companies need to be deliberate about remotefirst approaches

mission, teams can build more lasting relationships by forming alliances with customers and each other, even when they're not physically together. Using tools like Zoom, we can democratise meetings and enable teams to connect socially through shared activities. Remote and even hybrid cultures can work when companies take the time to create guidelines for engagement and think creatively about how to engage. Benefits that encourage time off, allowing employ-


Matt Norman is the Chief People Officer at DigitalOcean. April 2022 |