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When “working from anywhere” comes up at work & online, I've noticed considerable hesitation among older management-types concerned about company culture. Why do you think this is?

IMO, culture can be cultivated & nurtured virtually as easily as in person if you’re empathetic, tech-savvy, & sincere. Those having a hard time virtually were probably not very good at it in person, and if culture faded over time, it’s likely not because employees are working from outside the office.

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That’s because older folk think culture happens in a Tuesday happy hour in the office kitchen.

It doesn’t. The real bonding happens in your online private chats.

likefunny

It's both. The chats are important but it also happens in the in-person brainstorms, the lunchtime walks, or the handful of people pulling a late one together.
Organisational culture didn't start with slack.

I think they are afraid of an erosion on control and employees starting to question their authority. If you are a senior manager you are largely managing and directing people. WFH has revealed the workforce functions just fine without the Lord's of the Manor "supervising" the serfs. And with all of the travel junkets on hold, they can't jetset around either. So people are gonna question what value they provide and if they are worth the overhead. They are afraid for their jobs and worry that any next wave of layoffs could actually impact their asses. Hand wringing over a loss of culture and their bleating laments for a return to "normal" is just code for the fact they are scared that they have been exposed as low value/no value, and the gravy train they've been coasting on is due for a hard stop.

likehelpful

They shouldn't be worried. The last thing their bosses want is to manage their reports.

funny

I feel the older management types at my agency are thriving wfh. They’ve created a culture of doing coffee hours and Thursday night cooking hangouts on zoom.

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Around 160. I’m sure those who attend have a great time. Obviously most cannot attend because we’re working insane hours. But those Sr Manager types seem to make it no problem.

Also, are they actually concerned about culture, or do they just have trust issues and high office rent bills?

likesmart

I think employees who were with a company for awhile and then went remote can continue an agency culture, but it is very hard to feel inclusive of a remote culture as a new hire. So thinking long term I actually understand it.

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That’s a good point. Maybe it is an “a la carte” approach for awhile until that next wave fully leads the way.

They’re boomers

funny

I’ve worked with remote offices and teammates along with local folks for the last 8 years at three different companies. My closest working relationships have more often than not been forged with remote folks. I agree with your sentiment OP that people who are not good online weren’t that great in person. That has been my experience. Great coworkers with whom you have rapport will not hesitate to reach out, in person or not.

Because if you're successful, change (that you aren't controlling) is bad.

Most of these guys are just older, more politically savvy juniors. Not exactly the adapt, overcome types.

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