The COVID-19 pandemic made working remotely a necessity, but many companies are returning to a more “normal,” in-office approach. According to consultant and author Gustavo Razzetti, however, a hybrid of remote and in-person work is the new normal. In his valuable book Remote, Not Distant, Razzetti explores principles and practices of corporate culture that will make this hybrid approach succeed.
Based on his consulting experience as well as interviews with experts and practitioners, Razzetti outlines five steps for creating a culture optimized for hybrid work: 1) Reset the existing culture so employees feel connected no matter where they work; this requires mindset shifts, including rewarding employees for their impact, rather than “presenteeism or long hours.” 2) Clarify your company’s purpose, including a statement that “expresses how your organization or team serves others and makes an impact in the world.” 3) Create welcoming environments where employees feel as if they belong and can work and innovate in a safe space. 4) “Rethink collaboration,” as studies show that collaboration can be counter-productive and draining. 5) Remain flexible with an eye to creating a “culture of freedom and accountability.”
Razzetti illustrates each step with brief examples and provides downloadable tools as well as practical exercises to operationalize his recommendations. He offers concise recaps at the end of every chapter.
The author, who often challenges conventional wisdom, recommends an intentional approach to building the company culture and implies that moving in the right direction is more important than perfection. He recognizes that one size does not fit all. Exhibiting a bias for action, he has little time for lofty pronouncements from companies that are not reflected in their behavior.
Razzetti has thrown a life preserver to companies struggling to maintain their culture post-pandemic or those puzzled by uncertain futures. Written in clear, concise, well-organized business prose, Razzetti has drawn an important roadmap for the future of work in which the job is meaningful, flexible and human-centric.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.