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Coronavirus Disease 2019

The Importance of Workplace Culture in a Pandemic World

New research reveals a major shift toward a hybrid office and remote workplace.

In the face of the current pandemic, leaders are having to reimagine the workplace to provide a safe and productive environment for their employees. As a result, company culture has suddenly taken centerstage in ways it never has before. Is a home office setting the wave of the future? Indeed, it is. In fact, it is already here.

According to a new survey Resetting Normal: Defining the New Era of Work by the Adecco Group, 74 percent of the 8,000 surveyed from Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Great Britain and the US reported that a hybrid of office-based and remote working would be the ideal future workplace solution. Regardless of geography, generation or parental status, the majority responded positively toward splitting their time evenly between the office and remote approaches. 77 percent of the senior executives surveyed believe that their companies will benefit from increased workplace flexibility.

 Theresa Gut, used with permission.
In pre-coronavirus days, the group routinely gathered for fun runs.
Source: Photo credit: Theresa Gut, used with permission.

In search of a positive example of workplace culture supporting flexible pandemic responses, I needed look no further than across the street to the Freiburg-based headquarters of Jedox, a provider for enterprise performance management software to companies worldwide. With 9 offices on four continents Jedox celebrates a unique work culture that caught my eye immediately. Not one to believe everything I read on the Internet, I got curious. I wanted to hear a live testimonial about what makes working at Jedox so great and why now, of all times, employees remained loyal to the company. In a lockdown-style, physically distanced interview on my home office porch, I saw down with Director of Global Marketing Lena Dierolf for a chat about all things Jedox.

According to the company Website, Jedox celebrates diversity, honors authenticity, provides continuous employee development and respect while showing a commitment toward its codex of respect to every individual working there. Once a start-up founded in 2002 by Kristian Raue, the company has grown into a multinational organization with nearly 300 employees. As a self-proclaimed non-member of Generation Maybe, Lena began working there in 2013. Unlike some of her Millennial friends who jump from one company to another after a short-tenure, her then-internship blossomed into a full-blown career and she has never looked back. Eyes twinkling, she admitted many of her peers wonder why she has stuck around so long.

Employee loyalty, it turns out, is the result of a company that lives out the culture it purports to represent. In fact, when asked the origin of the company’s name, Lena smiled widely. “The founder was a Star Wars fan. It is a spin-off from the word, ‘Jedi’.” Who better to fight against an invisible enemy then a sci-fi warrior? I saw her point immediately. This was a cool place to work.

The company’s pandemic response has only solidified her commitment. In early March, Jedox, whose first priority has always been employee welfare, was one of the first companies to respond with a home office solution. Over the course of the weeks that followed, not a single person was laid off or forced into short-term furloughs. The team spirit that once thrived through group activities such as company runs or after-hours gatherings has survived through the personal connections every Jedoxian feels. #OneTeam is their secret mantra. While technology has allowed for continued connection, the underlying sense of belonging stems from the employees’ shared belief that they are on a mission to make business more manageable through their easy-to-use, multidimensional software platform. The start-up vibe has left an indelible imprint on this hip and happy company with employees to match. And yes, even in a post-pandemic world, the force will be with them – remote or in-office. Of that I am certain.

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