February 11, 2022
Best Practices / IT Philosophy / Technology / Uncategorized

Remote IT Management and Culture

Written by Jeff Gaines
How remote IT can impact your workforce

Remote IT Management and Culture 

The business landscape has permanently changed over the past two years.  Remote work is here to stay.  In many industries, remote work is now the standard.  As such, business leaders need to pay particular attention to how their information technology programs, policies, and processes impact company culture.  Technology has never played a greater role in shaping how teams communicate, collaborate, and bond. 

In this article, we will explore the role of technology in remote company culture.  First, we will discuss how IT and culture intersect.  Second, we will look at how the shift to remote work continues to amplify the impact information technology has on culture.  Finally, we will review the role of the IT Team in shaping company culture.  Let’s begin.

The Intersection of Information Technology and Company Culture

In prior eras, the break room or the water cooler was the hub for informal communication.  In-person all-hands reinforced mission, vision, and values.  Whiteboards were instruments of innovation.  However, with remote and distributed teams, the role of information technology in culture, innovation, and collaboration are even more important. 

What does the IT Program say about the culture?

Quite often, the quality of the information technology program says a lot about the company culture.  How formal are we?  How professional are we?  How hip and cool?  This leads us to principle #1: the selection of tools and services is an important cultural signal.  Are we a PC shop or an Apple shop?  Are we a Google or a Microsoft shop? Do we use Slack or Teams?  While there are many factors required to make the right decisions about company tools, consideration for company culture is arguably one of the most important.

How remote work is changing how information technology impacts collaboration

Additionally, in the remote world, IT is the basis for how ideas spread and how work gets done.  This brings us to principle #2: the selection of tools, and the interoperability between tools, is an important catalyst for healthy interactions.  Easy and fast access, sharing, and storage of data are imperative for modern productivity.  Removing barriers and speedbumps to getting things done should be an important factor when building an IT program.  Cross-platform collaboration is important for team development, especially when going through organizational changes such as M&A. Finally, the IT program should consider small, informal interactions. 

What role does the IT department play in shaping culture?

Finally, principle #3:  the overall IT experience is an important tool in attracting and retaining top talent.  Workplace well-being and engagement depend on many factors.  However, many behavioral scientists agree that employee engagement is heavily dependent on employees answering “yes” to the following questions:

  1. Do I have the ability to do my best work?
  2. Do I have the right tools to be effective at my job?
  3. Do my teammates care about me? 

The first-day experience is critical for setting the tone for a new team member’s tenure at the company. The IT employee onboarding experience says a lot about the company’s maturity, stability, and level of care for its employees. Overall, technology has never been so important for defining and reinforcing company culture.  The level of care and personal attention during end-user support sessions is critical to ensure employees feel heard and cared for.  Therefore, the IT team, whether outsourced or in-house, should be closely intertwined with PeopleOps, HR, and Executive leadership.  IT providers should view themselves as cultural catalysts, not just service providers.

How does Interlaced’s People-Focused information technology services philosophy promote good culture?

Team Interlaced takes great pride in fostering a healthy relationship with technology.  For our partners, we try to carefully balance end-user experience with security, compliance, and productivity.  We understand the role that IT support services play in company culture, from first-day onboarding to IT help desk sessions, to the selection and migration of tools.  Finally, we look to help our partners strengthen their culture and their organization’s relationship with their IT stack.

For more information on how Interlaced can help design, implement and manage a People-Focused IT program for your organization, please reach out: business@interlaced.io.

Jeff Gaines

Jeff Gaines

Jeff has served as an operating executive at Interlaced since 2016. He is deeply passionate about driving impact for Interlaced, for his community, and for his loved ones. In his spare time, Jeff loves spending time with his wife and son at the world famous San Diego Zoo, enjoying tacos on the beach in Baja, cheering on the San Diego Padres, adventuring outdoors and playing music with friends. Jeff’s top 3 films of all time are Point Break (the original), Road House and Field of Dreams.