Culture club

Cultural club | tastytrade

Alright, sit down. I know you’re on the couch. You probably wear the lululemon joggers whose extreme comfort you discovered during confinement and bought a few pairs. Don’t worry about fixing your hair, it’s good for now. I just need your attention, not your looks. It was quite nice to work from home like that. But restrictions are easing and people are being urged to return to work. Somewhere between your lulu joggers and the office, a debate is brewing about both culture and productivity, which we’ll discuss.

Company culture isn’t just about “bringing your kid to work during the day” and knowing who wears makeup. These are not retreats and backslidings, trusting your colleagues will catch up with you. Company culture can include these things, but it’s more than that. This includes work ethics. This encompasses how you interact with customers. This involves cross-departmental communication. Sure, you can write a mission statement that attempts to encapsulate the culture, but that goes beyond words. Company culture is the DNA of an organization and just like your DNA or mine, we get it from others. We get it from our parents in life and from senior management in the office.

Leaders lead by example. In sports, it was Michael Jordan who had 55 points in the 1997 NBA Finals “flu game”. It was Willis Reed who returned to the court with a bad knee. It’s available to customers and employees when you need it. Culture is born from leadership at the highest level and is most visible when shit hits the fan, ala 2020.

The CEO who leaves at noon to enter 18 holes cannot expect productivity from those who are still in the office. If leadership uses phrases like, first, leverage synergies or any of the other silly phrases MBA coined, then employees will talk in silly phrases too. But if the CEO is someone who works around the clock, relates to the rest of the employees, speaks English, and projects a positive attitude, then those traits become part of a company’s DNA.

Some jobs simply cannot be done remotely. It is difficult to do construction work at home. Surgery is probably another good example of something you don’t want to do at home. But as we increasingly become a service-based economy, where work is done by pecking at a keyboard, where that keyboard is pecked from becomes less and less important. If the culture of the company has indeed been established by management, then where workers work shouldn’t matter.

I may be biased in this debate because I am a bit of a nomad. I spend a lot of my time on the road. But every week I show up for my podcast with Tom thanks to internet connectivity. I contribute to these blog posts thanks to Google. I share snippets of information on Twitter. Instead of working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., I am now working longer hours than ever before because I am not tied to resources only available in an office.

So order another pair of these joggers. Don’t shower today if you don’t want to. Plug in, connect and work like a responsible adult.

Be sure to catch Dylan Ratigan & Tom Sosnoff every Wednesday at 1pm CT for a new episode of Truth or Skepticism live on tastytrade.com.

Listen to previous episodes on Spotify, Apple podcast or on tastytrade.com.