When millions of U.S. office workers were sent to work from home in March to curb the spread of the coronavirus, employers did something few have done successfully at scale — they sent corporate culture home with them.
For several weeks in the spring, office professionals banded together to adjust to a new way of living and working online. But as weeks of remote work have stretched into months, it’s becoming clear the toxic environment sometimes housed in office cubicles and shared break rooms is moving into workers’ homes, too.
“If you work at an organization that has a toxic culture characterized by mean behavior, incivility, aggressive behavior and perhaps bad interpersonal treatment, that behavior and culture doesn’t stay in the building,” says Manuela Priesemuth, a professor of management at Villanova University. “When we talk about work culture, we talk about the employees’ perception of ‘this is how things are