New Book Release Authored by Andersen Alumnus Larry English: Office Optional: How to Build a Connected Culture with Virtual Teams
Larry English, Andersen Alumnus and President and cofounder of Centric Consulting. Centric is a 1000-person business and technology consulting firm founded 20 years ago as a largely remote company focused on delivering employee and client happiness. Centric is in 13 US cities and has an office in India. Larry is donating the proceeds from Office Optional to help improve the digital divide. To learn more about him and how to become an office optional company, visit LarryEnglish.net.
When several Andersen Alumni and I launched Centric Consulting 20 years ago, we wanted to create a company that had never existing before. One of our ideas was to create a remote company. We thought that being remote would allow our employees to have better balance in their lives, meaning they could spend more time doing the things they love outside of work. We imagined this would lead to a happier workforce (and it did). We didn’t do it to save money on office space (which we have).
As the company grew more successful, I found myself having to explain our remote business model to almost every business executive I encountered. All the executives I talked to would look at me like I was crazy when I said we operated virtually AND had a great culture. I kept having to explain over and over how we did it and how it had led us to win many awards for our culture.
I looked around and there was very little written about how to be remote AND have a great culture. Yet, we believed remote work was the future of work. We could also see the technology getting better. And, we could tell more companies were starting to accept remote workers.
So, I wrote Office Optional: How to Build a Connected Culture with Virtual Teams as a guide for companies looking to permanently adopt remote work. Little did I know the pandemic would happen and suddenly, every business leader out there would want to know how to run a remote company.
In the past six months, as we have been helping companies adopt remote work, it has become clear that remote work is here to stay. We believe that after the pandemic most companies will adopt a hybrid model where workers have the flexibility to work from home or the office.
Over 20 years of trial and error, we have learned what works and does not when it comes to running a virtual company and maintaining our culture. To save everyone time on lessons learned, my book tells many of our embarrassing stories. The book also explains:
· How and why you need to cultivate an atmosphere of trust in a virtual environment
· How to recruit and hire team members for remote work
· How to build strong relationships with people you do not see every day
· How to scale your virtual company without sacrificing culture
· How the right software tools can help build culture
If you would like to learn how your business can permanently adopt remote work, maintain a great culture, encourage collaboration and build deep relationships, Office Optional can help.