Release Authored by Andersen Alumnus Larry English: Office Optional: How to
Build a Connected Culture with Virtual Teams
English, Andersen Alumnus and President and
cofounder of 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
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
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
and why you need to cultivate an atmosphere of trust in a virtual environment
to recruit and hire team members for remote work
to build strong relationships with people you do not see every day
to scale your virtual company without sacrificing culture
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.