Can remote work have an impact on the culture of a company? Delve into Osom’s culture assessment and trace our path.

By Karolina Szor

A great part of our team has never visited our headquarters. They just don’t have to. We hire online, onboard online, and collaborate with people who are separated by hundreds of kilometers. Since 2020, we have been a remote-first company. Although we had previous experience working in a hybrid model, the transition into a fully distributed team was no walk in the park. We had to enhance the way we think about communication, management, and building relationships among our Osom crew. Remote work has become the backbone of our organizational culture.

What is the organizational culture actually? In short, it is like the DNA of the company. It shapes the entire working ecosystem and day-to-day operations and refers to expectations and beliefs that bind all employees together and make them a team. Enhancing organizational culture is important because it can have a significant impact on employee satisfaction and overall business success.

Three years ago, before remote work became common, we conducted a cultural assessment of Osom. We think we have come a long way since then, so we decided to repeat the study.


The OCAI (Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument), created by Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn from  the University of Michigan, is a validated method to assess organizational culture. We will not go into the detailed theory here and refer those interested to the literature listed at the end of this article. However, to approximate our study, we need to say a few words about the model itself. The OCAI is based on the Competing Values Framework. The theory assumes that the characteristics of each organization can be placed in 2 dimensions: internal-external, and stability-flexibility. When we plot the dimensions on a matrix, we get four quadrants that represent distinct cultural types, each with its own set of dominant characteristics.

Graph depicting the placement of Osom's organizational culture on a matrix with the dimensions of internal-external and flexibility-stability.

Osom Studio’s culture check 

Most organizations are not dominated by a single culture type. The results are distributed based on the intensity of specific characteristics of each type. If we plot the results on a diagram, we get a graphical chart that looks a bit like crooked kites or trapezoids.

In the case of Osom, the comparison of the overall results over the years is as follows:

Comparison of Osom's culture placement between Adhocracy, Hierarchy, Market, and Clan in 2020 and 2023

Clan Culture

The results reinforce the fact that company culture is such a strong phenomenon that cannot be easily changed. The clan type of culture is still our most dominant type. Despite the distribution of teams, we have retained strong relationships between our employees. Our management is based on a partnership approach and engaging people, giving them a significant influence on the company.


What we did:

  • We set a clear direction for our boat – we want to be a brand of choice for tech companies who want to improve their communication. Our mission is the glue that binds us together and creates a sense of common purpose. 
  • We’ve restructured to work in small, stable, multidisciplinary teams on a daily basis. This approach allows us to build stronger relationships with our colleagues even though we work from different places. 
  • We started organizing regular Osom retreats – both offline and online – which are a great way to chill and integrate together.


Hierarchy Culture 

Working remotely required us to document the most relevant processes. We increased the strength of the hierarchical culture traits which means more stability and order. We have become more organized. 


What we did:

  • We have established clear guidelines for our project delivery workflow that help us to maintain the standards of our service. We are constantly developing internal processes to make the work smoother.
  • As huge fans of flexible working schedules, we are active practitioners of asynchronous communication. It requires a higher organization of our tools and contact methods. We have organized our internal information flow in a structured manner.


Market Culture

We’ve also become more attuned to the market. We went more international and enjoy working with technology companies from around the world. 


What we did:

  • We have expanded our reach and opened up to new markets. We work on becoming more competitive and focus on providing top-notch customer service.
  • We take on ambitious projects – challenges allow us to grow as a leader in the market. Our vision is clear: to be the company of choice.



The decrease in the emphasis on Adhocracy culture traits is probably a result of moving towards a more organized workflow. Reducing Adhocracy influence means greater predictability and improved planning and resource management, in a more deliberate and strategic manner. 



Our culture has strengthened in the area of market and hierarchy at the expense of Adhocracy. While a decrease in Adhocracy influence may lead to less chaos and improved planning, it may also result in lower innovation. According to research, distributed teams may have fewer chances to share experiences and get inspired, which can make them less receptive to new ideas.


To facilitate knowledge sharing at Osom, at the beginning of the year, we started internal training (PM Academy and Osom Camps). We also actively encourage our team members to participate in the WordPress Community, allowing them to engage with a broader network of industry professionals.


There are also some risks with the excessive strengthening of the hierarchy and market culture traits. The prioritization of hierarchy and market dominance in companies often results in excessively rigid processes. Our goal is to strike a balance and avoid excessive bureaucracy. We want to stay fully flexible. Another risk is that when the market-dominant culture is too strong, it can create an unhealthy working environment with a high level of pressure. Our goal is to promote a sense of unity and camaraderie among team members by prioritizing teamwork, open communication, and partnership.



Developing the organizational culture holds great importance as it can greatly affect the employees’ satisfaction and the success of the business as a whole. In our case, going remote required making a different approach to communication, and structuring our internal information workflow. A clear mission and vision give us a common sense of purpose. We provide our service to international brands, and we aim to become the top WordPress agency.



Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture: Based on the Competing Values Framework, Kim S. Cameron (Author), Robert E. Quinn (Author)

Next article

Asynchronously means better

By Karolina Szor

7 min read

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