UCL School of Management

Research seminar

Professor Raj Choudhury, Harvard Business School


Wednesday, 17 April 2024
11:00 – 12:30
Research Group
Strategy and Entrepreneurship
UCL School of Management is delighted to welcome, Professor Raj Choudhury, Harvard Business School, to host a research seminar discussing “Office at Offsite: How Temporary Colocation Shapes Communication in a Fully Remote Organization”

This paper investigates the joint role of temporary colocation events and demographic diversity in shaping online communication between workers in a fully remote organization. Motivated by the emergence of allremote organizations, and a resulting increase in diversity within the talent people, we aim to contribute to the literature on remote work and microgeography by examining the effectiveness of temporary colocation events in stimulating workers’ subsequent online interaction across demographic divides. Leveraging proprietary Slack communications data, as well as data on a company-wide retreat from an all-remote organization, we find that, as prior theory predicts, attendees at the retreat witness an increase in subsequent online communication relative to non-attendees. Yet, we hypothesize and find that these communication benefits accrue mostly to demographically similar co-attendees, leading to more pronounced communication siloes along demographic dimensions post-retreat. We also show sharing a taxi ride—which we conceptualize as a brief period of constrained temporary colocation with a limited number of interaction partners—can help overcome these barriers, increasing online interactions even between demographically dissimilar pairs of employees.

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Last updated Thursday, 21 March 2024