Team lunches, community volunteer projects, break room coffee chats– the traditional ways of team bonding don’t quite work the same in a remote environment. Building culture in the new workplace requires a fresh focus and a new strategy, but it is possible to achieve. In the two years since the onset of the pandemic, many organizations have figured out how to operate a remote workplace with 4.7 million people working remotely at least half the time, according to a study conducted by Owl Labs. If you’re leading a decentralized work team, efforts to maintain a healthy work culture should be top of mind, as a thriving culture won’t just simply happen in a dispersed workforce. Start by considering these three key areas of focus, and you’ll notice your culture begin to bloom.
Prioritize Workplace Values
Your corporate vision, mission and values should be the driving force of your remote work culture. In fact, 46% of job seekers specified workplace culture as “very important” when choosing to apply to an organization. With dispersed employees, it’s crucial to keep the team connected by weaving your mission through every aspect of the workplace. With this mission-driven outlook, everyone on the team will feel empowered to support a shared vision while remaining engaged, whether in the same office or in a different time zone.
Adjust Communication Methods
Casual chats and catch ups in the office used to cut it, but with team members working in different locations, communication must be intentional. For instance, it’s important to maintain inclusivity by mixing in asynchronous communication to reach all team members at a time that works well for everyone. One study found that workers who receive status updates asynchronously through digital channels feel better about their sense of belonging as compared to employees who attend weekly meetings.
Invest in Good Tech
With flexible work environments on the rise, employers must learn how to build company culture in a remote workplace. It’s no secret that technology advancements have made it possible for a single organization to collectively operate across multiple locations. With the many benefits of this work model comes a responsibility to keep culture at the forefront through investing in the right tech tools to support all employees. Utilize video calls to avoid isolation, and make it a point to encourage discussions around personal lives rather than solely talking about work. Implement new project management software to help streamline tasks, or host a training for a new messaging software where workers can chat throughout the workday. Additionally, tech tools specifically designed for HR play a great role in building company culture in a remote workplace. From launching e-health benefits, implementing collaboration software and partnering with Work Shield for the cutting-edge solution for unbiased misconduct reporting, there are numerous resources.
Cultivating a positive culture in a remote workplace is a new challenge of our day, but it is one that can bring great results for business outcomes, employee wellbeing and team success. Through prioritizing workplace values, adjusting communication methods and investing in proper technology, leadership will witness cultures thrive, whether inside one office or dispersed throughout the globe.