Establishing an effective remote work culture is crucial, particularly as companies transition back to colocated work after the pandemic. An effective remote work culture will enable companies to maintain efficiency and productivity when working remotely.
Culture refers to the inherent connection shared among co-workers who share shared goals, interests and attitudes at work. Fostering strong work cultures takes deliberate planning in remote locations.
1. Develop a Vision
As opposed to in-office cultures that are formed by office vibes, trendy coffee, and Spotify playlists, remote work cultures are defined by what companies implement; such as an onboarding process that makes new hires feel connected to their team and mission early on.
Establishing digital peer-to-peer recognition programs can also be an excellent way to help teams bond across distance. By showing employees they matter, this shows the company values each employee.
2. Develop a Mission
As remote work increasingly becomes the new normal, companies must adapt accordingly. An effective work culture does more than bolster employee morale and reduce absenteeism – it increases productivity by creating an emotional bond across distance.
Create this sense of community with shared values and goals as well as strong communication strategies. Make sure your onboarding process includes virtual team-building activities to help new employees quickly build trust within your company and form meaningful relationships.
3. Develop a Values Statement
Make your company values clear to remote workers. One effective approach would be hosting an in-person or virtual one-to-one meeting to introduce them to them, or scheduling time for virtual one-on-one discussions.
Work remotely denies employees the chance to build connections via informal meetings, whiteboard discussions and the “water cooler”. To make them feel connected and increase employee retention, document your company values in employee handbooks and online communication channels and include them easily accessible communication channels so they can refer back when necessary.
4. Develop a Culture Map
Cultivating culture requires ongoing, non-stop work by every team member. Remote teams need to reinforce and resurface company values through methods other than organic interactions like hallway discussions or team happy hours.
Create a culture map can help your team build empathy and inclusion across time zones, such as encouraging asynchronous communication during meetings or documenting employee work to make employees feel valued and included.
Companies should regularly remind remote employees of their core values through digital peer-to-peer recognition and virtual team building activities.
5. Develop a Communication Plan
An effective remote culture is key for keeping distributed teams connected and productive. Although employees may no longer rely on water cooler discussions to foster camaraderie in an office setting, virtual tools exist that facilitate communication while upholding company values.
Leaders provide the initial framework for culture, but ultimately each employee must embody those values. To promote these behaviors, companies can add questions during interviews that screen for cultural fit or include reminders about them in employee reviews.
6. Develop a Training Plan
Due to COVID-19 forcing many companies to rely on remote work for most of their operations, creating an engaging company culture has never been more crucial – although creating it online presents its own set of unique challenges.
Un effective office culture takes more than the latest music and coffee trends; it requires effective one-on-one meetings as a form of clear communication.
Your remote team members need the right tools in order to thrive. Make sure they know exactly when, why, and how training sessions will occur so they are fully prepared to learn.
7. Develop a Technology Plan
Building a positive culture requires ongoing work. Whether your company was already remote-first prior to COVID-19’s pandemic or implemented work from home policies in response, creating an interconnected workforce requires intentional effort when team members can’t physically interact.
Focus your remote work model around building culture–fun chat channels, positive feedback loops, vlogs–to make sure that everyone feels connected as part of a family unit and produce happier and more productive workers. The result will be happier employees who perform at peak productivity levels.
8. Develop a Support Plan
An effective remote work environment relies on having a strong company culture. Make sure all members know what to expect of themselves and embrace your values every time they interact. Include values-focused questions during recruitment processes.
Maintaining a positive culture without water cooler banter is challenging, but there are ways you can help your remote team thrive. A rewards platform such as Motivosity may be an effective way to bring everyone together, celebrate achievements and offer valuable perks and incentives that help motivate the whole team.