4 Steps to a Thriving Company Culture while Working Remotely
As remote working becomes more embedded into company practices, many of the initial struggles – such as productivity measuring and communication – have been ironed out. However, one that remains is the question of culture. With fewer off-the-cuff chats, after-work socials and shared birthday cakes, how can a healthy work culture be maintained?
This question is particularly pertinent for those teams that gain new members remotely, with those new joiners having had no experience of life in the office.
Maintaining a company culture remotely is possible, but it requires focus, clarity and commitment. Here are some steps that you can take:
Let Your Employees Take the Lead
Your company culture should be understood and supported by everyone in the business. One way to ensure that this is the case is to create a cross-company team of employees who will lead on culture. This can include coming up with new social initiatives, such as virtual coffee breaks or challenges.
By bringing a range of employees onto your culture team, you will get a diverse range of ideas from across the business, ensuring that everyone is on board.
Keep Your Company Values Front and Centre
Your company values are what guides the vision and direction of your company, so they need to be clear to everyone. Make sure that they are on your website as a starting point and think about other ways to incorporate them into work life as well.
For example, you could create an award system where staff can nominate others who have shown the values particularly well.
Communication is Key
To keep your company culture alive when everyone is working remotely, you need to make sure that communication is clear and regular. You could arrange a newsletter that shares companywide news (this could include things such as promotions and milestones, but also more personal news such as weddings, achievements etc.) to enable everyone to feel involved.
Another good idea is to survey employees regularly to allow them to provide up-to-date, honest feedback about the company culture, what they enjoy and what they would like to be changed. This will help you to understand how well the initiatives you put in place are working.
One of the main issues with working remotely is the possibility of isolation. Without careful monitoring, it’s possible for employees to feel cut out and lonely. Regular check ins help to avoid this. You could also try:
- Video on meetings – if most of your meetings are voice only, consider some mandatory video on meetings where camera must stay on. Face-to-face conversations help with bonding – especially for newer team members.
- Companywide meetings – Have a monthly, companywide, celebration meeting where everyone can get involved.
- Lunchtime and after work socials – just because everyone’s working remotely, socials don’t need to stop. Zoom cocktail mixing, yoga, painting and cooking all work well, along with quizzes and competitions. Whilst many companies were great with these in the early lockdown days, they are easy to let slide when some staff are back in the office. Remember that some of your employees may prefer these virtual get togethers to face-to-face ones!
Above all, it’s important to listen to your employees and don’t be afraid to try new things. If one of your initiatives isn’t working or doesn’t seem popular – drop it and find something else. The most vital thing is to ensure that your employees understand your company values, work positively within them and have ways to bond and socialise.