Technology has evolved and transformed the global work environment, where employees expect to be offered remote working options and the daily 9-5 office life is no longer the norm.
It seems obvious that office-based teams have an easier time building culture compared to remote teams; they have face to face interactions every day, they can roundtable together and chat in the break room.
However with office based teams it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that culture will just be created and maintained with free fruit and a pool table. With remote teams a strategy has to be created and maintained for a culture to be created which benefits all employees.
There are things you can do to grow a positive company culture with a remote team:
Understand the value in remote working
Remote working has been proven to increase productivity for employees and decrease office outgoings. Employees who work from home and cut out a stressful commute twice a day can have lower stress levels and higher amounts of serotonin. For employees in customer service-based roles this can positively impact how they interact with customers, leading to a more positive customer experience. Office distractions are limited for home workers and deadlines are more easily hit when employees are managing their own time.
Seek out downsides and find solutions before you start
Remote working isn’t for everybody and although it is touted as the future of the workforce, some people can really struggle with working from home. For people who have spent most of their working life in offices, or alternatively have started work straight from school, they can struggle to find structure if they roll out of bed and straight into the living room to start working.
If possible, give employees the option to be office based if home based working isn’t for them. For your remote working staff encourage them to keep the same start and end times to their day, have regular breaks and have regular team meetings.
Share your successes and reward your employees
This is so important with maintaining culture and improving motivation with remote working employees. Frequently share all successes in company wide emails, your intranet and video messages. It can be difficult for employees who work alone all day to feel motivated and managers need to ensure they excel at managing and motivating remote teams.
Publicly welcome new employees
With an office-based job when a new employee starts, they are walked round the office to be introduced to everyone and taken on a welcome lunch or after work drinks. For a new remote working employee they can be introduced via email, intranet, a video message and existing team members should be encouraged to initiate conversations with them and introduce themselves.
You’ve got your culture sorted – is your software everything you need it to be?
If your team members need a collaborative, scalable and secure way to communicate look into Unified Communications from The Phone Co-op.