How Your Business Can Build Culture in a Remote Work Environment
With COVID-19 containment measures thrusting pretty much every business into WFH arrangements, we should all be starting to get the hang of this new situation; figuring out how to set up our home office for minimal distraction and learning which communication tools are needed to ensure clear, effective management of tasks between team members.
For the most part, it’s fair to say that transitioning to a WFH set-up has not been as painful as we may have once visualised back when it was a choice. We already had the technology, the tools and a zillion examples of success to show us the way.
The infrastructure part was easy, and if you hired trustworthy staff, you would be currently witnessing the beauty that is people getting on with their work without needing to be physically watched over.
So, it sounds like we nailed it. WFH mission accomplished, right? Well…
Culture – The Next Remote Frontier
If WFH is the new normal, businesses need to start thinking about what their culture looks like when their teams are dispersed. Some staff may be loving this new set-up — free from watercooler chats and unnecessary office distractions –, but many others will be missing the banter and camaraderie that comes from entering the office.
The next challenge for businesses is creating a fun, engaging culture in a remote work environment.
Keep Communication Strong
The biggest risk to your culture is a disconnect in communication. Before thinking of fun activities to boost morale and create a culture, you should be thinking of how to keep important communication lines open:
- Direct lines of communication between team members that need to collaborate
- Direct lines of communication with managers, mentors, leaders, project managers, etc
- Open communication for broader departments to be able to check where projects are at and share notes or thoughts
- General communication between the broader business – what would have been the chats in passing.
For all of the above, you can use tools like Slack.
Successes can often go under the radar when you’re not in the office to overhear the cheers. But giving recognition and celebrating the success of the team is critical in building culture and keeping staff feeling engaged and valued while working remotely.
You could formalise this into a weekly announcement of the successes in the company and acknowledgement of the staff who were responsible, or you could just shout these through your channels – just be sure that a big deal is made, and people continue to feel valued, seen and acknowledged.
Introduce New Staff to All
When you hire new staff into your remote set-up, it’s important you effectively introduce them to the team. This should go on a company-wide communication channel and then more detailed in the team they are to deal directly with. Consider asking them to fill out a get-to-know-you sheet with who they are, what they like, where they came from, and what they will be doing in the team.
Prioritise the personal just as much as the professional, so that team members have the chance to bond over common interests, as well as through their work.
Host Virtual Gatherings
Since businesses have gone into lockdown, we have seen numerous examples of companies hosting virtual gatherings, such as Friday drinks or birthday celebrations to keep the usual office traditions going. This is a fun way to keep people feeling connected.
Building a virtual culture is going to be new for many businesses. Rather than trying to do all and be all — guessing the whole way along — why not just ask staff what they want their virtual culture to look like. Take surveys through your communication channels and figure out together how to craft the road ahead.
Looking for your next star remote employee? Get in touch with the team at Launch Recruitment today to discuss how we can help you find the perfect person for your role.