The pandemic has completely changed the way we work. Remote work has gained momentum and popularity with more and more people choosing to work from home, rather than pick an office job. Besides protecting themselves from COVID within their own bubble, people now realize that it’s more important to be in charge of their own time, not sit in traffic for hours plus have the comfort and safety of a home office.
So with the work world moving from a physical office to a digital one, it’s imperative to build and maintain a good supportive remote company culture.
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Culture can be defined as a collection of values, practices and expectations that direct and inform the actions of everyone in the organization. It is the solid foundation whereupon the company is built. To have a strong foundation, every part of it has to work.
The cultural understanding of the company shows what is mutually accepted, supported or rejected within the organization. It is safe to say that when everyone mutually agrees and is eager to work together, then goals will be successfully reached. Work culture influences the happiness of the people who work with the company which defines the long term success of the company.
Great work culture takes time and mindful effort to build. Every person involved plays an important role. It goes without saying that building a supportive and successful work culture in a physical office, where everyone meets almost daily and has a chance to get to know each other on a more personal level, is a lot easier.
Trying to achieve the same in a remote work company setup is more challenging, but not impossible.
Your company culture is one of the main pillars of your organization. Work culture is the perfect balance between a company's goals, values, mission and leadership.
A great leader takes a group of people with the same goals and guides them to become a team that works together with a growth mindset.
Building a healthy digital work culture lets employees stay connected through shared interests, experiences and stories. You will know a strong and positive remote work culture from the way the team feels working alone but together, the sense of belonging without needing to be physically near each other.
With work moving from the office to working remotely, people are facing mental and emotional challenges with spending a lot of time alone.
Loneliness is the second biggest challenge for employees working remotely. A positive and consistent digital work culture helps the team to stay connected and have a sense of belonging and purpose.
As remote work is becoming the new normal, companies have to adapt to doing things the new way. Being open to change, building trust and being flexible is key. This could mean setting up weekly catchup and coffee sessions with your team online to shoot the breeze or mastering a work collaboration tool. Moving along with the flow helps your company through the growing pains with ease which helps everyone maintain their efficiency and productivity.
Creating a great remote work culture benefits the whole company as a whole. When team connections and bonds are built and the effort is given to strengthen them, it creates room for trust and effective communication. Great teamwork leads to great results within the company.
Even without trying to achieve a work culture within a remote company, one is still being created. How do you get the maximum value out of working with other people digitally? There are 7 recommendations for creating a strong remote work culture. They are:
From the outset, it’s important to strive to create a work environment that is positive, even when you don’t have face to face interaction. Having transparency and motivation from team members raises overall productivity.
The alternative is destructive and will derail your project and your team faster than you can blink.
It is more than likely that when someone chooses to work remotely, they value the ability to create their own work hours. It is a different kind of trust that is given to your team. Space and flexibility are expected. Being supportive of building the right environment for your team will help the company as a whole thrive and reach set goals. So just as it’s important to build a strongly connected team, it's also important not to micromanage your team and show that you trust them. Finding the perfect balance between these two aspects and creating communication expectations is key!
It can be challenging to feel like your work is being appreciated and valued if the direct face to face work experience isn’t possible. Every member should feel included and valued. That is how you can build a trustworthy work culture. Praise the work that your team member gets done, encourage asking questions and set realistic goals so that the team doesn’t burn out. This demands high communication skills and leadership. Adapt to a growth mindset as a whole, so everyone has an opportunity to evolve professionally, learn new skills and feel fulfilled at work.
Make sure that everyone has the same understanding of the values and goals that are being implemented. If team members know what is expected of them and what they can expect in return, work is smoother. This is also a great way to guarantee that everyone feels comfortable.
Create the space for open communication, so tasks are fully understood and people feel comfortable asking questions or help. Avoid micromanaging and give them space to get their work done. Showing trust builds motivation within the company.
Remote work culture becomes easier and more understandable if the whole team has the same understanding of the company’s goals and mission. Involve your team members to have their input for ideas and also make them feel an important part of achieving them.
The mental health challenges of isolation and loneliness are real with remote work. Your team member’s mental health is as important as making sure their physical health is good to get the necessary work done. A great way to work against isolation in digital work culture, especially if the whole team is situated around the globe is global video meetings once a week. Switching on video for team meetings should be highly encouraged. It gives a better feeling of belonging, lets people get to know each other better and creates a positive and friendly attitude within the company.
To figure out what works best for your team and to build a healthy remote work culture and environment, ask for your team’s feedback on implemented tools and ways that have been practised. Knowing what works and what doesn’t work for your team and a company as a whole is a great way to make necessary changes and constantly improve. Listen, listen, listen.
According to Gartner, 53% of the U.S. workforce will soon be “a mix of hybrid and fully remote” workers. Using the right remote tools is more important than ever before.
These include the usage of project management tools and communication platforms to help teams collaborate, manage work and time effectively and communicate without complications. Choose tools and platforms that are beneficial, easy to use and up to date as everything evolves quickly.
Make sure you get feedback from your team about how they use these tools and whether they would recommend better ways of working with these tools. Make sure during the onboarding of new staff that you include how to use these tools and what is expected from staff.
At OmniTiim, we understand that remote resources need to gel with our client’s company culture. That’s why we not only connect you to the best technical remote resource based on skill set required, we also interview talent and ensure there’s a natural fit with your culture. This helps keep projects running smoothly. Need a remote resource to bolster your project? Tell us your requirements and book a call today.
Remember that building a strong and positive remote work culture takes time and is an iterative process. There will always be hiccups but if you approach it from the perspective of learning and constant improvement, it will work.
Happy team members lead to better results at work which leads to more overall success for the whole company. Everybody wins!
IMAGE CREDIT - Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
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