Building a standout company culture is difficult, but doing the same thing with a remote workforce is even more challenging. Many organizations did not consider it to be a real issue, but now they do as the COVID-19 outbreak forced entire companies to shift their activities online.
A study shows that more than half of remote employees feel disconnected from in-office employees, while nearly 20% report loneliness as their biggest challenge. The only way to prevent it is by crafting a comprehensive company culture development plan.
The peculiarities of the strategy depend on the nature of your business, but we can give you a few practical tips that proved to function flawlessly in all situations. Here’s how you can create an enviable company culture with remote workers.
1. Organize Virtual Hangouts
The fact that your team is working remotely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan and organize virtual hangouts. It’s a great replacement for conventional on-site hangouts that your employees can use to chat and exchange information.
The idea is to encourage your workers to act as if they were in a real-world office. They should be able to share news, upload images, send documents, and do all those other things that mimic traditional office hangouts.
Of course, you are going to need a digital platform to organize online hangout sessions. Slack is the weapon of choice for many organizations, but Zoom is also growing in popularity because it guarantees flawless video calls and conferences.
2. Encourage Employees to Talk About Personal Issues
It might seem like a difficult process at first, but you should definitely encourage employees to talk about personal issues as well. Keep in mind that technology makes it easy to neglect private affairs, so your employees might end up focusing on business communication 100% of the time.
This is not a good way to build company culture, so you better step up and explain that you expect people to act naturally. The point is to emulate watercooler conversations and help your employees feel comfortable while working remotely.
3. Invest In Real-World Activities
It’s not easy to build a strong company culture using online activities only. This is exactly why we recommend you to invest in real-world activities, too. What can you do here?
First of all, you can offer incentives such as free tickets to your employees. For example, a couple of workers with the best monthly performance can attend a concert or a sports event.
Secondly, you can look for relevant industry events and pay the participation fee for your team. It’s a win-win situation because they will have the chance to meet and build relationships while learning new things and growing the network of business connections.
4. Give New Employees a Warm Welcome
Remote work can be particularly awkward for new employees who are about to join the team for the first time. They cannot physically see and meet anyone, but it’s up to you to make the situation less stressful by giving them a warm welcome.
“It all begins with an introductory email. This is where you get the team acquainted with the new colleague and explain what he or she will be doing there. Add some basic background information about this person as well.” – says Mike Hoffman, HR manager at uk essay writing service that provides custom essay help.
After that, you should all have a conference call to meet and greet a newcomer, while each member of the organization should organize a video call to share a few words with the new colleague.
5. Use the Right Tools to Support Company Culture
You can hardly build a solid company culture without a whole set of digital tools and automation platforms. We already mentioned Slack and Zoom as some of the most popular solutions among remote teams, but there are many other tools to think about. Some of our favorite platforms include:
- Google Hangouts is a free platform for instant communication
- Basecamp will help you to administer projects while boosting internal communications
- Krisp is a good tool to send your team back to work after a long hangout session
- Timezone is designed for companies with remote employees from different parts of the world
6. Take Advantage of Different Time Zones
Speaking of time zones, we have an important tip to share with you – remote teams should take advantage of different time zones to promote regional communication and maximize productivity. Think about it for a moment and you’ll realize the potential of this tactic.
Firstly, it will boost collaboration and company culture among workers in the same or similar time zones. And secondly, it can improve operational efficiency if you synchronize teams coming from different time zones.
7. Lead by Example
The last tip we have for you is to be a role model and practice what you preach. This basically means that you should lead by example and be the first one to engage in online conversations.
Make sure to ask your team members about their families, leisure time activities, and other personal issues that break the ice and help colleagues strengthen relationships. When other employees notice that you are really practicing the philosophy of digital hangouts, they will follow and solidify company culture in the long run.
The Bottom Line
Remote work gives employees a lot of freedom and flexibility, but it also comes with a practical issue of building a strong company culture. In this post, we showed you seven simple ways to solidify relationships among remote team members. Are you ready to use them?