Adapting to remote working can be a challenging transition for many companies. While some employees may slot straight into a routine where their productivity is soaring, others can struggle to motivate themselves without a team of coworkers around them.
For those considering remote working for the long term, the importance of a healthy company culture is imperative. Company culture impacts how employees enjoy and experience working at a firm, how their voice is heard, the work ethic they possess and the environment of trust which the company can develop.
Company culture influences the results of everyone in a company, from the C-Suite to the people on the ground.. So, to run a business successfully through remote teams, a strong company culture must first be established.
Listen to what your employees need
Building a strong company culture across remote teams first requires an understanding of what those teams need from management. Employee mental health can suffer from the loneliness and change that remote working can introduce. Companies must, therefore, take the time to understand what their team requires and how the business can adapt to meet this need.
Some employees may prefer to work independently without constant encouragement, whereas others prefer to have tasks delegated to them on a regular basis. By understanding what their specific team requires and how each member operates, companies can mould their strategy to suit the wellbeing of each employee.
Communicate your company culture
According to Deloitte, only 28% of executives understand their organisation’s culture. Understanding this is essential with remote teams, as articulating the culture of a company can be even more challenging for employees to grasp.
Firms must document what they envision for the company culture and ensure every individual in the business is clearly aware of the explanation. Each detail should be included, from the expectations of the firm and their performance measures, to the value and the vision which the directors have laid out for their business.
To continue growing a positive company culture whilst a team is working remotely, the values and vision of the firm must be constantly evaluated. Employees should be kept up to date with any changes in the details so they feel equally a part of the strategy. Regular updates and clear messaging are key – management should avoid mixed signals at all costs since this can confuse employees and have a detrimental effect on employee morale.
Encourage your employees to communicate
Employees can lose the communication they had with other team members when they begin remote working. The initial adjustment period can be hard as teams adapt from seeing each other physically to casually chat about their weekends, television shows or work, to then needing to do all of this remotely. However, this does not have to impact the team spirit in a firm.
To maintain a positive company culture, management should encourage employees to communicate virtually. Team meetings and collaborative work can still take place and video calls work perfectly for this. Video calls allow colleagues to communicate verbally whilst still observing the physical cues they would witness in person. These calls also benefit companies since they require no travel time, allowing employees to be in the comfort of their own space.
Check on your furloughed staff
In the current pandemic, it is not uncommon for businesses to have furloughed a portion of their employees. When thinking of company culture, management must remember those who are not currently contributing to the workload but are still very much a part of the team.
Taking the time to check in on furloughed staff is invaluable. The experience of being furloughed can be traumatic for some as they face financial worries alongside potential dips in their mental health. Knowing their team is supporting them can be a significant help in the journey which furloughed employees are facing.
Continue to organise social events
Social events are a tried and tested method of boosting staff morale. These events can aid in moulding a company culture, demonstrating the firm is a fun and friendly environment to work in. Friendships and bonds are often formed outside of the office which can lead to boosts in innovation and efficiency, ultimately benefiting the company
Since remote working can challenge the practicality of organising social events, management should take the time to plan virtual social events for their team. Optional events often work better, so employees do not feel obliged to attend, with quizzes or virtual games particularly popular in the UK.
The key to cultivating a remote company culture lies within these five pillars, and companies can really take the opportunity to present the values of the firm to employees through each interaction. With a strong culture to guide employees, firms can align themselves in a strong position for growth and use remote working to their advantage.