Company culture is easier to sustain when your people work on-site in an office space. When working from home, water cooler chats turn into Slack messages and coffee breaks feel a bit lonelier than usual. People leaders need to be on the ball when it comes to maintaining remote company culture in an effort to combat those feelings of isolation and loneliness.
It’s important to maintain your people’s network while working remotely, as well. By depending on your Org Chart, video conferencing, and transparent communication companies can thrive while working from home. There are a few things HR and team leaders can do for their people, though, that can turn remote culture into the ultimate engagement approach.
- Have mandated facetime: Conference calls, daily standups, and one-on-ones should be a video-only zone. It’s important to connect with your people and have them engage with one another face to face. Why? Because when we communicate on camera, we catch body language and facial expressions that set the tone for our discussions, adding positive vibes to any call in progress. Get a little personal with your facetime by introducing colleagues to your pets and showing off your workspace. It will lighten the mood and create and add a visual aspect to your remote culture.
- Form online clubs: Pool together your people’s shared interests and set aside appropriate times for them to bond over them online. Instead of water cooler talk, employees (team leads can join, too!) can discuss their hobbies or perform them digitally. Put together an online book club or painting class. Together, your people can build a culture where they make goals, share thoughts or progress a skill set all from a distance.
It’s time to take that weekly yoga class online since your people are now working remotely! Have one person lead the class via video call, so you can still partake in a mutual interest or activity as a team.
- Choose the right digital tools: Team collaboration is an important aspect of company culture and prolonged engagement. Using Slack and MS Teams are just two ways to stay connected online, maintaining an effective workflow that puts everyone in a productive mood. Work still is the name of the game after all, and your people need to communicate and partner up on projects that are crucial to company growth and success. The better people work together and the stronger their working bonds are, the more milestones your business will reach and remote culture will continue to soar.
- Share daily updates: Daily updates are essential to your company’s remote culture. Working from home requires that all employees, team leads, and HR are up to speed on the latest news and events – both internally and industry-wide. Company-wide announcements via Shoutouts enhance culture by keeping people in the loop, fostering a mass sense of inclusivity and belonging. Take it a step further and really bolster your engagement efforts with employee recognition techniques, such as sharing Kudos and publicly praising people’s accomplishments.
- Encourage feedback: A culture that permeates engagement and connection is based on frequent feedback. Your people need to be able to express themselves honestly, whether it’s to each other on team conference calls or in one-on-ones. Use anonymous surveys to collect honest feedback on processes and workflow protocols, and host digital performance reviews either weekly or monthly. Transparency leads to open and honest communication, which in turn creates a safe space that your people want to proactively be a part of.
Maintaining a positive remote culture that keeps your people engaged from home is more than possible. Keep everyone involved through the use of digital tools and help them stay connected by showing them what common ground they stand on. The key to company culture is combining the work aspects with the social, proving once and for all that employees can collaborate effectively and happily even when not in the same room.