Remote working has pretty much become the norm. In the post pandemic environment, working from home is more or less standard practice. Most of us not classed as ‘key workers’ have done it for at least part of the last 18 months. And for many businesses, it’s worked out well. Productivity hasn’t suffered and overheads have been reduced, leading to a significant portion of businesses considering the continuation of this working model. But it has raised one question: company culture.
Company culture can be as important to employees as it can be to managers. Helping to build consistency, confidence, and a feeling of unity of purpose and direction amongst the team, which enables working relationships to be stronger and more productive. That’s why a robust sense of company culture can be doubly important for a remote workforce. But how can you initiate and preserve that sense of unity when your team are all out of office?
4 tips to help preserve company culture in a remote team
- Discuss your company values and plans – It’s amazing how much information you pick up when you work in an office. The casual remarks, the watercooler gossip, and the daily team meetings. You learn not only what the team is working on, but why, and who’s doing what. By openly discussing the core values of the business, and letting each team member know their role within those values and plans, you can help make your goals more achievable, while making your team feel more involved.
- Combat isolation – Working remotely can be great for productivity. But a common complaint of new home workers is a sense of isolation. They miss the camaraderie and chat of the office environment. Taking the time to check-in with your team members on a regular basis, and providing the tools – and time – for colleagues to interact, can not only help to prevent feelings of loneliness, but foster a sense of team cohesion.
- Say ‘thank you’ – Working remotely, it’s easy to think that your efforts are going unnoticed. That no one would realise if you didn’t clock in for the day, or that your reports are of little consequence. If you want each employee to feel like they’re important to your business, you need to let them know that their work is not just seen, but valued. Say ‘thank you’ when a job is done well. And share that praise not just with the individual concerned, but celebrate it with the entire team (where relevant).
- Communicate – More than anything else, ensure that you provide an open door of communication between managers and team members. Positive or negative, the sharing of information is what will help your business to grow. And help your team members to understand their place within your business.
How fostering company culture can help your business
A strong sense of company culture underlies all aspects of a successful business. It shapes employee attitudes, loyalty, and priorities. And consequently, the quality of work they produce, their willingness to go above and beyond the expected where required, the service they deliver to your customers, and, ultimately, the reputation of your business. This, in turn, can enhance the success of your company, and save you money through a reduction of employee churn and the associated recruitment processes.
When it comes down to it, company culture is about giving your employees the direction and support they need to thrive as part of a unified team. While this is more difficult when working remotely, it’s far from impossible. And communication is the key to success.