May 10th, 6:21 am
In fact, company culture acts as a critical consideration factor for job seekers these days when they apply for a job or decide whether to stay with a company or not. A survey conducted by Glassdoor found out that over 77% of adults in the U.S., UK, France, and Germany consider a company’s culture before applying for a job there, and approximately 56% of people say that when it comes to job satisfaction, company culture is more important than salary.
Therefore, building a positive culture is essential because the workplace culture reflects the company’s values, mission, and goals, which are not built overnight. It takes several years and a conscious effort from managers, leaders as well as management to create a corporate ethos that supports every employee’s best efforts to contribute, allows them to be productive, as well as helps them to find happiness and fulfillment in their jobs. So, every employer should maintain their company culture even when they are operating with remote teams. However, building a corporate culture that will reach every member of a remote team across various locations is quite challenging.
Then how can a company keep their culture while working from home? We will discuss that in detail in this article, but let us first understand the concept of remote work culture in brief.
Remote work culture refers to the corporate philosophy that unites the remote, distributed workers and gives them a sense of belonging that transcends physical boundaries. It is a shared set of values and operating principles that are centered around discipline, trust, motivation, and appreciation. It enables remote employees to create and maintain mea
ningful work relationships not only with their managers but also with their colleagues as well.
When it comes to organizational practices, normal work culture is quite different from remote work culture, in which the main focus lies on communication and collaboration. It tries to compensate for the physical interactions and in-office camaraderie by imitating such conversations online. It allows virtual teams to stay connected through shared interests, experiences, and priorities.
Remote workers need a strong support system that can help them to bond better. It also provides the managers with greater visibility into employee development as well as their contribution to the firm. A positive corporate culture strengthens the engagement and commitment of the remote workforce towards their role. That is why being proactive about building a great remote work culture is highly advisable. There are several other benefits of having a positive remote work culture, which we will discuss in the next segment.
There is a myriad of benefits in maintaining your organizational culture within your virtual teams:
State of Remote Work, a report by Buffer shows that loneliness and difficulties with collaboration and communication are two of the top challenges faced by remote workers of any organization.
A powerful remote work culture can unite its mobile staff and create a shared sense of purpose among them. It can also foster a feeling of camaraderie and lead to some real actions like friendly conversations and casual check-ins that can counteract isolation.
Partial or complete remote workforce culture has become the latest trend these days as more and more companies have started to adopt mobile working. The Gartner CFO Survey 2020 reveals that nearly three out of four CFOs intend to permanently shift at least 5% of their physical workforce to remote positions in the near future.
Remote-first companies who build their organizational cultures to be strong enough to withstand the challenges of remote work will find it easier to circumvent the growing problems of shifting work models and maintain their productivity as the trends change.
Imbibing remote work culture within your organization can prove to be highly beneficial for all. Building a strong work from home culture can help to strengthen team bonds, ensure better relationships, improve trust, and enhance communication, which can eventually give rise to long-term employee-employer relationships.
Strong company culture is often a prerequisite for most job seekers while applying for a job. According to the Employer Branding Study by Hinge Research Institute, while evaluating job prospects, 57% of the job seekers across all career levels considered company culture to be as important as a competitive salary. On the other hand, 75% of recruiters also felt that cultural fit is more important than the work history and relevant experience. Furthermore, 73% of all respondents chose a defined and clearly articulated culture as the top key element of an employer brand. These results should be enough to convince you that now, more than ever, is the right time to put your company culture high on your priority list.
The HR personnel, managers, as well as management play critical roles in reinforcing a company’s culture while working from home. If remote employees are given proper empowerment, they can also help in reinforcing the organizational culture. Therefore, keeping your company culture alive while working remotely is crucial.
Here are a few tips and tricks that can help in maintaining your corporate ethos while doing remote work:
Your values are an essential part of your company culture. They form the core pillars that guide your organization. Your employees should always be apprised of these values, which should remain at the forefront of their minds. Since your employees are now working remotely and there is little or no interaction between the colleagues, only your company values can help them understand the principles on which your organization operates and how much effort you are putting in to create a positive environment for them to work.
Learn more about building a strong team.
Communication can prove to be the biggest challenge for remote culture. While working across locations, things start to fall through the cracks easily. Even simple fixes take much time, more effort, and constant follow-ups.
Establishing efficient communication norms that apply to everyone ensures clarity, chat best practices, quicker response time frames, and proper email etiquette. Setting up clear communication standards can prevent people from getting bombarded with messages, help in reducing interruptions, and make interactions easier.
Learn more about building positive culture through communication
When your team is working from home, paying attention to the employees’ work-life balance can help to reinforce the organizational culture of caring. Providing working parents with child care support, offering flexible leave policies to the remote workers to cater to the demands of remote work, and encouraging virtual social activities can reinforce the work-life balance of employees. Recognizing employees for their sacrifices and hard work can also show that they are well appreciated.
Learn more about Work-Life Balance.
The environment in which employees work in offices forms a big part of traditional company cultures. It includes office space with open floor plans, foosball tables, long lunch breaks, in-office parties, and much more. Most remote employees usually work from either a home office or a kitchen table, or a couch.
There are no watercooler chats for virtual employees to refresh their minds. That is why mobile teams find it hard to build or preserve a sense of camaraderie within their group. So, it is essential to encourage non-work communication among work from home employees, like opening fun chat channels, facilitating after-hour online socializing, organizing virtual lunch break wellness activities, etc.
Learn more about Team Building Activities
Treating employees with trust and respect can surely motivate them and make them rise to the occasion. Conversely, over-monitoring remote-working employees can, in effect, hamper their motivation as well as productivity. Finding alternatives for virtual teams to share their work schedules can be a good management practice.
Various available tools and software can be used to monitor their progress and effectively interact with them without attending multiple Zoom meetings. When employees and managers use the workflow and communication tools to keep themselves up-to-date with the day-to-day work activities of their team members instead of micromanagement, that knowledge reinforces trust.
Learn more about how to build psychological safety.
Developing a strong remote culture, and keeping it alive make employees feel empowered and entrusted to complete their work competently. It is a continuous process, which requires time, effort, and constant hard work. Whether you already sport a remote team or you are currently going remote, make sure that your HR department is always well equipped to act as the primary point of contact on whom your employees can rely. Making the most out of your company culture and focusing on fostering transparency and open communication to create an environment of trust can help your organization move forward faster in the long run.
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We're Joan & Jaume, co-founders of Onsite.fun. Two brothers that joined forces to make distributed teams more united than in-office. Onsite.fun is your one-stop shop to manage and organize team-building events company wide. We find the most remarkable activities online and wrap them on a suite of tools that make them easy and convinient to book for distributed teams.
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