7 Tips for maintaining your company culture across remote workforce

September 23rd, 2020
7 Tips for maintaining your company culture across remote workforce

In a recent report published by Buffer, 98% of respondents stated they would prefer to work from home at least some of the time. Although the traditional office environment has been hit severely by the pandemic, remote work has already been well-established for some years. It’s undoubtedly here to stay, thanks to benefits such as reduced costs and better productivity.

However, that’s not to say remote work isn’t without challenges. As many businesses found when they were suddenly forced to allow their employees to work from home, implementing a remote work policy requires long-term strategy and thinking. One of the biggest challenges is maintaining the company culture when in-person meetings and collaboration are off the table.

Here are seven proven ways to keep your company culture going strong in the age of remote work:

1. Recognize the value in remote working

Firstly, business leaders shouldn’t think of remote work as a mere necessity. Neither should they view it as a temporary inconvenience. In the longer term, adopting a more flexible working environment helps employees achieve a better work-life balance and, in many cases, become more productive. It also reduces office space requirements and various other costs.

2. Welcome new team members virtually

When it comes to remote work, business leaders have to lead by example by working at home effectively themselves. They’re still in the driver’s seat when it comes to maintaining company culture, so it’s important they welcome new team members and have an onboarding process that gets people up to speed quickly and without unnecessary friction. It’s just as important as it always was to introduce new employees to their colleagues via live video feeds and events.

3. Communicate your company values

Communication is everything when it comes to creating and maintaining a cohesive company culture. Naturally, the need to communicate regularly and efficiently is heightened when staff are working from home. Creating collaborative digital workspaces using apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams is an important first step, but it’s essential that you provide updates regularly and schedule frequent check-ins with employees.

4. Hold virtual team-building events

The truth is that some employees dread team-building events at the best of times, and many virtual ones end up being boring and unengaging. However, there are plenty of things you can and should try beyond attempting to hold virtual coffee breaks on team communication apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. It’s important to take a creative approach by implementing things like dedicated talk spaces or even weekly gaming sessions to keep employees engaged.

5. Collect feedback from employees

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to company culture. Every organization and its team are different and have different preferences. That’s why it’s imperative that you collect feedback at every opportunity. One easy and popular method is to use online polls and surveys to gauge employee sentiment. That way, you can measure success and continually improve the remote work experience.

6. Personalize employee engagement

It’s wise to consider your employees as internal customers. Just like customers, employees expect a personalized approach from team leaders, supervisors, and colleagues. If your only interactions with them are automated, such as chatbots and email newsletters sent en masse, they won’t feel valued. A company culture depends on relationships, and it becomes stronger when you celebrate individual achievements.

7. Support employee mental wellness

These are worrying times for everyone, and coronavirus anxiety is a real thing. Under normal circumstances, working from home tends to encourage better habits and help people achieve a better work-life balance. During times of uncertainty, however, employees can end up feeling isolated due to the lack of social interaction. Again, that’s why leaders must personalize their approach and take the time to understand and support everyone’s unique circumstances.

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