How to nurture a strong remote workplace culture

Hybrid and remote work have been the norm for businesses since long before recent pandemic sped up this trend. While some people may say they love it, there is still one enormous challenge that needs addressing.

How can you build strong company culture when everyone works remotely?

Why is company culture important in remote teams?

Before we answer this question, I need to emphasize this. Building a company culture is essential for success. Without the physical presence of employees, it becomes much harder to build that sense of community and togetherness in an office space.

When a company’s culture is vibrant and innovative, it can transform employees into raving fans for the organization. When this happens, not only are the companies more likely to keep talent but also have a thriving remote workforce culture that will ensure success in the future.

Which brings me to this crucial question. Why is it important to build a healthy, remote work culture?

It helps your people feel connected. One of the fundamental problems with remote work is that it can lead people to feel isolated and lonely. People who are isolated often become less productive because they’re not getting enough mental stimulation.

To avoid these issues altogether, make sure your employees feel connected by creating a culture where everyone checks-in regularly, even if it’s just once every few days.

It influences employee engagement and retention. When teams are happy and fulfilled in their work, they’re more productive. People are also more engaged when they get on well with their colleagues. Having a healthy remote culture will help you maintain productivity over time by ensuring your team members aren’t constantly feeling stressed or burned out.

Besides this, there is research showing how flexible remote working policies have improved overall productivity for companies.

It improves recruitment. A healthy remote work culture can improve recruitment by allowing you to hire the best talent and more diverse team from around the country and even the world. Your company’s unique culture plays a big role in attracting candidates who are aligned with your core values.

Ways to build remote company culture

In many ways, it can be easier to build company culture if you’re a fully remote company, because there won’t be any gap between remote and in-office employees. Whether you have a hybrid or fully remote workforce, here are some tips on how to create a successful remote culture.

1. Understand your remote work culture

By understanding what your remote culture looks like, you can better cater to the needs of your employees. This should align with the goals you are trying to accomplish, so that everyone understands their purpose and importance in achieving these together as a team, no matter where they’re based.

Have meetings onsite or virtual, depending on the needs of employees involved. Design virtual activities specifically toward building relationships among coworkers who might never meet face-to-face.

2. Provide support for everyone

It’s no secret that remote work has its challenges, but one of the key aspects is making sure everyone feels connected. Some companies hold weekly virtual meetings where everyone comes together.

The key to building a strong culture remotely is communication. This helps us ensure that each team member knows they’re supported throughout their journey with us while also helping create an open environment for conversation on tough topics like mental health.

3. Support your culture with transparency

To create a successful remote work culture, it is important for your company to exercise transparency. You need to create a safe space where people can voice their opinions and ideas without fear of judgement or retaliation.

Demonstrate this through open communication with team members and an environment that promotes healthy discussions about diverse topics.

4. Encourage collaboration between departments

Remote workers may feel isolated from the company because they only interact with their own department. We all know that remote work can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to create unnecessary silos. One way to break down barriers between teams is by encouraging people to collaborate and work on projects with other departments.

You could even organize virtual activities like trivia games or lunch-and-learns so your people can get more familiar with each other.

encourage collaboration between departments

5. Focus on meaningful work

One challenge in remote teams is that people may feel like they need to respond immediately when someone requests something from them. When managing a remote team, it is important to provide space for meaningful work.

This means setting boundaries and carving out time blocks on the calendar so that your people can focus solely on work, which requires uninterrupted attention.

6. Have a purposeful meeting culture

We’re all familiar with Zoom or Microsoft Teams fatigue. Unfortunately, for remote employees, it’s the primary way of getting to meet with their team members. That’s why it’s crucial to have purposeful meeting culture.

Don’t have the meetings for the sake of having meetings. Clarify the true purpose of the meeting and send the agenda ahead of time. Remember, sometimes, we can replace the whole meeting with a shared collaboration document or even an email.

This means setting boundaries and carving out time blocks on the calendar so that your people can focus solely on work, which requires uninterrupted attention.

7. Get regular feedback and adjust

To make a remote team successful, it is important that you listen and learn from your employees. Ask each member about what they think worked well and what needs improvement. This way, you can continuously improve your process for future employees.

Set expectations by asking feedback often, especially early on for new hires. Reflect on these efforts along the journey together as a unit.

8. Keep telling your company's story

I love stories. From my childhood to people I look up to, stories always played a huge role. The company’s story is the glue that holds a remote workforce together. When managers are working virtually, they need to frequently remind their employees of what makes them special and how everyone contributes towards success in some way.

Nurture a positive remote workplace culture

Building a successful remote culture in your workplace is difficult, but the tips I shared will help you take the first steps. Make sure that everyone–no matter where they are or what role they play–feels like an important part of the company.

Share as much information with them as possible about how decisions get made. This will give employees hope for their own input on plans. You should also encourage collaboration between departments so that people from various backgrounds can share their knowledge and expertise with one another.

How do you build a successful remote culture in your workplace? Let me know in the comments.

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John Todorovic

John Todorovic

I help aspiring and existing leaders improve their skills through effective coaching.

As a restless knowledge seeker, I love acquiring new knowledge on a daily basis through various types of research techniques. All this aligns with my life's mission: sharing knowledge is a privilege and an obligation.

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