Remote work has taken over business worldwide. We know that this shift impacts the way workers communicate with one another which has a big impact on company culture. How do we maintain company culture in a remote work environment?
Remote work has been growing in popularity for years, so this isn’t a new challenge. You don’t need to break new ground to shape your current culture to fit the remote work environment. Check out these best practices from companies that were working remotely before this unexpected shift.
Look at Your Smiling Faces
A large part of communication comes from facial expressions and body language. This connection is easy to take for granted in an office environment. It is hard to truly connect with only emails or the occasional phone call. Use video chat whenever possible. Seeing the face of your coworker will help you connect on a more human level.
Don’t be Afraid of Chit-chat
We all want to be productive in the workplace. However, the “water-cooler” effect is a large part of team bonding. Without a break room environment to allow for a quick update on the family or news about an upcoming event, it is easy to only talk about work. Workers are not robots. Knowing more about our coworkers and taking a few minutes to chat helps to build a cohesive team. A simple “how was everyone’s weekend?” at the top of your next video conference can break the ice and maintain the comradery and feel of a real team that is present in the office.
Promote Inclusivity with Internal Language and Activities
Using language like “we” or “our team” or “our company” instead of “me” or “mine” is a simple way to remind every member of the organization that your work is a group effort and every member is important. You can take this a step further by going out of your way to host small activities that promote team bonding and allow every employee to participate. For example, our culture and engagement committee held a recent meme contest to see who could create the funniest and most relatable graphic about our industry. This simple contest let everyone share common work experiences in a light and humorous way. An activity like this also allows everyone in the company to participate and interact. When thinking of your own activity, try something that helps employees interact with those outside of their usual teams.
These are just a few tips for maintaining a strong company culture in a remote work environment. Just remember that any initiative you try should emphasize your company values and promote human connection. Technology gives us the ability to stay connected, productive and motivated no matter how far apart we are. Enjoy the opportunities that brings and the new solutions that could come out of this new move. For help building a strong remote workforce for the future, contact the recruiting consultants at Ag 1 Source. We can help you find talent with the skills to thrive in a remote work environment.