Company culture is an essential part of any company. You cannot lead a successful business unless your employees know exactly what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. They need to know the company’s values and beliefs and they need to know what they’re working for. All of these things that go on outside of business transactions are as important as capable management and well-trained workers. If you’re worried about maintaining the company culture during remote working, make sure to keep reading and find out how to act in this situation.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Communication is the key to any relationship when it comes to both personal and business relationships. When you’re working in the same office, you can always tell whether someone is doing a task at any moment or not. Your employees can also see whether you are busy or not. On the other hand, when you and your workers have to work from your home offices, the situation is drastically changed.
Contrary to an actual office, home offices make this a lot harder. That is exactly why you need to improve your communication with the employees in some other ways. For instance, using some teamwork chats could make your life much easier. People could let you know when they’re working, taking a break, or having their lunch. They could turn off the chat and show when their working hours are over. Of course, you could do the same.
It’s important to keep track of your employees’ activities if you want to maintain company culture. You need to communicate ideas, emotions, and any potential problems in the office. Make sure to share the results of the work you’re doing and expect the same from the employees. Share your updates, reports, client feedback, and overall wins, and see how easy it is to maintain the company culture.
Inclusivity is very important if you want your workers to do their best at work. They need to feel a part of the team in order to contribute to the team in the best possible way. It is rather hard to achieve this when you have the whole company working from home. That is why you should work harder to make sure that everyone is involved.
Some of your workers working separately could even like the change, but that could be pretty rough for the others. For instance, if you think about the new workers, you’ll see how difficult it can be for them to feel like a part of the team when they don’t even know the team. Compared to the people working for ages in the company, the new colleagues will have a rough time adjusting to the people and behaviours in the company.
You can do a couple of things to check how your people are feeling. For example, you can simply ask them some questions. Their feedback is essential in making this remote working actually useful. That is also why running surveys is a great idea. Make sure to consult your employees, both new and old ones, and see what kind of project you can do to make them more included and help them become a true part of the team. You can always build camaraderie among them over fun chat channels, after-hour virtual socials, or some lunch break wellness activities, such as yoga or pilates.
Another interesting idea is including some daily challenges into your business day. Namely, one person should have the task to assign tasks to others each morning. This is great both for team-building, but also for motivating the workers. They could share a teenage photo on Monday and a pet photo on Friday. They could even answer a questionnaire about their interests outside of work. Make sure to pick someone creative for this position and see how everyone gets involved quickly.
Use video frequently
Even though talking face-to-face is usually the best way to communicate or handle a risky situation, in some cases, that’s just not possible. However, communication shouldn’t suffer even when you can’t talk to the other workers face-to-face. Luckily, you live in a digital age where the fact that you and your workers aren’t seated in the same conference room isn’t a threat to a meeting.
You can always use regular calls for communicating, but video calls tend to be more efficient, especially when it comes to the business. Especially if someone has some good news to share, the effect would be much better if you saw their smiling face than if you only saw a text.
The problem with texts is that it is very easy to misinterpret such a way of communication. When you’re taking business, you need to be as clear and precise as possible, and nothing should be left to the imagination. Even if you do use text or emails constantly, make sure to read through everything you send. Is everything clear? Have you used an emoji to indicate the tone of the text? Don’t forget to proof-read everything before sending it.
Replicate office perks
Every office has some very enjoyable spaces. For instance, if your office had a kitchen and a snack bar where people could eat, but also chat, they are probably missing that space. What you can do in such a case is to get a monthly snack box delivered to them to keep their motivation at high levels.
People also love drinking coffee when working. That is not surprising considering that coffee is amazing for productivity. Coffee improves energy levels and it makes people smarter. It can also positively affect physical performance. It keeps everyone focused and provides them with the energy to get their work done. That is why a high-quality coffee machine is important in the workspace.
Give your attention to the workers
It’s somewhat easy multitasking when in an office. You can talk to a colleague whilst typing an email. You can also make your lunch and arrange for a meeting at the same time. However, all of that changes when you’re not in the same office as your colleagues anymore. This kind of multitasking simply cannot work.
The main reason for that is that human interaction relies heavily on non-verbal signs. For instance, the position of your body, your hands, or the face you’re making can tell a lot to the person you’re talking to even if you don’t actually say much. Since people cannot see your body language anymore, you’ll need to invest more in the speaking part.
If you’re talking to a team member on the phone, make sure to give him or her your full attention. No other activities should be included, talking to them only. Make sure to turn off your notifications and avoid that kind of distraction as well. That way, you’re showing the person that you respect them and you’re also making sure that everything said in the conversation is received with understanding.
Establish some company-wide initiatives
Your company culture needs to be incorporated into your workers’ daily business life. The best way to promote your values is to get the team together and work with them on something. You should have these kinds of events a couple of times throughout the year.
You should bring people from different departments and include all of them. Hold some all-hands meetings to update everyone on some impressive milestones or share information about important events. Make sure that people have the opportunity to ask questions and be ready to answer them.
You can also start some company-wide contests. Some trivia nights will nicely include the entire organization and give them a chance to like each other more. You can even start work from home bingo. Some fun prizes, such as delivered flowers or a day off will only make this more enjoyable.
Create an environment of open communication
Transparency is another important feature of company culture. The key to being transparent is leading a company where open communication is nurtured. When working from home, you should have the communication channels clear and open for feedback.
Everyone in the organization should be able to contribute, not just the extroverted team members. Make sure that the formality in the communication is reduced to the minimum. That will encourage the team members to speak up always, even when they have an issue.
Take their comments seriously and see what you can do to make their experience more positive. The better experience they have, the more hard-working and motivated they are. It’s a win-win situation, contrary to the one where everyone is quiet. That kind of environment has no space for growth.
Welcome new employees properly
If you get some new employees while working from home, the whole experience could be a bit awkward for them. It’s not easy becoming a part of an already established team and it’s even harder when you can’t meet the team.
That is exactly why new members should be presented in a group chat and introduced to everyone. You ask the new team member for some interesting facts about them and share them with the rest of the team, alongside their name and contact. Make sure to encourage the other employees to initiate contact with the new ones. It’s always easier for them to make the first move and introduce a new member to the way you’re doing things there. Even though this is a bit harder when the whole organization works online, it’s still doable. You can arrange to team Skype meetings or have employees arrange one-on-one Skype meetings.
Other than discussing ideas, this is a great way to show to the new members who you are and what you expect. You can also get to know the new members properly and see what you can expect from them. Getting to know other team members is essential for creating familiarity and bonding, which are both important for company culture.
Maintaining company culture when working from home is tough, but it isn’t impossible. All in all, you need to make some subtle changes and just pay more attention to your employees. if you do that properly, you’ll have no problem whatsoever.