8 ways to keep workplace culture a priority while working remotely
Whether you’re working in the office or at home, it’s crucial that you prioritize your workplace culture. The impact of a positive workplace environment can be felt beyond computer screens, telephones, and email messages, so while apart, you still want to maintain a positive feeling and good relationships with those on your team. Thanks to technology, we may continue to see a shift in remote workplaces and you want to be prepared to establish and maintain the culture either way
What is workplace culture?
Your workplace culture is composed of the personality of your company. This might include your beliefs, values, interactions, and traditions. Much of how you operate is based on the culture of your company. How you interact with and communicate with each other, the relationship you develop with your clients and customers, and even how much you work are all part of your work culture.
There are many ways to prioritize your workplace culture when working remotely. Here are some to consider.
Establish communication guidelines
How you communicate with your team is a significant part of your workplace culture. There are various components to consider. You want to think about both the logistics of communication such as frequency and platform, along with the personality behind it. When working remotely, you want to develop a common inclusive culture that makes all feel comfortable. Here are some points to consider to maintain open communication.
- Communication Channel: What platform will you use to communicate? Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Slack are three popular options.
- Collaboration Channel: What platform will you use to collaborate? Asana, Google Docs, Trello, and Teamwork are used by many companies.
- Communication Availability: When will communication take place? Are there set office hours or more flexibility? What’s the suggested response time?
- Language Choice: What type of language is acceptable? Are there any words or topics that are off limits?
With a solid foundation for communication, your team is more likely to feel you’re more to maintain open communication which builds connections and cuts down on miscommunication in the office.
Donate to a common cause
Another way to come together and make your workplace culture a priority when working remotely is to support a common cause or group.
Not only will you be providing support to an organization that’s doing good for the community, but you will also be working together to achieve a common goal.
You might decide to donate money to reach a fundraising goal or donate supplies that can be sent to an organization. Once the goal is met you can host a virtual event to celebrate a job well done.
Regularly checking in with your team keeps the lines of communication open. You can have a brief 15 or 20-minute daily check-in as you might do at an in-person office. There doesn’t have to be a strict agenda for each meeting. This time can be used to check in on how everyone is feeling, provide updates, answer questions, and motivate each other to achieve common goals.
Along with daily check-ins, you also want to consider having 1-on-1 check-ins. These might not happen daily, especially depending on the size of your team, but having 1-on-1 time can allow for every voice to be heard clearly and topics to be addressed that might not happen in a group setting.
This combined with other communication guidelines outlined above can help to maintain good communication with your team.
Set clear goals together
Similar to donating to a common cause, when you set clear goals together and work toward achieving them, it can cultivate a strong company culture while bringing everyone together. Your goals can relate to meeting sales goals, customer service satisfaction, finishing projects, or other goals based on what your company is working towards.
Create a sense of accountability
Sharing accountability can bring your team together as well. Look at your goals and see who has some responsibility for making it happen. When you can see how everyone is dependent on each other to achieve a common goal it can create a sense of accountability that helps to improve the workplace culture.
It’s easier to motivate each other to keep going and congratulate each other for a job well done.
Part of building and maintaining your workplace culture when working remotely is developing traditions and rituals for your team members. This might include having a certain way to celebrate successes, recognize birthdays and other holidays, or even how you start or end the workday. It’s great to come together to set and follow through with these traditions.
Practice team building
Just like you’d have team-building time when working in person, you can also create those opportunities remotely. Schedule social sessions, group lunch, happy hour, game days, and other activities that can be done to let loose, have fun and connect on a non-business level.
Have watercooler talk
When at the office, you can build community relationships by having casual and nonwork-related conversations with your team. This isn’t always made to be a priority when working remotely as talking about completing the job at hand is often the main type of communication. You want to implement this watercooler talk in a remote workplace as well to build trust, bonds, and connection.
It’s easy to do this with tools such as Slack along with regular email communication or even by phone. Also, feel free to schedule breaks throughout the day that allow for these off-topic conversations.
Workplace culture can exist when working remotely
Having a workplace culture can and should be a priority when you’re working remotely. There are many ways to make it happen such as the ideas listed above and many more. You want to look at your company, your team, and their needs and preferences to determine the best way to make it establish and maintain positive remote workplace culture.