Your culture is how your employees and customers see you, engage with you, and work with you. And this culture trickles down to each and every communication and experience.
Remote work culture does just that, albeit in a remote scenario. You would have to help your leaders enforce a remote work culture. We’d have to enforce it because a culture, even a remote one, doesn’t get created by an accident, it has to be intentional.
However, with organizations shifting to remote working, the older practices for building an organization culture wouldn’t be as affective. So, here are a few methods using which you can create an excellent remote work culture:
Tell your team what exactly remote works means for your organization and your team. Communicate how they are expected to interact and when.
Tell them what exactly remote working means to you: whether or not they’re expected to stay active for defined hours, whether or not they have to complete certain hours everyday, whether they’ll be expected to travel (be it to the office or otherwise) periodically. You must also include this information in your job descriptions so your applicants know what they are signing up for.
This would also help you as some may self-select them out, and you wouldn’t have to screen and make efforts for recruiting them.
Furthermore, it is important that company values and vision are understood by everyone in the team. Leaders must continue to emphasize on them because people feel a sense of connection to the mission they are working towards.
Your leaders are responsible for setting examples. For instance, if your leaders expect the team to stay online for some defined hours, they should remain online, too.
If leaders are following through on what they are expecting, team members would feel unmotivated and discouraged to do so.
Moreover, building remote work culture also means translating company values in an online environment. If, for example, one of your values is transparency, you need to set an example on how to introduce transparency in your remote work culture. This could be in the form of daily stand ups, weekly organizational or department meetings, company town halls, etc. How you’re setting examples for your team directly impacts how your team takes it forward.
Hailley Griffis, a leader at Buffer, believes a healthy remote culture is simply one that your employees like and respond to.
Understand what your team is responding to, ask them whether or not they’ve been enjoying working a particular way, try to gauge whether your teammates encourage each other to work cohesively.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to remote work culture, it has to be tailored to you and your needs. So this involves taking active feedback and understanding how to introduce changes for things that aren’t working for you.
A good working culture includes certain rituals, too. This helps in keeping everyone working collaboratively.
For instance, you can establish daily sunrise and sunset stand ups to know the day-to-day updates on any running projects. You can also schedule weekly or bi-weekly meeting with each member of the team to understand where they are headed or if they are anticipating any hiccups in the future. Establising the agenda of each ritual beforehand would keep the communication streamlined and to the point.
No matter how mechanical it may sound to ‘schedule’ fun, it is important you do so. This would help you in estabishing a sense of comaradeire within your team.
You can do so by conducting periodical award ceremonies and create celebratory moments. You can even hold a certain cultural events, like gaming or trivia, online. Even though you cannot force everyone to participate in those events, you’d let your employees know that it is okay to take time to unwind.
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