Working remotely can be great. More personal autonomy, less commuting time to the office and a better work-life balance are just some of the pros. But while many people are embracing the flexibility of the virtual work environment, others might feel a loss of connection and structure.
The challenge is to create a solid remote work culture that allows achieving company goals and objectives without making people feel disconnected.
The sense of shared culture that is usually implemented in the office space needs to be effectively translated into the remote work environment.
In this article you will find a guide with some remote work culture ideas to learn how to build a strong culture with a remote team, and how to maintain it through time.
How does remote working impact culture?
The pandemic has pushed many companies and organizations to become fully remote and try to build an engaging remote work culture.
As a result, the traditional office-centric ways of reinforcing work culture doesn’t work the same way as before.
Adapting to this new working model can be challenging. Especially when it comes to corporate values and interpersonal relationships in the virtual culture.
Zoom happy hours and implementing virtual meeting best practices can help, but they are not enough in the shift to a remote work culture.
Social events are harder to make entertaining without an office environment and it is more difficult staying organized at work with coworkers you can’t casually pass around the office.
That is why interactions in a remote work environment have to be more deliberate and intentional.
In the following, you will learn how to create those interactions through a strong remote work culture. It will also help you to build better connections with your coworkers.
What are the benefits of having a strong remote work culture?
In order to make employees feel more connected and satisfied within their jobs, companies need to reimagine and foster new ways of working remotely.
Creating and implementing a well grounded remote culture lies at the core of a healthy work environment.
These are some of the benefits of a strong remote work culture.
Lower employee turnover
One of the consequences of caring about how to build a remote team culture is that employees will experience higher levels of satisfaction.
That is why when you implement a healthy remote culture, employees are less likely to leave. People are less stressed and feel better connected to their peers, and the amount of sick days requests also decreases.
Statistics support this claim. According to research by Owl Labs and Global Workplace Analytics, companies that support remote work have 25% lower employee turnover than those that don’t.
And another recent study by PR Newswire concluded that 80% of U.S. workers would turn down a job that wouldn’t offer remote or flexible work.
As a result, if you don’t develop a strong remote culture you will be risking losing actual and potential employees. They might find remote work opportunities elsewhere.
More productive teams
When remote work culture ideas are put into practice, your team becomes more productive.
A strong remote work culture is essential when you look into ways on how to improve work performance.
This way, you can understand better what they are working towards if a work culture is strong and well defined in the virtual environment.
Team culture nurtures creativity in the workplace. This happens because employees feel at ease to share their opinions and ideas, and interact with people across departments.
At the same time, the question of how to build a strong remote team culture leads to exploring new ways to make the work environment more creative.
Increase workplace attractiveness
A strong and positive remote work culture attracts more people.
Employees might leave good reviews and share their experiences of a positive virtual culture with their environment and with potential new colleagues.
It fuels new dynamics and becomes a talent magnet.
How do you maintain company culture while working remotely?
To figure out how to build a strong culture with a remote team, you need to use some communication strategies to introduce changes.
You don’t need to rethink everything – just make the adjustments that better suit the values, nature and size of your company.
There are really not many differences between how small businesses create remote work culture and how it is achieved by big corporations. It all relies on adjusting the mindset and implementing a plan.
Here are some remote work culture ideas to get started with.
Set up a water cooler space
Digital water cooler spaces are essential to engage remote employees because they allow people to chat about more informal topics.
If you’ve ever worked in an office, you probably remember the water cooler as the place you can rest, rehydrate, have a quick chat with a colleague or just take some air. It might as well be the kitchen, the printer or the coffee machine.
But who says remote employees can’t have those office water cooler spaces too?
In a remote work environment, you can create a virtual water cooler to take a break, relax and connect with others.
Virtual coffee chats
One of the things that is most commonly missed from the traditional office environment are the human interactions.
Set up virtual coffee chats with team members across departments to learn more about each other. This encourages your team to take breaks while meeting others in the company and helps bond teams.
When teams work asynchronously, virtual coffee chats become even more relevant because it allows them to feel more connected with coworkers that don’t usually have much chance to interact with.
Virtual, scheduled coffee chats can foster better relationships in the workplace and increase productivity.
However, it is important to always make these events voluntary. Getting a good remote work culture is also very much adapting to different kinds of people within your team.
Create cross functional and departmental projects
You should have people across functions and departments work and collaborate together. This can strengthen the shared vision and allow everyone to meet each other.
Cross functional teams can spark innovation and grant a more collaborative working environment.
In the remote work culture, these teamwork experiences can really help your team members to expand beyond their area and enhance their productivity, creativity and motivation.
Voluntary virtual office spaces
Create a virtual office space and have it open for those interested in more interaction with the team. Leadership can set up open office hours for the team to come by and chat about anything.
A virtual office gives employees access to a remote working space to interact between each other and organize meetings through virtual rooms and video conferencing.
This way, people can communicate easier with their colleagues and also engage with others that won’t see them in person.
Make use of virtual meeting best practices
A lot of people are burned out from doing constant meetings in their day to day. A lot of them might not be that needed or even useful. In order to avoid this, make use of virtual meeting best practices.
Don’t overuse meetings and make sure that synchronous interactions in remote work environments add value. You don’t want your team to become desensitized to meeting up!
Don’t forget to add check in questions for meetings. It helps ensure high-quality communication and build team relationships.
Also, these meeting agenda examples can bring structure to your meetings and make them more meaningful, practical and valuable.
Celebrate victories and completed tasks
A great way to show appreciation and build a positive culture is to celebrate a job well done. Make sure victories and accomplishments don’t go unnoticed – you have to celebrate them!
In order to create a positive remote work culture, it's always good to find ways to congratulate people on their achievements, such as completing a big task or bringing in that huge client. Sharing success stories and acknowledging victories can hugely improve motivation in the virtual office.
There are many ways to celebrate achievements in the virtual world. You can send a GIF into a common chat with employers and coworkers to congratulate an employee. Or mention that great success in the monthly meeting.
If you have more time and resources, host a virtual event and make it more fun. Create a memorable experience with the team to celebrate the milestones.
Look into fun voluntary social events
From virtual wine tastings to virtual escape rooms or team member quizzes, social events can enhance teamwork and build a strong remote team culture.
You can set up these and so many more things just so people can interact with each other, learn more about each other, have a less formal interaction and simply have fun.
These events can be fun and entertaining, but remember to make sure they are always voluntary, so no one feels forced to make part of them.
Establish shared goals and objectives
When everyone is working towards the same goals and objectives, people are more likely to be better connected in their interactions. You should make sure teams like Marketing, Sales and Engineering are all aligned on some high level goals and objectives.
This way there will be more understanding and initiative into learning what other people are doing. Make sure that these common goals are highlighted and well shared with the team and that everybody understands them fully.
If everybody is working towards the same target, it is much easier to set everyone up for success, especially in the digital workplace.
Build a strong remote work culture with Rock
Rock allows you to manage your whole team remotely through its multimodal communication.
Combine messaging with tasks, notes and files to communicate and collaborate in your day-to-day. Create unlimited spaces and make sure your team can get work done without switching tools.
All-in-one functionality allows you to keep all communication and projects in one place, which makes it easier for team members to feel more connected as interactions are not scattered across platforms. Anything you need to communicate with your team in a virtual work environment is within one platform! It helps to nurture interactions and empower your remote work culture at the same time.
Healthy remote work culture that lasts
Achieving a healthy remote work culture can be challenging. But it is greatly enriching for both employers and employees in the virtual environment.
It helps you to be more in tune with coworkers, goals and corporate values. And it’s a great way to engage current team members and attract new talent!
No matter your organization’s size or industry. In today’s virtual office, you need to build a remote work culture that lasts. Rock integrates messages, tasks and all-in-one virtual spaces to make it possible. You will find all the tools that you need in just one platform. Get started today!