How to Build a Strong Culture With a Remote Team
3rd November 2021
It can be argued that the pandemic has accelerated the rate at which people work remotely. Working from home went from something reserved for those in highly technical IT roles, e.g. programmers and software engineers, to marketers, accountants, product managers and many other types of jobs that were previously office-based.
This means the rules of culture-building have now changed. In some cases, it needs to be done without everyone being in the same office, sometimes without everyone being in the same time zone.
The task can be daunting, as many aspects of culture-building for a long time relied on people seeing each other regularly in person. Many organisations may have seen the shift coming but for one reason or another haven’t been able to adapt well to it. This is why we’ve written this article which explains the importance of a remote culture, how to build it, and how Trickle can be a key part of the process.
The Importance of Employee Feedback & Data Insights
When trying to implement anything in the workplace, employees need to be heavily involved. It’s no longer good enough to assume what employees are thinking, even if you have the best of intentions. When trying to create a great culture remotely, it’s no different. We’ve written about how crucial employee feedback is here.
The natural differences between people are often amplified when they are working from their chosen personal spaces.
Insights from employees are the foundations of any culture-building strategy. We won’t specify what you should or shouldn’t have in the process, as each organisation’s situation is unique and will be based on the insights gathered from platforms such as Trickle. However, we can give some general pointers of things that you may realise once the feedback results are back.
When working from home, the lines between work life and personal life can become blurred. Separating the two is important for mental health and productivity. We’ve written an article about it, which you can read here. Employers need to encourage their employees to have clear boundaries between the two as much as possible. For example, some things that could be implemented include:
- Managers checking in with staff to remind them to take regular breaks
- Managers ensuring that staff aren’t working too many hours in a day or week by tracking time
- Building a culture where everyone is welcome to speak about outside interests and experiences
Isolation and Communication
Working from home can be a lonely experience for some, particularly those who feed off the energy of others at work. Video calls are a good alternative but, as we’ve said before, it’s not the same. A few suggestions to help combat isolation are:
- Regularly scheduled calls for employees to chat about either work or personal lives
- Regular in-person gatherings. These don’t have to be often, for example, many remote-first companies have quarterly or biannual in-person meetings.
The importance of effective communication is amplified when people don’t have access to all the subtleties of face-to-face communication. It becomes harder to read people via words on Slack or email. To get around this, managers can:
- Encourage impromptu conversations, similar to those that would happen in an office
- Encourage staff to use all the tools available to communicate, maybe more so than usual as there isn’t a physical office
Reliance on Technology
Today’s technology is one of the core reasons that remote working is possible in the first place. High-speed internet is now widely available in many countries.
This is in addition to tools such as Click Up, Asana, and Trickle. The flip side is that if the technology fails, it can cripple a company’s operations. These can cause a business to halt even in normal centralised circumstances, but when it’s essentially a decentralised system, it’s even more at the mercy of things not going wrong.
Another aspect of this is IT security. Generally, when a business has a designated office that everyone comes to, it’s easier for an IT team to build a system that is secure. However, that can be a bit more tricky when people work remotely on different ISPs, particularly if they use co-working spaces with public wifi. There are ways to try to combat this, including creating VPNs that users can use to protect themselves from criminals.
Health Management for Remote Working
Some employees will find working remotely beneficial to their health in numerous ways, including:
- Less or no commuting
- Being able to get more sleep
- Control over their own workspace
- Able to fit life around work
- More time to exercise
However, others may also find that their health takes a nosedive working remotely. Some of the reasons for this are:
- Not taking adequate breaks
- Poor nutrition
- Poor posture
- Inadequate working set-up
It’s important that any company with a partially or fully remote working environment provides their staff with the right tools to ensure their health isn’t impacted negatively.
Build a Strong Culture for Your Remote Team with Trickle
If you have a remote team, you’ll need to ensure that it doesn’t feel that way. A great way to do this is by using our platform to gain regular, accurate insights into how staff are feeling.
You can also use it to share important information and give recognition to employees who have been performing well.
Click the link below to get your free demo today.
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By giving your people a place to voice their suggestions & concerns when they need to, you’ll inspire a happier, more productive and loyal workforce.