How to Sustain A Strong Company Culture - Working Remotely
Our ‘New Normal’
Let’s admit it — weathering the disruption caused by COVID-19 proves to be a continuous challenge. If your team has stayed productive while working from home, you may now be pondering how to keep your culture alive and preserve your company values when everyone is remote?
We certainly don’t have all the answers, but here are some of the things that have worked for us.
Company Surveys Are Your Friends!
Before implementing work-from-home policies, it is important to first hear from your team members, and the best way to do this is through surveys. If employees are juggling childcare/homeschool and work, consider allowing for flexible work hours. Some employees may be living with multiple housemates and having to conduct hours of Zoom meetings in their shared space may result in more frustration than productivity. Getting feedback on your employees’ individual concerns allows you, the employer, to craft an inclusive plan that reflects what your company actually needs. Our best advice is to ask plenty of questions to get a feel for what challenges your employees are facing now that they are working from home and what company culture aspects they want to continue while remote.
Communicate Often and Embrace the Opportunity for ‘Face Time’!
It may seem like a simple concept, but now that your team is no longer in the office information may have a harder time reaching everyone. Dedicating 30 minutes a week to a call for quarantine and remote work topics will let your employees stay connected. This standup can be thought of as a conversation starter and a time to be social.
Think about requesting all employees to turn on their web cameras during this recurring meeting. Cameras on for meetings may not be feasible for everyone at all times — but once-a-week could be. Think of it as an ice breaker to start a conversation and make connections between employees more natural.
Keep your Activities Going Remotely!
Lastly, take your fun company events virtual. Many companies have a set of fun activities that everyone enjoys, so find a way to incorporate those into your remote work plan. These more casual activities will add to the ways your employees have to connect and chat with one another. Whether it is a Friday happy hour, a monthly company bingo, a photo scavenger hunt, or charity projects, they can all be continued virtually to make sure that the aspects people appreciated about work are still present. Just make sure not to overwhelm your team with multiple activities a week, making them too frequently may lead to diminished participation.
If transitioning your team’s previous activities to a virtual event proves to be difficult, try and designate an individual or a company email for company activity suggestions. This way employees have a way to provide ideas and input that may re-shape or improve your new remote culture.
At the end of the day, company culture and core values don’t have to disappear now that your team is remote, and while you may make mistakes along the way, the main takeaway is to include your team in the conversation. Make sure to listen to suggestions and continuously make adjustments that will improve your strategy.