In April 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work was at an all-time high. With 62% of employees working from home.
This forced remote environment was many teams’ first encounter with a virtual workforce. As a result, many companies worried about maintaining their company culture while their team worked remotely.
However, companies like Buffer, Basecamp, and HubSpot have been working remotely for years and boast some of the most renowned company cultures. As a result, these remote companies have enjoyed productive teams, reduced turnover, and happier employees.
If your team is struggling to keep the company spirit and mission alive while working virtually, keep these four helpful tips in mind:
1. Document Company Values
Without a defined set of company values, your team and any newcomers will not have a foundation to base the company culture off of.
Work with your leadership team to develop and document your company’s values, mission, and other necessary statements. Then, ensure that all employees have access to these documents when working from home. Some companies also publish their values right on the brand website for all to see and be held accountable!
2. Ensure that Leadership Embraces and Embodies Company Values
If employees see their managers and company executives ignoring company values and culture, why should they be expected to embrace it?
A great company culture—regardless of location—starts from the top. Company leadership and managers must adapt and embody the business’s values through their work, communication, trust in employees, and transparency. Otherwise, how can you expect your virtual employees to do the same?
3. Frequent Communication
Remote employees struggle with feelings of isolation and a lack of communication. This frustration leads to unhappy employees and a disappearing company culture.
Combat this by hosting weekly video meetings to check-in with teams and get their feedback. Communicate all necessary company updates and allow them to chime in as well. This engaging meeting style keeps employees participating and involved with the company, all from the comfort of their home.
4. Schedule Virtual Team Activities
Part of a company’s culture is built in the camaraderie developed from interacting with one another. In an office, you’d be able to grab coffee with your coworkers, chat about your day, and get to know one another simply in passing.
In virtual settings, however, these interactions must be scheduled. But they don’t need to be intimidating! From virtual happy hours to one-on-one meetings with each other to break the ice, these virtual team activities help your team build and maintain a company culture and camaraderie.
Virtual Company Culture Takes Time
Transitioning a company culture to the home office won’t happen overnight. However, if you keep these four tips in mind, your team is well on the way to a happy, productive virtual workforce.