Not because your colleagues are not physically with you while you work does it mean that company culture is already a thing of the past.
There’s no doubt that we’re living in some of the most unprecedented times. Technology is a major help as it makes it possible for most workplaces to operate remotely, easing the risks and dangers for a good portion of the population. However, there are still quite a number of significant challenges that need to be addressed.
The creation of team culture is one of the biggest hurdles for most leaders and managers. Whether they’re in an actual workplace or a digital one, creating an environment that is conducive for collaborations among its members can be tricky. It’s especially challenging now since messaging apps, video conferences, and collaborative software cannot replace casual social interactions like impromptu huddles and water cooler chats.
The Importance of Fostering Team Culture While Working from Home
Some might be wondering, why is it necessary to build a good team culture even when everyone’s already working from home? The answer is simple – it can help keep employees motivated and in good spirits. These two are essential if you want productivity.
The fact of the matter is, remote work is not for everyone. Some thrive in getting away from the hustle and bustle of a shared workplace while others find it hard to work alone. Lots of people find fun at work by being around others and getting instant feedback and guidance. It’s also very easy to feel disconnected and disengaged when you’re working away from your colleagues.
Managers and team leaders are greatly responsible for keeping the employees under their wings in top shape. Missing the signs of an employee’s job dissatisfaction and lack of motivation can greatly affect a team’s bottom line and output.
Unfortunately, the ability to detect such things isn’t exactly natural for a lot of leaders. This is not something to be ashamed of, especially since the setup is new for everyone. The smiles and laughter that you’ll see on video meetings and the perky emails and chats will not always be enough to tell you that something’s off.
So how can you tell and what should you do if your team is showing signs of remote work fatigue? This is where building a good company culture while working remotely is essential. By creating one, your interactions with your subordinates and co-workers will keep everyone in high spirits despite the challenging situation we’re all in.
4 Ways to Build Team Culture in a Remote Workplace
How do you foster a healthy team culture even when everyone’s working from home, you ask? Here are four tips that you’ll find useful:
Open venues for communication
Not because you don’t feel that there’s a need to interact with your teammates essential in order to achieve your work goals does it mean that others feel the same way. Your subordinates or colleagues may need to stay connected with others in order to avoid feeling disengaged. Most of the time, videoconferences are not enough and may even be too taxing for some.
This is why opening other ways to communicate with your team is crucial at the moment. Staying in touch at micro and macro levels could help a lot of workers stay focused, motivated, and a part of a team. This can be done by creating chat channels for teams and affinity groups. They can quickly provide venues for casual interactions and quick feedback. They’ll also be very useful in quick information dissemination for company announcements and updates.
Practice what you preach, as they say
These times of remote work setups are the best opportunities to live out your company’s vision. Most employees may not know the exact words that are written on your company website but if you embody it, they will be able to quickly express it in words when asked.
Uphold a sense of community
Again, your number one enemy when it comes to working remotely is the feeling of disengagement that lots of workers experience. You can combat this by maintaining a sense of community among your workers. So even if you are not in one place, they can still feel like they’re a part of something.
Lots of expert leaders recommend doing all-company huddles regularly. These are informal forums where announcements, shoutouts, and other non-work related topics can be discussed. It has proven to be useful in providing social interactions to those who don’t get as much at home.
Use various methods to communicate
In the workplace, managers and supervisors can always walk the floor to check up on their team. You can’t easily do that nowadays without disrupting others’ workflow so it’s best to utilize different ways to communicate with team members. It’s ideal to allow your team some flexibility when it comes to reaching out to you and to the team as these relaxed and spontaneous connections can help everyone to stay productive.
Building a great team culture can always be challenging and the change of pace and setups that remote work brought in makes it even trickier. However, with a good dose of communication, it can still be done so don’t fret. Try out our tips and you can be sure to get the results you need.
Founder, Editor-In-Chief // A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, ICANN, and Raytheon. A mentor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Entrepreneur School, Dr. David Choi. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; and invested in some. // Let's Connect: email@example.com