Being attentive and listening to employee needs and feelings is a good way to start, as well as being flexible and open in ways that can allow them to feel more comfortable.
Recent events have changed the world of work in an array of different ways, and one of the biggest shifts we’ve seen is a move out of offices and traditional workspaces and into home working environments. More people are working from home than ever before, and this can offer both benefits and drawbacks for businesses and individual workers alike.
On the plus side, working from home is often much more convenient for all involved. Workers don’t need to worry as much about their commutes and employers can connect with their teams in an instant via online communication platforms. At the same time, remote working has caused issues for aspects like productivity, motivation, and company culture too.
Maintaining your usual company culture and office vibes when people aren’t actually in the office can be a real challenge. It’s not possible to carry out the usual team-building activities and collaborative exercises you usually would, and connections between employees can start to weaken due to the distance. In response, let’s take a look at some ways in which you can preserve company culture, even from afar.
Be Open, Honest, and Transparent in Your Interactions
Transparency is one of the keys for maintaining workplace culture when working remotely. It’s vital for everyone, from low-level employees right up to business owners and bosses, to be open and honest in their actions and interactions, as this is what helps to build and foster trust. This is true across all industries and every kind of business, whether your specialty is in personal loans, grocery deliveries, seed banks or weed strains.
If employees don’t know what’s going on or feel like things are being hidden from them, they’ll start to worry and doubt, potentially even imagining that things are a lot worse than they really are, which can affect their mental health, spread unnecessary rumors among your teams, and reduce productivity in a big way too.
This is why it’s so vital to keep everyone informed, both on the good news and the bad news. Hiding things from your employees or masking over the truth will rarely, if ever, lead to positive results, but being open and honest with them can generate a lot of positivity in both the short term and the long term.
Show Faith in Your Employees
One of the best ways in which you can maintain a positive company culture while your teams are working remotely is to show trust and confidence in your employees. Countless studies and surveys show that employees who feel trusted are much more likely to have high levels of motivation and positivity too, leading to a better vibe and stronger productivity rates.
In contrast, employees who don’t feel trusted will be much more likely to feel stressed and demotivated in regard to their work, and in these trying times, when you can’t physically see and interact with workers in the usual office environment, it can be easy for trust issues to develop.
Some bosses and managers respond to this by forcing teams into non-stop Zoom meetings and trying to micro-manage every aspect of the working day. Don’t make the same mistake and put unnecessary pressure on your teams. Show faith and confidence in them to carry out their duties without strict scheduling and needless interruptions.
Reinforce Your Culture Remotely
Workplace culture is something that develops organically over time, influenced by many different factors, such as the people you employee, the way you work, and how your teams tend to operate. Even when working remotely, culture still exists and can change over time. It won’t just vanish, but it’s up to you to ensure it remains consistent with your vision.
Speak with your senior staff and team leaders to set out exactly what kind of culture you want to set up at your workplace and then try to find ways to bring it about in remote working interactions. If your company is all about teamwork, for example, look for tools that can be used to help employees communicate and collaborate from afar.
Even the little things can make a big difference here. Maybe your office has a tradition of going out to a restaurant or bar together once a month, and even though you might not be able to keep the exact same idea going, you can come up with new ways to maintain that sense of togetherness, like virtual movie nights with your workers.
Offer Flexibility to Your Employees
One way to promote a strong company culture while working remotely is to actually look at and emphasize the positive aspects of remote work. Instead of seeing it as a challenge or focusing on the downsides, try to look at all the ways in which this can benefit your employees and strengthen your business.
For example, remote work allows employees to be more flexible with their working hours and gives them new ways to establish and maintain a good work-life balance. You can use this to your advantage, and the advantage of your employees, by actually allowing them to make a few adjustments and alterations in order to work more happily.
Perhaps you can offer more flexible hours to workers who have children, for example, allowing them to adapt more easily to the ‘new normal’, or allow employees to take breaks at different times to usual in order to meet the demands of their personal lives.
Don’t Forget About Mental Health
During these trying times, a lot of focus has been placed on physical health issues and ailments, but it’s important not to forget or underestimate the importance of mental health too, especially among your employees.
Adjusting to remote work has been a challenge for a lot of people, leaving many feeling pressured, scared, confused, and lonely. Not everyone is finding the adjustment easy, and employers can make changes and efforts to address this issue and provide help to those in need.
Being attentive and listening to employee needs and feelings is a good way to start, as well as being flexible and open in ways that can allow them to feel more comfortable. It’s also important to keep communication channels open for your teams, helping them maintain a social connection and reduce the risk of loneliness.