Workplace culture is vital because it affects how happy, motivated, and productive employees are. It determines how teams communicate and interact with each other, affecting work performance and a company’s overall success. Implementing a remote workplace culture can seem challenging at first, but leaders can use specific strategies to build a positive culture that helps remote teams thrive.
What Is Workplace Culture?
The term “workplace culture” refers to an organization’s unique personality and character. It consists of beliefs, traditions, values, behaviors, attitudes and interactions. Culture includes employees’ behaviors, how they feel about their work, how they relate to each other, and how much they feel supported and valued by their supervisors. Workplace culture will develop naturally within an organization, and it can either be positive or negative.
Toxic attitudes and negative behaviors that go unaddressed can cultivate an unhealthy work climate whose damaging effects can spread throughout an organization. Positive workplace culture impacts satisfaction and happiness, drives performance, increases engagement, and attracts talent. When employees are satisfied and happy at work, they will devote more time and care to their work and the organization as a whole.
As a result of positive workplace culture, employees will give their best effort and increase their work performance. This can-do mindset allows companies to increase their success and financially outperform their competitors. Culture is also an asset for growing teams looking to attract top talent. When searching for new jobs, candidates evaluate potential workplaces and look for organizations with stellar reputations. Candidates value a workplace’s climate and will be more willing to work for a company that cultivates a positive atmosphere.
How to Create a Remote Workplace Culture
Leaders of remote teams must understand how to build remote team culture to help their employees and operations thrive. Employees are typically happier, healthier, more productive and loyal to a company when they can work remotely. However, remote work can pose some obstacles to building workplace culture.
Implementing a remote workplace can be challenging, but fostering a positive workplace culture can help employees feel supported, motivated and confident to do their best work for your organization. You can build a positive remote team culture with the following strategies.
1. Communicate Clearly
Communication cultivates trust. Regularly check in with your employees about their responsibilities, the company’s goals and any workplace policies to follow. Training and regular touchpoints give them more confidence in their work by ensuring they understand how to correctly complete their assigned tasks.
Communicating also involves asking questions, welcoming feedback, and listening attentively. Encourage employees to speak up, and reiterate that you value their thoughts, ideas and concerns. Let them know you are available to offer support whenever they need help.
2. Support and Value New Employees Through Onboarding
When new employees are starting at your company, it’s crucial to make them feel welcome and valued. Create a plan and schedule meetings to provide them with resources that will help them succeed. Use onboarding time to help new employees become familiar with their colleagues, projects, and processes. These tactics will reduce stress and make them feel confident and engaged with the work they will be doing.
Assign small tasks and projects to new employees to familiarize them with the job. Provide extra support during the first few weeks by checking in with them and helping where needed. Onboarding new employees in groups can create a sense of community and minimize redundancies in training.
3. Prioritize Meaningful Work
Employees often feel they need to respond to every email or request immediately, no matter how minor. Doing so can distract from tasks that require uninterrupted attention, so emphasize that employees can devote blocks of time to mission-critical work and attend to smaller tasks afterward. Set boundaries that everyone on the team understands, such as status settings, scheduled time blocks, and days or weeks without meetings.
4. Schedule Face-to-Face Meetings
Meeting in person or face to face through video calls allows you to build closer relationships with your employees. It also gives your employees a chance to get to know their co-workers and interact positively with each other. Meeting face to face can help reduce any isolation remote workers may experience by making them feel more connected to the team and your organization as a whole.
5. Proactively Resolve Conflicts
Communication can be challenging in a remote work setup because leaders don’t have the chance to hear conversations in the office or observe conflicts that may arise. Leaders should regularly check in with employees and ask if they have any concerns. When conflicts arise, it’s best to address them privately with the relevant employees instead of bringing them up with your entire team. It’s essential to address any flagging morale before it turns into the negativity that spreads and leads to more conflict.
The Benefits of Remote Workplace Culture
Positive remote workplace culture gives people a robust sense of belonging and connection. It provides employees with a shared sense of purpose that unites them and creates team camaraderie. As a result, regular check-ins become natural, and feelings of isolation dissipate. A healthy remote work culture also strengthens relationships, improving communication and building trust, leading to more efficient teamwork.
Building positive remote workplace culture also prepares companies for future success. In 2020, the United States Office of Personnel Management found that 84% of employers felt they had the necessary tools and resources to successfully transition to remote work in response to future emergencies.
Remote work is most likely the new norm following the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s critical for companies to implement a framework that prepares them if they ever have to transition to a fully remote structure. If they already have a successful remote workplace culture in place, they can avoid the challenges that come with a sudden shift in routine.
Learn More About Instant Teams
The Instant Teams’ remote team marketplace uses skills-based hiring to match companies with an untapped talent community composed primarily of military spouses, and our remote-ready boot camp prepares individuals with the skills they need to work remotely. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your company build a remote team fast.