With so many companies having successfully made use of remote work for so long, there has been some worry that this extended means of operation will have a detrimental impact on company culture. Let’s discuss why this is something to avoid, as well as how to avoid this withering of your team’s collective working relationship.
To begin, let’s discuss what makes it so important to establish a healthy company culture in the first place.
Company Culture is Key to Your Continued Productivity
The whole point behind having a healthy company culture is to help keep your employees engaged with the overall goals that the company has established, as well as to attract additional talent to the business. Interconnectivity is crucial to developing these kinds of relationships, with visibility into the progress made by the entire team.
Naturally, remote work has made this kind of connection a lot more challenging to sustain. In fact, a global survey found that 51 percent of respondents had experienced a loss of connection to their company culture after the COVID-19 pandemic forced them into remote work. Out of the interactions with their coworkers, in-person collaboration, or having a definite line between work and home, these respondents actually indicated that they most miss spending time with their fellow employees.
On top of this, company culture is very high on the average prospect’s list of considerations. Another study found that 57 percent of job seekers consider it equally as important as pay, while 75 percent of recruiters rank how well an applicant fits into the culture a company has established more highly than the prospect’s experience.
On top of this, 73 percent of this survey’s respondents closely associated a company’s culture with its reputation as a whole.
iCIMS chief people officer Jewell Parkinson credits a company’s culture for spurring on a list of common business priorities:
- Customer Satisfaction
- Customer Retention
All of which would presumably suffer if there were to be any drop in culture as a result of remote work (as the first survey we mentioned suggests indeed did indeed happen for many). This means that there needs to be direct activities to remedy these impacts amongst your remote workers.
Let’s go into a few such activities for your consideration:
How to Keep a Remote Team Engaged
See to Your Remote Workers’ Needs
This one may be a little boring and predictable, but it is invariably important for any business utilizing a remote workforce to see to. If your team members are able to work from home, you should be doing everything that you can to facilitate their efforts. This may range from providing them with the equipment they’ll need to do so effectively to subsidizing their Internet costs. Tying into this, your workers will also need to know what your expectations of them will be. You’ll need to have policies and expectations developed and dispersed to your team members that cover matters like:
- If remote workers are expected to stick to regular office hours, or if their work schedule can be more flexible.
- Which tools remote team members should use to collaborate with the rest of their team.
- Whether remote employees are able to work remotely while traveling, and how remote time-off requests are to be handled.
Establish Company Culture and Create Reasons to Socialize
It’s a simple equation: the less time your employees spend around one another, the fewer opportunities they’ll have to form the bonds that encourage teamwork and loyalty. For all its benefits, this is one of the biggest drawbacks that remote work brings with it.
Therefore, you need to do what you can to establish a positive company culture and motivate your employees to interact more with one another. Hold events that bring your in-house and remote teams together and allow them to be themselves. This encourages both halves to develop a more cohesive relationship, now that they know each other a little better.
Acknowledge Remote Work from the Beginning
It also helps to include the concept of remote work into your business overall. For instance, by involving it in your onboarding information, you can instill an acceptance of it in your team members from the get-go.
Remote Work Doesn’t Have to Cost You Your Company Culture
With our assistance, remote work becomes a lot easier to manage, allowing you to focus more of your efforts on retaining the culture you’ve developed over the years. To find out more about the services we can provide to help support your business’ technology (both in-house and remote), give us a call at (717) 827-7400.