In the past couple of years, working remotely has become the norm. As employees get used to working from the comforts of their homes, employers have to tackle a big challenge. How to promote a workplace culture in this situation?
Working remotely has its perks. But it also has the tendency to instill a laid-back attitude in the employees. Naturally, you wouldn’t want productivity to be compromised due to this. Therefore, it’s time to take matters into your own hands.
Why Maintain Workplace Culture While Working Remotely?
A lot of effort goes into building a workplace culture suited to your company’s goals and vision. But few realize its importance. Workplace culture encourages your employees to remain productive and contribute to the company’s growth. It ensures that the employees find fulfillment and satisfaction in their jobs.
Keep in mind that workplace culture doesn’t merely rely on team-building activities, excursions, or celebrations. There’s a lot more to it and you don’t want to find yourself working backward.
If you want to maintain a remote workplace culture, you have to ensure your team members feel connected and protected, even virtually. Everyone has to feel that the entire team is playing their part and working hard together.
This will ensure your employees remain connected to your goals and vision. But how to achieve this? What can you do to establish workplace culture even as your employees work remotely?
Creating a Positive Workplace Culture While Working Remotely
It’s not just the employers who value workplace culture. In fact, it’s one of the main things employees tend to look for too.
In fact, when people were asked what they missed about their office most responded that they did not like the lack of interaction with their colleagues. Employees miss collaborating with a team as they work remotely. Additionally, they feel there is no difference between work and home. It’s easy to lose your enthusiasm to work in these circumstances.
Hence, establishing a great workplace culture as employees work remotely is more crucial than ever! Naturally, the HR staff and managers have a critical role to play in this. Here’s how you can proceed.
Reinforce the Workplace Culture of Your Office
Every company has a workplace culture, some even unintentionally. You have to discuss the culture you want to enforce with your seniors, managers, and employees.
If you liked the culture enforced in your office when your employees did not work remotely, reinforce it. Define the culture you want to be implemented in your organization to your employees. Encourage every team and department to establish norms designed to strengthen their abilities and enhance productivity. Have the teams communicate with each other and discuss their accepted norms.
Send day-to-day reminders of your preferred workplace culture. If your office had the tradition of eating lunch together, have your employees do the same virtually.
Meet with your team weekly for support and updates. Share progress and celebrate occasions even if the employees work remotely.
Develop the Right Behavior
Nothing is more vital than strong leadership when the team is working remotely. You have to coordinate projects and ensure that the entire team collaborates for a unified goal. It’s natural to miss cues while working remotely.
This is where the leadership skills of the managers will play a role. They should have the ability to coach, train, or support the team as the need may be.
Set goals and objectives for the team, which will challenge the employees and encourage them to give it their best shot. Define performance standards for your team. This makes it clear to them performance expectations.
You have to foster a workplace culture where employees feel accountable. Don’t forget to share critical feedback with them, which will help them improve. Furthermore, be sure to help employees manage distractions while working remotely.
Treat Your Employees with Trust
If you expect your employees to rise to the occasion and maintain workplace culture even when not in the office, you have to treat them with respect and trust.
Do not try to over-monitor them as they work remotely. This negatively affects their motivation and productivity. Of course, you want to find their work schedules. But you need to handle this tactfully.
Use tools like Trello and Slack to remain updated with their progress. Use options like Microsoft teams and workplace by Facebook to ensure your team interacts effectively without excessive zoom meetings.
Instead of micromanagement, use workflow and communication tools to remain connected. When everyone is on the same page, you reinforce trust within the team.
Maintaining workplace culture while working remotely wouldn’t be possible without transparent communication. You have to ensure that your employees trust you.
People working remotely often worry about losing their jobs. In such cases, transparency is what helps them sail through. You have to be clear with your employees about how the company is faring and how the current situation is affecting it. Share the measures taken to safeguard the future of their company and also their jobs.
Encourage Work-Life Balance
Employers tend to get carried away when employees are working remotely. Work-life balance is impacted, which subsequently leads to a loss of motivation.
When you give respect to your employee’s work-life balance, you let them know that the organization cares for their wellbeing.
You have to make your policies more flexible according to the changing norms. Offer virtual social activities for reinforcing employee work-life balance. Show your employees that you value their sacrifice and hard work. Acknowledge the challenges of working remotely.
Value Your Employees as They Work Remotely
You wouldn’t be able to maintain a great workplace culture if your team is unmotivated or fatigued. You have to realize that working remotely is new to them too. They may experience mental health issues. Many employees who work in remote settings complain of loneliness and miss their daily co-worker interactions.
As the employer, it’s your responsibility to help them in every way possible. Reinforce an excellent workplace culture by showing them empathy, care, consideration, and gratitude. You will be surprised how positivity it reflects on their productivity.