Culture is an integral part of any firm that wants to succeed. It’s a combination of values, goals, and mission which takes time to build and it can’t just be created overnight.
Your company culture is the reason your staff choose to keep coming back to work each day and ultimately becomes the heart of your entire organization.
Unfortunately, the recent transition to remote work during the pandemic has made it difficult for many to make them feel part of the team.
Now that most staff are working outside their usual office environment, employers are searching for new ways they can reach across the virtual divide and go the extra mile.
With that in mind, here’s how you can continue cultivating an inclusive office culture within a virtual work environment.
4 Ways To Cultivate A Great Office Culture In A Virtual Environment
1. Create Purpose Beyond Profit
Purpose is the beginning, the starting point, and the reason your brand exists. And despite what many believe, the true purpose of a company is never really about profit margins, getting in the black, or the bottom line.
Your purpose is the common goal that all your staff can work towards as a team and the positive change you hope to make within this world.
Your purpose is critical in any company, but even more so with a virtual workforce as it helps create a shared connection and laser focus of guidance. It’s also the key to creating a positive work environment which provides concrete understanding and motivates your staff to succeed.
As long as your remote staff understand the core purpose of your organization, it will ultimately help them accomplish brand goals together as a team.
2. Hire The Right Team Members
For a positive company culture, employers need to develop an optimistic work-environment by hiring the right staff.
Always be honest with possible hires during the interview process, especially regarding work environments, employee expectations, and if there are any performance measurements.
Once staff have been onboarded, provide employees with proactive avenues for them to discuss issues openly with both upper management and team members alike. You should also set recurring online meetings for your team members so you can establish the anticipated pace for each project.
3. Promote Open Communication
When it comes to creating a positive remote culture, communication is one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way. That’s why providing open communication channels is vital to help build a sense of belonging for all people in your teams.
Setting up well known standards of virtual communication is the best way to ensure clarity for etiquette while encouraging conversations that are open, honest, and necessary. Cultivating communication is key for teams to be able to understand each other personally while also working together professionally.
Despite what many may believe, it’s just not possible to over-communicate when working remotely. In reality, under-communication is actually one of the number one reasons why remote staff decide to quit.
That’s because open communication reduces uncertainty and doubt within online teams, while ensuring productivity is increased so that tasks are completed, and all deadlines are met. Because when effective communication processes are available with access to the right channels, you can create a positive culture in an online work environment.
4. Allow For Flexible Schedules
You can’t expect all of your remote staff to perform at the same level as each other every day by approaching their management with one-size-fits-all scheduling.
Everyone is different, of course, but allowing virtual staff to adjust their own work hours will actually help create better focus which enhances their productivity. But while it’s good to provide flexibility, boundaries are still important, as is job satisfaction and a healthy balance between work and life.
That’s why you should still encourage your remote employees to do most of their work during normal business hours and stick to a similar routine whenever possible.
You should also avoid containing them after hours, but still check in if to make sure they aren’t overworking themselves. Because without the normal restrictions of working 9 to 5 in the office, some team members may keep working later and later each day and end up burning out.
Now that virtual teams have quickly become the new normal for us all, employers need to find new and exciting ways for them to engage with each other. Because in these new virtual work environments, it is imperative that your remote workers successfully incorporate the updated culture of your online offices.
With just a little extra planning and forward thinking, you can create a positive company culture around your remote teams.
And as you start rolling out these new initiatives, remember to concentrate on translating your original principles to develop an effective, sustainable, and positive online environment. Because the right office culture will ensure your company always retains their best talent.
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Felix is the co-founder of GrowthBoost, an online journal covering the latest software and marketing tips for entrepreneurs. Alongside digital journalism, Felix recently graduated from university with a finance degree and enjoys helping students and other young founders grow their projects.