Part 3: Keeping Company Culture Strong in a Remote Environment
April 10, 2020 - Darah Aldridge
This is Part 3 of our Work from Home Blog Series. Click here to read Part 1 and Part 2.
An Environment of Open Communication
It’s sometimes easy to forget that you’re part of a team when you’re working remotely. If your company is just now making the transition from the office to a remote setting then communication is key for keeping your company’s culture alive.
Actively ensuring there’s an open line of communication in the company is an essential step in achieving success, from the entry-level employees all the way to the higher-ups.
Keep the Water Cooler Talk Going
In a normal office environment employees typically take a mental break by conversing with coworkers about life, events, TV shows, movies, etc. In order to maintain your company culture when going remote, it would be best to encourage this form of communication through a dedicated chat.
Tools like Slack allow you to create separate chat channels for different purposes. Let your employees continue the norm by letting the water cooler talk flow.
Collaborate Using Chat and Online Tools
Meeting with your team and bouncing ideas off of one another gets the creative and productive juices flowing. So, how do you replicate that team-oriented environment when everyone is working from home?
Again, there’s a tool for that! Using chat tools like Google Hangouts or Slack will enable your team to collaborate remotely and keep your company’s culture alive and well.
Set a time for everyone to meet in the same chat room or collaborate throughout the day on a dedicated Slack channel. As we all know, collaborating together can create some incredible ideas to move your company forward or win new business. Just because the team is remote doesn’t mean they won’t be as creative, innovative and efficient as before.
If your company’s culture consists of a lot of whiteboard brainstorming then platforms like Miro can help you mimic the whiteboard experience online. Miro allows everyone on the team to write, draw and contribute in real-time.
Again, collaboration doesn’t have to be hindered by a remote environment. With the plethora of tools at businesses’ disposal, it’s easier than ever for your team to connect while apart.
Schedule Mandatory Video Calls
One of the biggest challenges of working remotely is not physically seeing your coworkers. However, that’s easily amended with video calls. Whenever possible, make sure calls are done face-to-face. Observing hand gestures, making eye contact and perceiving someone’s emotions via video call can drastically improve the outcome of the meeting. A voice call, for instance, would likely result in the attendees talking at the same time, causing confusion and creating inefficiency.
If you would normally walk to someone’s office for a meeting, whether for a special project or just to chat, then you should keep up face-to-face communication with video calls whenever possible. Not sure how to effectively get everyone on board and be productive? Start with a mandatory weekly video check-in call and go from there. The more face-to-face time you have the better.
Schedule 1-on-1 and Group Meetings Using Video Chat
Keep the team talking by scheduling weekly meetings over video chat to talk about current projects, problems, opportunities, etc. If you’re collaborating with a teammate on a project then be sure to arrange frequent video meetings for planning and check-ins.
Open communication is key to employee satisfaction and productivity. Start implementing dedicated chat channels, video calls, and online collaboration as early as possible in your transition to remote work for more streamlined company growth.
Over the next few weeks, as the business world works to quickly adjust to our current reality, we will begin unpacking all of the relevant ways to digitize and dematerialize your processes, procedures, and offerings in our Work from Home Blog Series.
We are happy to point the DIY’ers out there in the right direction or to assemble our team to get it done for you. Whatever it takes for you to succeed! We have been helping businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations enhance their productivity and “go-remote” since 2006.
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