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6 Steps for Maintaining Company Culture While Remote Working

Maintaining company culture while working remotely is crucial to building a solid virtual work environment. As the world continues to navigate the challenges of remote work, one of the key concerns for employers is maintaining a strong and cohesive company culture.

After all, a workplace's culture makes it feel like a place where employees can thrive and do their best work. But how do you maintain that sense of community and belonging when everyone is working from different locations?

In this blog post, Kapsys will explore the key factors that need emphasis and maintenance to build and sustain a remote team culture.

Also, we'll share practical tips on building culture virtually and examine the unique challenges of balancing company culture and remote work. So if you're an employer or manager looking to keep your remote team connected and engaged, read on to learn how to maintain culture while working remotely.

The Importance of Maintaining Company Culture

Maintaining a strong company culture is essential for keeping remote teams engaged and productive. However, it can be challenging. As an employer, you know that building a remote team culture goes beyond just organizing virtual team-building activities or company events. To create a virtual environment where team members feel connected to you and get your support, you must establish regular communication and ensure your employees feel that you hear and value them.

A recent study by HR consulting firm Mercerfound that more than 40% of businesses have experienced a moderate to high impact on their infrastructure due to the shift to remote work. This highlights the challenges employers face when maintaining company culture and remote work.

In the following lines, we'll explore the key factors that need emphasis and maintenance to build and sustain a remote team culture. We'll also share practical tips on building culture virtually and examine the challenges of balancing company culture and remote work. Whether you're an employer or manager, this post will provide valuable insights on maintaining culture while working remotely.

How Much Does Culture Matter to Your Employees, Even When Remote?

A survey by TELUS International found that 51% of respondents felt less connected to their company culture while working remotely due to the pandemic.

To address this, employers must prioritize building a robust remote team culture. This includes fostering small talk and interactions among colleagues, promoting collaboration among team members, and creating a clear separation between work and home life.

A study by the Hinge Research Institute found that 57% of job seekers consider culture as important as pay when evaluating job prospects. 75% of talent recruiters prioritize cultural fit over a candidate's work history and experience.

Additionally, 73% of respondents identified a defined and articulated culture as the top key element of a company's reputation as a workplace. 

Building a solid company culture virtually is crucial for attracting and retaining top talent in the remote work era.

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6 Steps For Maintaining Company Culture While Remote Working

Reinforcing company culture while working remotely is a collective effort where HR staff, managers, and the organization have a crucial role.  Also, empowering employees to contribute to reinforcing culture is essential in maintaining the company culture in the current remote work scenario. Here are 6 Steps for maintaining company culture while remote working:

  • Reinforce and Focus on the Culture You Want to Develop

Maintaining company culture while working remotely is essential for the success of remote employees. The first step is to actively discuss the existing culture with senior leadership, managers, and employees and determine if it aligns with the desired remote team culture. If it does, find ways to reinforce it.  One way to do this is by defining the culture you want to strengthen and encouraging each team to establish team norms that promote collaboration and cohesion while working remotely.  These norms should be shared with other teams to ensure consistency across the organization. Organizations can provide a positive and productive remote work environment by actively managing and building the company culture virtually.

  • Trust Your Employees

Maintaining a positive company culture while working remotely requires trust and respect for employees.  Monitoring remote employees can harm motivation and productivity. Instead of over-monitoring remote workers, there are alternative methods. For example, you can implement shared work schedules through tools like Trello, Asana, and Jira to keep teams informed and in touch with each other's progress.  Utilizing communication and collaboration tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Jabber, Workplace by Facebook, and Quip can help remote teams interact effectively without needing multiple Zoom meetings.  By being aware of the day-to-day work activities of team members through these tools, you improve trust and respect within the company culture, enhancing the overall remote work experience.

  • Develop the Behavior That Reinforces Your Desired Culture

Leadership skills are crucial when coordinating projects and building a cohesive team in a virtual workforce. To address the challenges of working remotely, managers should be equipped with the following:

  • Setting stretch goals and objectives for team members to rise to the challenge of remote work.
  • Establishing performance standards so employees know what is expected of them.
  • Fostering a culture of accountability and providing critical feedback to employees.
  • Communicating clearly about goals, contributions, successes, problems, and opportunities to build trust among the team.
  • Helping employees manage distractions and leading effectively in a virtual environment.
  • Building relationships with employees and encouraging active participation.
  • Responding promptly to employee requests for help, input, time, and feedback.
  • Paying attention to employees' growth and development needs, addressing them through regular coaching and development conversations. Also, providing virtual training opportunities.
  • Embrace Transparency in All Employee Interactions

Maintaining remote team culture is critical for successful remote work. One key aspect of this is transparent communication, as it helps to build trust among employees, especially during times of crisis.  A survey of remote workers found that:

  • 48% felt transparency was crucial for feeling a sense of job security.
  • 47% wanted to hear from leadership about how the company's impact and what measures were being taken to protect it. 
  • 38% felt their company could do more to keep employees informed. 

This highlights the importance of clear and consistent communication in building and maintaining remote team culture.

  • Enhance Employee Work-Life Balance and Flexibility

Maintaining remote team culture while working remotely requires attention to the work-life balance of employees. One way to do this is by reinforcing your organizational caring culture by supporting working parents. For example, child care, more flexible leave policies, and virtual social activities.  Additionally, acknowledging remote employees' challenges, such as balancing work and family responsibilities. You can do this by scheduling meetings and interactions during core hours and respecting family time.  For example, allowing employees to start their workday later to accommodate virtual learning for their children. These actions can help to build and maintain a positive remote team culture.

  • Address Mental Health Issues Your Employees May Experience

Maintaining remote team culture while working remotely requires attention to employee work-life balance issues and promoting positive mental health.  Remote workers may experience mental health issues such as loneliness, missing daily interaction with colleagues, and economic anxiety.  A study by Mercer found that 37% of companies surveyed reported employees experiencing mental health issues due to social isolation. Employers can combat these issues by reinforcing their culture of caring, empathy, consideration, and gratitude.  Also, you can do this by encouraging employee assistance programs (EAPs), frequently checking in on employees, and allowing them to take mental health days for relaxation. 

Maintaining Company Culture While Remote Working: Conclusion

In conclusion, maintaining company culture while remote working can be challenging, but it is not impossible. These actions can help to build and maintain a positive remote team culture. Communicate transparently and consistently with employees to build trust. Furthermore, pay attention to employee work-life balance issues and provide support.  Next, promote positive mental health by encouraging employee assistance programs. Frequently checking in on employees and allowing them to take mental health days. Remember to encourage virtual social activities and interaction among remote employees.  Also, providing training and resources to help employees adapt to remote work is essential. Acknowledge and appreciating remote employees' hard work and dedication can positively impact your workplace. By implementing these steps, employers can create a culture of positivity and support for their remote workers.

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