Healthy company culture isn’t something that happens by accident. It takes a dedicated effort to build a work environment that thrives on trust, mutual respect, camaraderie, diversity, and a common mission. Achieving all of these goals is even more complex now that hybrid and remote work is the norm.
Company Culture Challenges in Remote Work Environments
While workers overwhelmingly prefer the convenience and flexibility of remote work, work culture can suffer without the connections that tend to be made in the office.
Communication can break down, and information silos that already exist can be intensified. Team members who work remotely may feel as though they don’t receive the same support and opportunities as their coworkers who work in the office.
Benefits of Building a Thriving Company Culture
Culture is just as important in a remote work environment. The culture you build impacts your ability to attract and retain workers. Additionally, a strong remote work culture drives creativity, collaboration, and respect.
This drive leads to better productivity, enhanced growth, and an improved customer experience. It’s worth taking time to identify potential roadblocks to a healthier company culture and to take steps to create a better work environment for everyone.
Building Connections to Improve Remote Company Culture
Ultimately, company culture is all about connections. When workers connect with one another, the work they do, and the company mission, you can credit that to a positive culture. The challenge lies in building that culture when most or all team members work remotely. Here are some strategies for company leaders to adopt:
Adjust Perks and Benefits
The perks and benefits you offer beyond salary and health insurance contribute to a positive work culture. They make workers feel appreciated and create a better work environment. For in-office staff, you might offer lunches on the company dime, a gym, or a comfortable lounge.
Unfortunately, these perks don’t have the same impact on a remote work culture. Worse, in a hybrid environment, they can leave remote team members feeling left out. Consider offering some perks that are inclusive for remote workers:
- Workspace and technology stipends
- Wellness perks such as gym membership reimbursement
- Meal delivery
- Monthly health and wellness allowances
- Training stipends
These benefits communicate to remote workers that you value their quality of life and appreciate their contributions.
Publish a Transparent Remote Work Policy
Misunderstandings and poorly managed expectations can ruin work culture. Everyone must be clear on expectations and roles.
When most companies moved to remote work, many assumed it was temporary. They didn’t bother to create clear policies. Instead, many assumed that they could simply handle issues as they came up, and then things would return to normal.
Now that remote work has been normalized, there needs to be clearly written policies that are made available to everyone in the organization. These policies can eliminate any feelings of favoritism or accusations that some workers may be taking advantage of their situation.
Encourage Workers to Give Honest Feedback
Any efforts to assess and improve virtual company culture should be based on reliable insights, not assumptions.
Leadership should never assume that things are fine simply because team members aren’t approaching them with issues. Instead, leaders should actively reach out to employees to encourage them to offer honest feedback, anonymously if needed.
Make a Dedicated Effort to Strengthen Communication
Good communication is a valuable feature of remote work culture. Without in-person connections, workers don’t take part in the small conversations that tend to take place in any office. It’s important to find ways to compensate for this.
In remote teams, communication needs to be frequent, detailed, and contextualized. Here are some tips for facilitating better communication in a virtual environment:
- Use messaging tools to help keep remote workers engaged
- Encourage face-to-face communication with video meetings
- Check in with remote workers between formal meetings and conferences
- Invite remote workers to take part in workplace social activities
Consider creating a company intranet site or digital newsletter to share updates and other company news with all employees.
Count on Strong HR Support to Build a Great Remote Culture
Your company is undoubtedly navigating new challenges in trying to create a remote culture that contributes to company growth. Fortunately, you don’t have to figure things out on your own. AssetHR offers support, consulting, and information resources to help you manage your human capital. Connect with us today to learn more.