Creating a Strong Office Culture in a Remote or Hybrid Workplace
With the workplace constantly evolving, there’s become more of a need than ever to outline ways to truly create a strong office culture outside the office. This means finding ways to maintain a value-driven environment even in the remote workplace. That way your team feels more connected to the work they’re doing and the team they’re doing it with.
Write it Out!
It’s very important that your company has its culture and values written out in a way that’s easy to understand and comprehensive. This document will always be a living document meaning it should evolve over time as your company grows and changes. What should be in this document, you may ask? The answer is, well, it varies!
You should include as many details needed to effectively communicate your culture and values to current and new employees. It’s important to include sections such as performance measurement tools, expectations, and culture-fit assessments. No detail is too small! Once your document is ready, distribute it to every single employee. It may even be helpful to hold a meeting to talk it over with your employees to make sure everyone agrees and understands the culture and values expected of the remote workplace.
Make it Public
No matter how small or big your company, it’s great to share things such as culture and value to the public. This sharing can come in many forms: slide decks, press releases, social media posts, the list is abundant. The form you use to share is slightly less important than the fact that your company shared in the first place.
By being transparent and open with your company’s culture and values, this serves as a great way to share what culture you are striving for. This holds the company and employees to a higher standard when these expectations have been made public. Accountability is an important piece when it comes to a remote workplace. It becomes “easier” for employees to stray when they aren’t in the office, so this serves as a great company culture self-check for employees. It also can be a great way for potential job candidates to learn more about the company and its culture.
The Water Cooler Effect
When working in an office setting was the norm, there usually tended to be a place in the office where employees gathered to talk. In more traditional offices, this place tended to be the water cooler. Now that we have evolved to a hybrid or entirely remote workplace, there is no longer this water cooler effect.
Similar to a physical office space, it’s a great idea to create a virtual “water cooler.” You can do this by using a messaging or chat application such as Slack and creating a channel for random or casual conversation within employees. Too often a feeling of isolation kicks in when this office chit chat and social interactions are missing in remote workplaces. Make sure you do set some guidelines about appropriate language and behavior in this messaging channel. It’s important to still have some fun with it!
Meet, Learn, Measure
When new employees are coming aboard, make them feel just as welcomed as you would in a physical office setting. Don’t ignore this small, but meaningful part of someone’s on-boarding process. Any easy way to do this is to hold a quick video meeting where they can share some fun facts about themselves and meet the team. This easily puts faces to names, and avoids introductions being lost in email chains, while also creating personal connections to the current team.
The more time you can spend fostering team bonding, the more connected the team will be. More ways to do this is by finding inventive ways to engage employees by holding fun virtual events like trivia, cooking competitions, and ice breakers. A great way to measure employee engagement is through employee pulse checks. These can be surveys or weekly emails you can have your employees do to gauge how they’re doing, feeling, and improvements they’d like to see. This is a great way to open dialogues about employee issues that haven’t been addressed.
We hope you found these tips for building a strong office culture in a remote workplace to be helpful and insightful. If you’re a manager and would like to learn more about this topic, check out our Manager Crash Course series and other virtual events we put on here at HR Annie. As always, the HR Annie is here to help with your HR needs!