March 20, 2023

WFH Doesnt Have to Dilute Your Corporate Culture

It’s worth noting that new hires are asked to fill out a Guide To You, which is a quick survey about their work and communication preferences. Thanks to this, the company can easily figure out how to include them in the best possible way. #4 Make it easily accessible and update it regularly – put the handbook on your company’s internal network or website, and make adjustments whenever needed. Strong mission and vision statements are more than just nice motivators that you can hang on your office corkboard. Make them a part of your daily decision-making process by giving them context. It’s more than just a social media scheduler – you can collaborate with your team, analyze their performance, create a social media strategy, and plan ads.

If you haven’t already, you’ve probably thought about hiring someone remotely, or allowing team members to work from home, at least some of the time. And it’s completely understandable, as there are many perks to hiring outside of your locale, or allowing employees to work remotely. They help build trust and rapport, plus they allow you to get to know your team members better. Besides discussing expectations, you can use such meetings to set goals, provide feedback, or just make small talk. A healthy remote work culture can’t be built without a detailed and well-written company handbook.

To achieve this, try and incorporate real-time communication mediums. There are several live chat and intranet tools available out there. Remember, effective communication build team culture encourages trust, transparency, and also boosts the morale of your team. When it comes to remote teams, people aren’t working under a single roof anymore.

How to build culture in a remote work environment

In areas such as Management, Leadership, Work/life balance, and Feedback & recognition, I’m especially proud of what we’ve accomplished as a remote team. It’s incredible to see 98% of people strongly agree that their manager genuinely cares about their wellbeing. A lot of the issues faced by co-located companies at 50, 75 and 100 people actually have to be addressed in a remote culture at 10, 20 and 35.

how to build culture in a remote team

“When many on the team are working from home, you have people who seemingly never stop working and struggle with how to define their personal life and work when it’s all in one place,” Keil says. If you’re managing people who are working from home or located elsewhere, it’s critical you improve your virtual communications. Schedule one-on-one conversations to find out how your direct reports are doing and feeling and what’s important to them. The pandemic and its aftermath is a great example, because it precipitated this huge shift in how we work, and because of that, new ways of conducting business have to be established. Leaders must seize this opportunity to become involved in setting norms for their new remote work culture.

Create connections between teammates

Foster open communication by using group threads rather than DMs to communicate information . A culture of transparency helps break down silos and improve cross-team collaboration because it prioritizes giving everyone a 360-degree view of what’s happening across the company. TL; DR – A remote workforce needs to be equipped with remote-friendly tools! Bonus tip… The more intuitive and easy-to-use those tools are, the more likely people are to use them. Decide which communication channels should be used for which purposes.

  • Learn best practices for leading today’s hybrid workforce and how leaders and managers can foster an inclusive environment, boost employee engagement, and drive team performance.
  • You’ll have to adopt a level of transparency that feels uncomfortable at first, so everyone feels connected with the business.
  • One thing to keep in mind here is that fully remote teams and hybrid teams have slightly different challenges.
  • Have you identified a possible customer service issue, safety issue, or other flaw?
  • All team-building games are guaranteed to get your employees talking, laughing, and working together while embracing the remote work culture as a whole.

Apart from giving them a chance to interact directly with their remote team members, they’ll have plenty of fun outside work and develop stronger bonds with their peers — even while working remotely. A professional development plan outlines ways for your remote employees to improve their professional capabilities. It’s the online version of the water cooler—where random work discussions happen, but also where we banter back and forth about the news, jokes, and pop culture. The best part of Slack is that our water cooler discussions are always accessible.

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Since getting started over a decade ago, they’ve been building a global team. They put many of their insights on creating a remote culture into their blog, Open, and they have many transparency resources like their transparent salaries page. On top of their thought leadership and salaries, they offer great benefits like a four-day work week, health insurance, a minimum vacation of three weeks, family leave, and a 401 with company match. Combat loneliness and burnout by building a yearly, in-person company event into your annual budget, or provide some funds for remote employees to join a co-working space in their local area. Exposure to new people and ideas are still key ingredients for creativity. Understand what excites and motivates your remote team members by getting to know them on a personal level, beyond project expectations and due dates.

We have recurrent updates with the whole company where we show where we stand financially and discuss what our company goals are. When we attend WordCamps, WordPress Meetups or any other professional events we want our team to be proud to represent us. We achieve this by supporting each other and showing respect to everyone who works at the company. The team functions when people make friends within that team, and it’s highly unlikely anyone will make a friend if they’re only talking about work. Cloud-based docs, sheets, presentations, design or video editing tools will make it easier for your team members to work together. Some of them might be a bit costly, but it’s the simplest way to keep everyone on the team involved.

Try the customer support platform your team and customers will love Teams using Help Scout are set up in minutes, twice as productive, and save up to 80% in annual support costs. Teams are made up of individuals, and they function best when each member is happy, healthy, and the best version of themself. These employee pulse surveys give you a peek at what’s working and what needs work. They measure employee sentiments and may clue you into issues you had no idea even existed.

Never forget, those who have healthy, managed, constructive work cultures will discover a new resiliency that will help them recover faster from upcoming threats. Pamela Hinds is Fortinet Founders Chair and professor in management science and engineering at Stanford University. She studies the dynamics of globally distributed work and how work is changing with the introduction of emerging technologies. How IBM, Alibaba, Slack, and others are adapting for a remote-first or hybrid future.

Are you constantly making changes to the experience you bring remote team members? Inconsistency can build a lot of tension and uncertainty among your staff members. You’re building a company culture, even if you aren’t intentional about it. You’ve established a reputation in your industry, even if you didn’t set out to do so.

For many, this comes back to fostering inclusiveness and ensuring the transmission and reinforcement of culture for remote employees. Ensuring inclusiveness might mean changing habits around how and where information is communicated. For companies focused on fostering an inclusive culture, providing greater flexibility to work from home can be a considerable benefit. In Future Forum’s own research, we found that Black, Hispanic, and Asian American employees’ sense of belonging was actually higher in remote work settings, while white employees’ was worse. Leaders need to start thinking now about how they want to “re-enter” the office environment. How might we reimagine the office to reinforce culture in new, better ways?

When everyone is at work in their own homes across continents or countries, it’s important to remind each of them how crucial their roles are. Have a weekly virtual appreciation session where successful results or important projects are highlighted to all team members. Nick is co-founder and CEO of Help Scout, where he is on a mission to make every customer service interaction a more human one. He lives and breathes product design, customer experience, and building a thoughtful, thriving company. Our retention and engagement numbers show the ROI of our investment in the culture over the years. In our history, we’ve hired 92 people and only five have left voluntarily.


To create a strong remote work culture, first model good behaviors as a manager. Regularly check in with your team, and encourage employees to bond and interact. Also, trust your teammates and nurture an atmosphere of accountability instead of micromanagement. Hosting regular virtual team building activities is another way to build and maintain a connected culture. While it can seem like a challenge to introduce and reinforce company culture throughout a dispersed workforce, building a strong remote work culture is not difficult. Developing a strong virtual culture for employees can lead to higher productivity, greater job satisfaction, and improved employee retention.

how to build culture in a remote team

In traditional offices, employees cross paths with colleagues from different departments and receive constant reminders of other teams’ existence. If it’s not, you need to fix it, this is your chance to get it on the right path! Developing a strong remote culture will take hard work from everyone involved, and you need buy-in at all levels to make it work.

Remote Teams Succeed By Focusing On Culture

So you may want to send out a questionnaire for them to fill out and share with the team instead. Having a solid company culture and upholding these values is also one of the best ways to retain remote talent. Your company culture is like a compass your team will follow, steering them in the right direction and influencing all their decisions. It provides them with a framework for working, communicating, and collaborating as a unit no matter where they clock in. It is worth noting that some state laws often require reimbursement for necessary work expenses.

Very quickly, they’ll feel out of the loop and unhappy, unable to do their best work. It’s essential to define your company culture in a document, infographic, slide deck, etc. You’ll use this anytime you write a remote job listing, onboard new remote employees, or have a question about your next move. As remote work becomes more commonplace, the demand for remote communication channels has fueled an entire digital marketplace of communication apps and tools. The best way to build camaraderie and trust is to create an environment where team members can help each other achieve their goals and succeed professionally.

If the person is qualified and excited about the prospect of working remotely, it’s your responsibility to make them successful. Have you ever heard of a co-located culture screening people based on whether they’ve worked in an office before? This is a recipe for disaster because the company hasn’t changed the way they share information. Once someone goes remote, they miss out on information in impromptu meetings, on whiteboards, at the proverbial water cooler, and when grabbing drinks after work.

Tips On How You Can Build A Remote Work Culture

In moments of uncertainty – for individuals as they deal with customers, or for the leadership team as they decide the path forward – being able to refer to these values will be important. Whether your business is fully remote, enjoying the flexibility of a hybrid model, or just one segment of your team works off-site, here’s how to build a great company culture. And yet, businesses often take remote workers for granted, even those participating in hybrid models. Many, unwittingly, take an “out of sight, out of mind” approach when an employee is out of office but still available and working diligently as ever. As a result, loneliness is the biggest challenge that workers face on days that they are working out of office, according to the State of Remote Work 2022.

Transparency and clear expectations are the building blocks of any strong team environment. Working in solitude for extended periods can cause loneliness and affect an individual’s remote working experience. Scheduling regular virtual events can help remote employees get the social interaction they need. If you can orchestrate in-person events, even on a much smaller scale, that’s a great option too. With a distributed team you know going in that culture will be hard to build. When you are team building online, you don’t delude yourself thinking that culture will magically happen.

As with on-site employees, businesses must comply with any differing state or local laws that arise when they have workers performing their jobs in other locations. To be confident that your compliance requirements are in order, take a look at our “2022 Year-End HR Compliance Checklist”. Nick Smarrelli, CEO of GadellNet, explains how a powerful belief in personal growth creates a culture where people can develop in very diverse ways. Working with people across different time zones has its challenges. But if you thought the work-from-home trend was for the pandemic, think again. You’ll probably find some outspoken team members who will let you know their feedback whether you ask for it or not, but some people are a lot more shy.

If that is the time of the day when they are most productive, why not make the most of it. This means that everyone is expected to be available during certain hours, but can take a break or step away from work outside of them. There will be strong supporters of this approach, namely workers who like to have set hours when they need to be available will be strong supporters of this concept. Please note that this will not be applicable to every business, as it depends on many factors like the specific requirements and needs of their remote communication. There are even tools available that can help you with creating a fully interactive, engaging online company handbook. Take a look at Blissbook or the more popular Canva, which are both 100% customizable.