Creating Culture in a Remote World


The circumstances of 2020 forced everyone to enter the virtual and remote workspace.  Overnight, many companies had to adapt and adjust how they maintained their businesses, while at the same time kept their workforce safe and engaged.  What was supposed to be a temporary situation turned into almost two years of change and adaptation.   Now, companies are forever changed and having to rethink and adjust their policies, operations, and communication efforts.  

In this new, distributed workforce, it seems that the connectivity, inclusiveness, and the culture of companies is in distress!  Workers are feeling overwhelmed, lonely, and isolated.  They are disconnected from the company and their colleagues.  That discontent can eventually lead to lower work performance and retention issues.  

To succeed in this new virtual workspace, it’s important for companies to adapt to the future of work.  

Here are four steps to create culture with your remote workforce:


STEP 1: DEFINE YOUR CULTURE

On a high level, culture leads a person when no one is watching!  Most importantly, in a remote workforce, culture makes each individual feel appreciated and recognized – even if they aren’t in the same building.

Culture is about aligning your core values, mission, and purpose.  If you already have these components defined, it’s time to take another look at them and make sure they continue to serve the company and brand.  If you don’t have them defined, take some time to create your vision and mission statement, and outline your core values.  


STEP 2: CHANGE THE MINDSET OF YOUR LEADERS

Let’s face it – In a virtual environment, leadership looks different! 

You might not be in the same office, or even the same time zone; however, you can stay “close” with consistent 1:1’s, check ins, and meaningful communication.  It’s important to follow through and stay in communication with team members, otherwise they will feel abandoned and unimportant.  Face time should not go away because you are a remote team.  Also, make sure that you are taking time to ask employees about how they are doing, learn about them personally, and stay up to date on their life outside of the office.  Remember that we are humans first before we are employees!


STEP 3: CREATE A VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

Now that a centralized brick-and-mortar office isn’t the center of the workspace, it’s important to create a place for employees to gather and interact.  Virtual workplaces can be a dynamic space and speak to the culture of your company.  Creating a virtual workspace consists of designing neutral spaces in digital locations.  As you create these spaces, it’s important to consider what types of interpersonal connection you are replacing with a digital option.  For instance, since everyone isn’t in one location, how do you replace the daily “water cooler” conversations?  You can create chat rooms, Teams or Slack channels for that impromptu conversation and connection.  

Get creative!  Remember, activities are not the culture, they are an expression of the culture.


STEP 4: CHECK IN AND ADAPT

Finally, now that you have addressed your virtual workplace culture, prepare to revisit it every six-months and adapt as needed.  Culture is always evolving.  If you see signs that concern you, try to adapt and change quickly.  When your employees see the effort to maintain and adapt, they will better understand the commitment that your company has to embracing change and to making the remote workforce a foundation of your business strategy.

Over time, you’ll find that your employee’s performance and engagement will increase – and so will your retention!  You will be a strong, relevant company ready to thrive in this new distributed workforce world.  Remember, work is something we do, not somewhere we go!

To request your FREE white paper and learn how to create a thriving culture with your remote team, click here!


For more details and assistance developing your virtual environment, consider reaching out to us!  We’d love to assist you in your leadership journey!  



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