Workplace culture is compiled of shared values, belief systems and attitudes. Positive workplace culture can improve teamwork, raise morale, increase productivity and efficiency, and enhance retention of the workforce. Job satisfaction, collaboration, and work performance can all be enhanced as well. But most importantly, a positive workplace environment can help manage and reduce stress in employees. But how do you keep this up when your employees are working remotely?
ICS’s core values are Family, Integrity and Team. As a company, we strive to live and work by these values daily. Having a set of values can really harness the direction your culture takes. Check out these tips to help keep your company culture a positive one, even when working remotely.
Take your culture public. If your employees are doing great things in the community, share it! Not only does this encourage your employees to give back to the community, but it also shows the community that your business wants to have a positive impact on the community they’re in.
Open communication and feedback. Keeping your team communication channels clear and open will promote transparency. ICS uses Microsoft Teams as the primary form of communication. This allows employees to direct message each other, their teams as well as form discussion boards based off their hobbies! Having a good collaboration tool allows conversations and messages to remain organized and most importantly allow quick communication! Emails can often get lost in translation and get cluttered easily.
Water Cooler Talk. Creating message boards based off teammates hobbies and interests can create a great place for “Water Cooler talk.” In a “normal” office environment, the “water cooler” is where all the unofficial, off-topic, non-work chatter happens. In some places it’s seen as a waste of time, but it’s an integral part of employees bonding outside work and creating trust between each other. In a remote work environment, it’s even more important. Designating time for people to casually talk can help maintain or strengthen teamwork and social bonds.
Take the time to learn about your coworkers. When you are sitting or working closely with a colleague every day in the office, it won’t take long to start learning a lot about them, without even trying, you start getting a sense of who they are as a person, and what personality traits they have. How do you do this remotely? Schedule virtual coffee time with everyone in the morning or a happy hour in the evening through a communication tool like Teams or Zoom. This allows for open dialogue, allowing people to discuss any fun plans they have coming up, or the latest TV show they’ve been binge watching. Take it a step further and do a companywide trivia night! Allow employees to invite family members to help create a relaxed, fun environment.
There are numerous things a company can do to keep their company culture positive, even when working remotely. It just might take a little bit more effort. Communication is key. Whether it’s about a project everyone has been working on, or what you’re doing for dinner that night. Keep the conversations open and flowing. Sometimes the best ideas come from the conversation you had at the water cooler.