Building a Healthy Remote Work Culture
The era of remote work has arrived and it’s here to stay for most organizations. Whether your company is moving to a hybrid work model, where some of your employees are in the office some of the time, or an entirely remote working environment, your office culture is undergoing a shift as well. So how can your business build a healthy remote work culture that motivates and engages employees while maximizing productivity and results? Here are a few of the most effective ways to create a happy and healthy remote culture at work.
Offer Flexible Options
The pandemic accelerated the shift to remote work, but it doesn’t mean all employees want to be completely remote or always in the office going forward. While most workers valued the option to reduce their commutes and have more time in their personal lives, an all-remote model may not be what every worker wants from their employers now. In fact, only 16% of workers want to be fully remote and only 12% want to return to the office full-time.
Offering flexible hybrid working arrangements for your employees can help ease this transition into a new way of working, if it’s possible and practical for your organization. Different employees have different lives and preferences – those who live in cities with small apartments may want to be in the office more, while parents of small children may prefer to work from home frequently. And flexible scheduling offers options for all employees to arrange their work when it works best for them.
Strategic Social Engagements
While working remotely means there are fewer spontaneous conversations and group celebrations in the office, it doesn’t mean your business should give up on social occasions and team bonding altogether. McKinsey, whose employees spend most of their time off-site at client offices, has monthly “Super Fridays” where every employee is present in the office and yearly offsite retreats to ensure employees are engaging with each other as well as their work.
These events help create a healthy remote work culture where employees know each other and work together well, even when they’re physically apart.
Lead the Culture
The shift to organizations working remotely some or all of the time doesn’t come without challenges. Employees look to their leaders to see examples of how to handle these shifts. For example, if your leadership team often expresses skepticism about the productivity of employees working from home, or shows a lack of trust in employees to complete their work while they’re not in the office, employees won’t feel your culture is truly friendly to remote work.
Leading by example, such as working a hybrid schedule yourself or setting up a truly remote-friendly workplace culture, can help everyone feel confident in working productively while they’re remote.
Build Strong Teams
While your workplace culture as a whole is certainly important, creating strong teams that collaborate and cooperate effectively is also critical to creating a healthy remote work culture. You can strengthen the bond between team members by holding team-building activities online such as trivia, reaching out to team members more for casual check-ins on their wellbeing and workload, and creating an inclusive environment where diversity is prized and respected.
Best practices when working remotely aren’t just about hosting Zoom happy hours – it’s also about setting clear expectations and communicating effectively so all your employees feel in the loop regularly. Ensure your team knows about each other’s successes both inside and outside of work as well. That will help create those bonds that keep your team together even when they’re physically apart.
Creating a Remote Culture
As more and more employees continue working from home at least part of the time, a focus on building a healthy remote work culture is vital. Your organization can accomplish this with a thoughtful strategy that engages employees and builds common connections online and in person. And that strategy begins with hiring the right remote employees. Learn about how to choose a remote hiring platform that’s right for your business.