With more and more employees working from home, employers face challenges in maintaining a sense of unity and shared workplace culture. While this requires different strategies compared to promoting workplace culture in person, it is possible to make remote workers feel as though they are part of the team.
The first step is to fully understand the company values and to communicate those values to employees. Employers might need to step back and consider what those values are. For example, some companies may be more family-oriented while others might encourage a competitive atmosphere. Discussing company values should be a part of training new hires.
Employers should also find ways for employees to communicate since they cannot run into one another in the break room for a casual chat. Chat rooms or channels where employees can go to relax can help. There could also be a social aspect included in any online training. The opportunity for video calls can be important since video offers so many more cues about expression and body language compared to text and can help employees get to know one another better.
Employers need to get to know their employees as well. This includes getting regular feedback and learning more about how the company can support its remote workers. Software and data analytics can track employee engagement and help with scheduling, task delegation, and more.
Virtual workers may not be able to attend in-person team building events, so it is necessary to find some that work remotely. Many team-building exercises can work nearly as well at a distance, such as two truths and a lie. Employees can simply participate in video calls.
Ultimately, building and preserving company culture is about hiring the right workers for the job. For example, a company that thrives on sales needs employees who are outgoing and persuasive. Interviews during the hiring process should screen for the right employees. Current employees might participate in the interview process at some point as well to ensure that everyone will be able to work together as a team.
Maintaining a consistent culture and a sense of teamwork is critical for employers. Remote employees need to be included in day-to-day activities and treated in the same way that on-site employees are.