Many seasoned business people continue to work under the impression that remote employees negatively impact company culture. While there are often differences in policy and practice, your company culture can still thrive if you have employees working remotely. To reach that positive result, try one or more of the five tips below. All of them encourage a winning remote company culture for employees both in the office and elsewhere.
Make It Personal to Boost Company Culture
Implement unique ways to treat your remote employees to the same perks that in-office employees experience every day, such as free coffee. For example, if you celebrate the first day of summer by bringing in ice cream for all employees, consider sending free ice cream coupons to your remote team members at home.
Likewise, celebrate milestones the same way for all employees, whether you treat them to lunch or a certain gift. You can also send welcome packages to new hires. That way everyone feels like they are joining the same team, no matter where they work from.
Throw Parties and Events
Even though traditional office parties often make on-site staffers groan, they are a great way to build positive company culture with off-site employees. Be sure to include the people working remotely in any event or team building activity you plan as a collective workforce.
To get the largest crowd involved yet be manageable for remote employees to travel, limit parties to only occur twice or so a year. Keep these events fresh and exciting by mixing in scavenger hunts or health challenges that all employees can participate in and compete.
Give Those Working Remotely the Tools to Succeed
Provide your remote employees with the most efficient tools from day one to start them on the right foot. First things first. Give your remote employees reliable technology that will allow them to get straight to work. For example, give off-site team members new laptops equipped with the tools those who are in-office use daily.
To make this process easier for yourself, use digital VoIP phone services rather than sending a phone company into your remote employees’ homes to set up their company phone number. On top of a phone line, make sure to provide communication tools, such as instant messaging and video conferencing. That way they can chat with team members consistently throughout the day.
Assign a Buddy
Day one of a new job is tough enough at the office. And it can be even more challenging when you’re working remotely. To help assimilate remote employees more easily, consider assigning them to an in-office buddy.
This buddy is a resource for the newcomer. They can help the new hire adjust to their role by:
- Spending time answering questions
- Providing updates on in-office activity
- Acting as a guide for the new guy or gal
But these buddies should not be the new hire’s manager. They are intended to be a friendly face rather than someone checking in on progress.
Embrace Work Flexibility
As more and more of today’s workforce look for work-life balance, businesses need to adopt flexible work arrangements. These benefits can be applicable for in-office employees, as well as full-time remote employees. Thus, allow everyone to work from a coffee shop, home, or even abroad.
This benefit not only gives employees the flexibility to stay home with their sick kids but encourages them to travel if they choose to do so. Try to further foster flexible work arrangements by starting conference calls asking where everyone is calling in from.
Video conferencing, for example, can help spark opportunities to get to know coworkers. Plus, these meetings offer a way for remote employees to feel less singled out. By encouraging your remote workers to travel and spend time with their kids when needed, you will build a happy, invested workforce.
Working Remotely Doesn’t Ruin Company Culture
As you can see, thriving company culture isn’t off the table just because your employees are working off-site. The key though to stronger company culture is using effective strategies that help remote employees feel included in said culture. When your employees recognize that they are heard and valued, their likelihood to stay with your organization can increase significantly.
What other tips do you have for fostering company culture in today’s technology-driven business world?