How to build a remote work culture that will last

Remote Work & Culture
Alexandra Cote
February 11, 2021

With everyone working from different parts of the world, it can be tough to keep your team hooked on your company. 

Building and maintaining a solid remote work culture will help your team overcome any potential remote work challenge. How? By ensuring your remote team is well-bonded and every individual can develop a lasting trust both with their colleagues and management.

80% of managers will allow their employees to work from home at least occasionally in the future. But things get tricky as 89% of teams already include two or more cultures that need to be effectively integrated. The same CultureWizard study found out that only 15% of leaders are good at managing these cultures, let alone create a unitary one. 

So with remote work becoming a part of every organization for good, we all need to rethink your remote team culture and prioritize its success.

Next are a couple of best practices that will help you create culture in your remote teams and reinforce your values in time.

Stay transparent about your company values

Clarify or rewrite your mission if needed to encompass any changes or policies you’re adding and want to use to define your remote work culture.

Start by presenting them internally so everyone in the team is aware of them without having to find out about a new supported cause from your website. Make updates to your current public resources and create content, reports, and interviews that will highlight these new defining traits.

Begin introducing your company’s values as early as the new hire onboarding stage. This is specifically helpful for helping them transition from a different culture and accept unique values. This gives them enough time to also think about whether the culture is right for them and how they can contribute to it instead of making it all about what the managers want.

Company page example with values listed - Buffer

Introduce everyone into the communication loop

Choose one core communication channel [Slack, your project management tool, even email for important updates and documents, etc.] to make sure everyone is able to stay up to date with any changes. These updates shouldn’t be limited to how the remote culture is evolving. Instead, communicate everything that’s going around your company, from fundings to issues you might be experiencing.

Create an updates system to send regular notes and messages so your team can estimate when they’re going to get them. You can mark the day of the announcements in a common team calendar and use that cue to send a comprehensive email or a company-wide newsletter. Take your team through a step-by-step approach to any news or requirements you have and make sure to get their feedback.

Bridging the diversity gap

Not only will a distributed team reunite multiple cultures and upbringings, but keep in mind there are roughly 16 personality types—each with its own remote work preferences. Although seemingly challenging, this will provide immense benefits to your remote team culture and work conduct. Bringing in different ideas, cultures, and will help you close the diversity gap. This makes for a leading work culture everyone will want to join.

At Panther, we let you focus on your people by taking over the administrative work of hiring, onboarding, and paying international hires. This keeps your business compliant everywhere while ensuring you’ll reap all of the perks an international team can provide. We also help you with employee benefits and private insurance, so your team has all it needs to be protected and productive. Book your demo with us, and let's talk!

Prioritize one-on-one meetings to discover potential threats to your remote team culture

Never cancel your one-on-one meetings. These are the perfect opportunity for you to find any hidden issues your remote employees might be struggling with. Such problems can affect the team as a whole. So you’ll need to dig deep to find individual challenges and handle all of them to maintain a balanced remote work culture where everyone is valued equally. 

Hold one-on-one meetings regularly and avoid using these to distribute work tasks. Instead, concentrate on discovering what your employees are struggling with, if they’re happy with their managers and colleagues, and how you can help them get their energy, happiness, and productivity levels to the top. After all, a healthy remote team culture starts with each one of its members.

Keep strengthening team trust

Depending on the resources at hand, have a look at what you can do to promote company-employee trust on a daily basis. From allowing your team members to take care of work with minimal supervision to sticking to your promises and even providing stock options when hiring.

Go beyond the work matters to show you really care about their wellbeing. New hires in particular could find it hard to adapt to a new environment while your current team could get lost in the routine.

Strive to keep people from feeling isolated or unhappy by planning team-building activities and facilitating virtual watercooler chats over your preferred communication tool.

Here at Panther we keep playground and watercooler virtual rooms, DJ rooms for people to play their Spotify music to teammates, and we play games, every week, with the entire team, right after our weekly standup.

Constantly find new ways of improving your remote work culture

Don’t know where to start with all this? 

Next is a checklist to help you understand which should be your priorities. Feel free to adapt these by taking into account what your current remote team challenges are and what your goals are.

  1. Define the reasons you need a remote work culture: Every team needs to keep its members happy and eager to contribute to each other’s success. But you might also have secondary goals like improving your employee retention rates, turning your team into your #1 brand ambassador, or attracting new talent through an engaging work culture.
  2. Ask for the team’s feedback on your current efforts: While you can ask for this directly during one-on-ones, opt to send anonymous employee surveys to get their accurate thoughts. These let them stay honest without being influenced by what your or their colleagues will think.
  3. List down your [and your team’s] values: Compare the values that the leadership team has noted with those your employees believe in. Meet up in the middle to create that ideal workplace everyone will be happy coming to.
  4. Write your mission statement and make things public: Communicate your new policies and company-wide objectives with your team as well as any other stakeholders, clients, partners, and third parties.
  5. Take current challenges and find hands-on solutions: This is the step where you plan out your future actions, prioritize them by urgency and available resources, and start turning them into reality. Is your team not in the loop with the company updates? Set up a channel to share these as soon as they happen for increased transparency. Creativity is stalling and you’re considering incorporating more diversity in the team? Start a plan to hire globally and let Panther take care of all admin duties for you.
  6. Monitor your progress: Keep talking to your team and tweaking your action plan as you go for the best outcomes possible.

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