Remote workers are the future of business. They offer you the chance to grow a company without the need for more space in a brick-and-mortar office.
How To Build A Strong Remote Team Culture
Remote workers are the future of business. They offer you the chance to grow a company without the need for more space in a brick-and-mortar office. With much of what we do happening and being stored in the Cloud, there’s a natural progression to utilising remote teams who can access use these same tools from anywhere in the world.
Remote team culture can be very different to the culture found in a physical office, complete with the associated ‘office politics’. Yet without the constant satisfaction of seeing your staff working in front of you, or knowing when there might be a concern with someone in the team just because of how they happen to come across to you that day, how do you effectively instil a positive and efficient culture in your remote team?
- A Little Trust Goes a Long Way
It’s perfectly natural to feel a need to micromanage remote employees. There’s something about the fact you can’t watch over them and don’t know what they’re doing at any given time that can give you an irrational fear that things might not get done. But this is the the key word: irrational.
Your colleagues won’t appreciate being checked up on every five minutes. This is especially true given that many remote teams choose to work remotely for the freedom it provides.
Trusting that they do know what they’re doing and, despite time out for a morning run or a coffee breaks, they’ll get the job done. The best way to avoid any problems with this and build a concrete remote team culture that has its foundations on trust is to lay out exactly what you expect of your team.
When do you need specific, delegated tasks to be completed by? What times do you need them to be reachable? How many hours per day or week do you expect them to work?
Simply let them know when you need something to be done by and lay out any specific requirements you have. Communication is key!
- Promote Balance And Socialisation
Work-life balance can be difficult for just about anyone, so ensuring that your remote teams aren’t being overworked or suffering from stress is an important part of ensuring a great remote team culture for your business.
It can be harder to do when you’re not face-to-face with them, but making sure they know they can talk to you if they need to, actively encouraging short breaks and making time to chat informally as a team is important. Never give them so much work that a few minutes spent catching up about their weekend won’t feel OK; encourage your colleagues to socialise with each other.
Use communication tools to create an inclusive environment where any and all members of the team, no matter how new or established they are, can talk to each other, ask questions and receive guidance or help with certain tasks.
One of the best key tools towards fostering positive remote team culture is to emphasise the fact that, despite the physical distance between them, they are, in fact, still a team.
- Embrace The Very Best Technologies
When you’re working with remote teams, it’s important to think very carefully about the tools you use to collaborate with each other. A good collaboration tool will allow you to quickly and effective delegate tasks and provide information to your whole team, or just to specific individuals.
More than just communication, a collaboration app will act as the hub of all activities, tasks and information sharing that your team needs to effectively work towards your goals in the most efficient way.
You need to consider how you want to delegate tasks, if members will need to interact with each other’s tasks and projects, if you’ll need to provide further information for briefs and what other specific features you’ll need. Some tools do 95% of what you need them to do, but miss out the 5% that you simply can’t live without!
- Celebrate Their Accomplishments
All humans respond best to positive reinforcement, so when your team does something well you should be offering praise and recognition for their achievements. Just because they work remotely, doesn’t mean this won’t matter to them.
Singling out specific individuals who have performed exceedingly well can also work towards letting them know how much you value their input, making them more motivated and continue to give you their best in the future.
While this contributes to improving their long-term performance, making your team feel valued, like they matter and that you appreciate them, also improves their mental wellbeing on a day-to-day basis, making them more likely to develop habits based on being helpful, sociable and working for a better work-life balance.
This article comes courtesy of Virtalent, the UK’s number 1 Virtual Assistant company.