‘Culture is the environment that surrounds your staff every day that they are at work.’
I took this line from a blog I wrote last year, totally unaware that six months later I’d be sat in my kitchen ‘at work’. I had written that with the notion of ‘at work’ being physically in the workplace – a sentiment that is totally irrelevant given that we have embarked on the largest remote working experience ever. The parameters of being ‘at work’ have completely changed, yet company culture still needs to exist – it’s a business’ personality, makes them truly unique and sets them aside from the competition. Remote working just means it needs to be nurtured in a different way.
With the rise of modern technology, working from home has become more and more commonplace, but the recent pandemic has taken it to a whole new level. Working from home every day of the week with no definite end in sight can feel lonely and isolated - it is more important than ever for staff to feel connected and engaged with their company. All eyes should be on it.
Staff who feel isolated are often disengaged and in turn, less productive. By creating a deep-rooted support system you are well on your way to providing the base for your culture to thrive – remotely or in-house. Take the time to check in with your people individually. Have whole team meetings. Organise activities that can get the entire team involved – quizzes, pub lunches, team workouts, so many things can be done virtually given a little pre-planning.
There is an incredibly strong link between your business objectives and your culture, so it is vital to align your goals as a business with it. Communicating this may be more challenging with a workforce working remotely, but staff still need to have sense of pride to be a part of the journey. So be sure to communicate the ‘why’ as much as you did in the workplace.
Working from home means managers are less able to monitor their staff - but incredible work is still being done. Take some time out of your day to recognise your people – it’s a cornerstone for boosting staff morale.
Take the time to get to know everyone
Remote working means there’s no time for chitchat by the coffee machine or a pint over lunch. Make a real effort to talk to your colleagues – enjoy that Friday beer together in the garden on a video call. Celebrate events that are happening in the lives of staff just as you would in the workplace. Take a few moments each day to talk about non work related topics.
The only thing we know for certain is that times are uncertain. People are worried about when and where this impromptu journey will end. But encouraging staff to have fun along the way will prove beneficial. Pizza making evenings, DIY cocktail creating, bake offs - think outside the box.
With a little imagination… the sky is the limit!