6 min read
Remote work is a win-win for companies and their employees. But the proper culture takes time to build. If one party neglects their responsibility or their side of the bargain, it can quickly become a serious issue. In this piece, we talk about how to maintain a strong remote work culture that works and lasts. Grab a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy!
How do we improve the culture of a remote working team? Well, strangely, it can simultaneously be one of the easiest and hardest things to do. How so? Every job has basic needs regardless of the job - doctor, professor, gardener, cook. And we will cover them below. But there are also more serious and bureaucratic steps that we can take into action to make everyone’s lives better.
When we talk about a remote worker, who’s working mostly all day around the computer, the list of essentials looks something like this:
- Good, fast, and reliable internet connection
- A dedicated working space (a desk, office, table, etc.)
- A computer
- A phone, in some cases
- A printer, to some extent, as well as other typical office supplies
- A desk chair
If you find one of your colleagues or employees lacking any of these (or others that make sense in your scenario), please reach out to them and offer some help. There have been countless times when companies neglect these needs in favor of less effective, stripped-down items. But, in reality, we all have different home lives - some better than others. But when we are working from home, everyone should be on the same footing with the same fundamental resources to get the job done..
Distributed teams work better if they have the right tools to help them succeed. The market is vast, and sometimes having too much to choose from can overwhelm you and harm you. But here we share a few of our team’s top tools.
🧑💻Slack is a no-brainer in terms of chat and asynchronous communication. It integrates with other tools and keeps everyone involved. It’s also an effective platform for boosting engagement and celebrating one another.
🎙Loom allows you to record and share messages in the form of short videos on your computer. For example, you can easily create a step-by-step tutorial for a new team member.
📝Evernote is a note-taking app that syncs automatically across devices and can help you manage your work. Great for taking notes, writing reports, and organizing thoughts, images, or ideas.
📧Superhuman is an email management tool that helps you increase the speed at which you go through your emails. If you have multiple email accounts and want help decluttering your inbox, you may want to check this one out.
🎥We use Toucan as our gathering place for socials. A flexible video conferencing tool is super important for building company culture. Hosting virtual events makes it easier and more comfortable to meet people that you may not know as well. In fact, you can even create a Toucan Space with a custom URL for your team that’s open 24/7. That way, everyone knows to go to that same link for every event or call.
Guidelines are super important to set expectations, duties, and what is expected from each part of the event. If these are part of the standard work culture, it is also part of a remote one as well.
It’s important to clarify people’s schedules and your expectations of them. This can range from “are the working hours fixed or is it flexible?” to “Is this a job that requires that everyone stay glued to their phones at all times?” These are two examples of pressing remote work policies that ought to be addressed from the outset.
The same goes for vacation and time off in general. Can an employee travel while working? Do they need to always be at a fixed location? How many days do they have per year? What about sick days?
We cannot stress enough how vital it is to have regular check-ins. This helps managers understand how people are feeling in their daily work life, if they have any problems that might need fixing, if they would improve something, etc.
It is also super important to have more open “town hall” meetings, where every employee gets caught up to date on everything that’s happening within the company.
What brings people together? Having meaningful conversations and moments together! That’s why it is so important to create these opportunities for your employees. We encourage you to work on an annual calendar filled with virtual events, gatherings, all-hands, check-ins, virtual parties, etc.
Another thing we encourage you to do is to create traditions. These acts can make people feel united and together. So establish a wear-your-pajama day, monthly virtual movie night, and virtual game nights. Whatever makes sense and your folks enjoy.
Remote work policies are not one-size-fits-all. They are complex and require planning, thinking, and commitment. And you must take your employees’ needs into account.
This is a topic we know a thing or two about and using Toucan as an enjoyable virtual workspace and a hang-out spot has been life-changing to all of us and our productivity. So, if you could use a demo or learn more about how to use Toucan, feel free to reach out with any questions you might have. We’re here to help transform your company into the best, most welcoming, most productive, and most enjoyable place it can be.
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Sara knows some things about marketing, has 3 cats, loves to go for hikes and organize things by color!
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