Remote work culture: How to support a happy and productive remote team

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A good remote work culture helps keep your employees engaged and connected, and improves their ability to work together. With more people working remotely and more companies returning to hybrid work environments after the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to build a healthy and strong remote work culture.

How does remote work affect company culture?

Office spaces have traditionally been the centers of culture in their companies. It’s at the office that you get a sense of the way your coworkers behave, and your feeling of being part of a team is reinforced by your surroundings.

You can build meaningful personal connections at the office that add to a positive company culture and make you feel good about going to work every day. On the flip side, working at home can be isolating, which impacts employee loyalty and engagement over time. Without that personal connection, it’s just harder for people to get a sense of the company culture.

Building a remote work culture is certainly a challenge for many companies, but since there are so many benefits to working from home, it’s always going to be an attractive option for many of your employees. Invest in making a good remote work culture and enjoy the long term benefits of a happy and engaged workforce.

Remote work

What makes a good remote work culture?

Clear expectations

Remote work can mean a lot of different things to the people in your organization, so it’s important to define your remote work policy and be clear about what you expect from your team.

Can your employees work from anywhere or do they have to be in a certain time zone? Will they get a stipend for their home office setup? How often are they expected to go to the office? These are the sort of questions that your remote work policy should answer.

You should also clearly define your expectations around quality standards, behavior, and communication. Continually check in with your team and provide feedback to avoid bottlenecks and miscommunication. 

Mandy Fransz is the owner and founder of Make the Leap Digital. The first thing she recommends when adopting a sustainable remote work policy is to clearly define what “remote work” means to your organization. Watch her Prezi video here for more:

Cultivating trust

When your team works from home, you can’t just look around and see who’s working (that would be weird). You have to trust that your team cares about their work and can deliver quality results on time.

Try to avoid any instincts for micromanaging or checking when your team is online. Focus on their output rather than the hours they put in. This allows them to take responsibility for their work and motivates them to put their best foot forward.

Trust fosters a remote work environment where employees feel respected, valued, and comfortable sharing their ideas. When you trust your employees, they trust you in return.

Building trust doesn’t happen overnight. Liane Davey, Ph.D. and author of The Good Fight, recommends focusing on four key elements in her video on building trust in remote and hybrid teams. Watch her video to learn more:

Open communication

Building trust is also essential for open communication. In a good remote work culture, your employees feel comfortable sharing their opinions and making suggestions.

In his article on managing remote teams, remote work advocate and co-founder of Remote-how Iwo Szapar recommends having regular one-on-ones with your team to check in and get feedback. Don’t skip your one-on-ones. Your team should be able to rely on this time with their manager to share their thoughts.

And be sure to use video when you meet. If you want to present anything on your calls, use Prezi Video to show your content next to you on-screen. Adding this visual element can help you articulate what you’re saying and make your meetings more effective.

Stay connected while you work remotely with Prezi Video

Iwo also recommends over-communicating, meaning documenting everything from decisions, standards, and resources and storing it all in one, easily accessible place. Record a video or add an update in a shared collaboration tool. These actions make the remote work culture in your office more organized and productive.

If you want more advice on managing remote teams, watch Iwo’s full video here:

Measuring performance by output

When you measure performance by output instead of the time spent online, you motivate your team to be more results-oriented. Imagine how much more motivating that can be for teams like sales and marketing.

Prioritizing results and deliverables helps align your teams with company goals and gives them a clear objective. Provide your employees with ample resources and opportunities to succeed.

Allow flexible schedules

One of the most coveted benefits of working from home is a flexible schedule. Unlike traditional work schedules that require employees to be in the office from 9 to 5, remote workers have more leeway.

A flexible schedule is the best friend of remote work. If a remote employee is feeling burned out, needs to schedule a doctor’s appointment, or just likes to work out during the day, they can set their work schedule to fit around their everyday life without feeling anxious if they’re upsetting their boss. It’s just the norm.

Employers like flexible schedules because they get their employees at their best hours, and with asynchronous communication, your team won’t have any issues collaborating and working together on different schedules.

Engaged employees

Keeping your employees engaged in their work will help you earn their loyalty and lead to less turnover. Unfortunately, it’s easy for remote work environments to become isolating for people.

Regular one-on-ones and peer-to-peer feedback are both great ways to reach out to and engage remote employees. Try to make them feel included. Recognize their achievements and endorse them when new opportunities come up.

You can also organize virtual events, like online escape rooms, quizzes, or even attending a webinar as a team. There are plenty of options. For more, read our tips on making virtual meetings more fun.

Engaged employees

What is the future of remote work?

Remote work has long been on the rise, but it was the pandemic that pushed many companies to go fully remote. As people start trickling back into the office, one of the most common workplace trends we’re seeing is hybrid work.

Hybrid work offers a balance between time spent working remotely and in the office. Office time is usually meant for in-person collaboration and hang-outs. What keeps hybrid workplaces ticking is the remote work culture they built during the pandemic.

Chris Dyer is the CEO of PeopleG2 and co-author of Remote Work. In his Prezi video, he recommends several ideas for companies shifting from fully remote to hybrid workplaces, many of which are remote-first policies, like using video conferencing in your hybrid meetings. Watch his video for more:

Remote work can be an isolating environment for your teams, but a good remote work culture faces that challenge directly. Discover more insights about remote work when you visit our Video Gallery.

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