Generally, it is believed that building a good culture in a co-located team is much easier than building a culture in a remote team.
Although you will be able to build a healthy culture for your co-located team, there is no easy and fast way to get it done.
Fortunately, unlike a co-located team, if you are managing a remote team or a distributed team you can create a culture for them in the quickest and the easiest manner.
Here Is How to Build Culture in Remote Teams
As we have our own remote team working from their home, we have tried the following ways that actually work:
Culture Is All About Seriousness
Good company culture does not necessarily mean that you will have to install table tennis or a foosball game for your employees. These can help your employees reduce their work stress.
Your employees must feel that they come to the office to work not for playing Foosball or Ping Pong. This value or philosophy will help your remote team believe that everyone is under one philosophy that is to be serious about work not in other stress-killer activities.
Productive & Collaboration Tools
In a co-located office environment it is quite common that colleagues will be carrying out their day to day task through cutting jokes, sharing experiences and using physical tools like whiteboards, microphone, projectors and many more.
Similarly, to manage a remote team and keep them engaged you will also need a set of online tools.
Here are three useful tools that can help you grow a sound remote working culture:
WP Project Manager
WP Project Manager is a team collaboration tool that helps you create projects, tasks, assign users according to departments and so on. Users will be able to discuss with each other and will also be notified on the status of a task.
Without a project management tool, you along with your other team members may fail to accomplish a project. Here are some of the reasons why a project fails:
If you have a WordPress site then you can easily install it. It is available in both free and pro version.
Skype is a great medium to arrange online conference and meeting. This tool can be a cog in the machine for your distributed employees. It can greatly improve remote employee engagement through verbal communication.
This tool also supports ‘screen sharing’ option which can ease the way of communication and get rid of any technical issues as soon as possible.
Slack is a great tool for a team to communicate with each other. It helps to chat in real time. The interface is very easy to use. With this tool, you will also be able to set reminders and pin especial messages so that they stick to the interface and don’t get lost in the free version over time. This tool is also available in the free and pro version.
Giving away Perks
Your remote team-mates or distributed team-mates can feel more motivated if you give them perks based on their individual preferences. For example, you can encourage by giving the premium version of Spotify or iTunes for the music bluff, Google Play for the game freaks, Amazon eBooks for the avid readers and so on and so forth.
This way you can remove the stress of your employees and restore the work stamina back. After all work stress is the worst thing for everyone:
Work-stress is detrimental to productivity both for co-located and distributed employees. Here is another fact revealed by Snacknation:
At our company, we get together twice a year. During this reunion, we go to the local tourist spots (sometimes abroad) together for the long-sought time off. During the get-together party, we do things like playing outdoor games, perform paragliding, play music and many more.
We also uphold our successes that foster and strengthen our team bonding at the gathering. This activities not only rejuvenate the work vigor of the co-located teammates but also revives the work vigor of the remote teammates.
Local Community Sponsorship Shows Presence
You should try to sponsor the remote employee who wants to arrange an event that promotes your business in their own town or city.
This way, your employee will feel special wondering that your business has a presence in their hometown.
Sharing Is Caring
When you appreciate one of your team-mates irrespective of the place (distributed or co-located) he or she is from, you are eventually building trust.
If everyone in your team continues to do this, the appreciated person feels well-respected and thus the appreciated person starts to respect and care the other persons in return.
Only 50% of the projects can meet deadlines. Here is the truth:
On the flip side, if your remote or distributed teammate find that all of the members of your team complete their activities within a given timeframe, then it will create a sense of responsibility in the mind of your remote team to meet the deadlines which improve the both co-located and remote company culture.
Frequent failing to meet deadlines may become contagious to other efficient employees including the remote employees.
Performance Award / Recognition
This is one of the most important factors to improve your company culture. To this end, you can arrange a performance award ceremony and recognize the most well-performed employees within a certain period with crest or medal or with prize money.
Hiring Qualified Employees
When hiring, try to find someone who is already suited to your existing company culture. Or you can should at least look for someone who will easily get adapted to your company culture.
The ability to use remote tools or online collaboration tools is a plus for your team. If you find someone doesn’t have this skill, you should consider training them up when he or she has been onboard.
A good number of remote team managers still believe that distributed team members may be unproductive due to the distractions like their day to day chores.
But building proper team culture and making your remote team members acquainted with the company ground rules will make it easy to go beyond as a team.
As we manage our own remote team, we can assure you that employing a productive distributed team is flat out possible. Bringing the above-mentioned ways into the mix, chances are pretty high that you can thrive as a team.