The benefits of remote working have long been discussed but many organisations have been forced to embrace a new way of working in recent months. Companies are beginning to realise the positive impact remote working can have on flexibility, productivity, employee wellbeing and in time on their bottom line.
Therefore, remote working is likely to become more commonplace, even in a post-Covid world. But as the challenge of communication and task management become easier - the focus is likely to centre around maintaining connection and a sense of culture.
But how do you build trust and bring your culture to life when employees are working remotely or are simply spread across numerous markets?
To make the complexity of the topic justice, we decided to co-host a panel discussion with Silicon Reef, SharePoint Development Agency, to gather some amazing insights from our speakers and industry experts:
Gary Ballard, Senior Operational Excellence Performance Improvement Manager at Virgin Media
Neil Cavill, Head of Business Improvement at Arco
Alex Graves, Founder & Managing Director at Silicon Reef
Emily Forbes, CEO and Founder at Seenit
Here is what we’ve learned:
1. Employee wellbeing is top priority
First and foremost, look after your people. Especially during uncertain times, it’s important to be extra vigilant and emphatic with your employees. Check-in with them and use the tools you have at hands to keep up frequent communication and 1-on-1 conversations. Everyone has different circumstances and ways of dealing with change. Some are working parents and might need their working hours adjusted, others might have a hard time being productive from home or struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance. So make sure to promote some tips that can help, such as:
- Scheduling dedicated breaks in your agenda - use them wisely to relax
- Adding “no meetings” times to your calendar to stay productive and get some work done without distractions
- Use tools such as Slack’s extension called Donut to take a coffee break with someone randomly allocated to you from your team.
- Use tools like Microsoft Focus time, to stay productive
2. Trust is essential - and goes two ways
Two way trust is essential for an inclusive and engaged culture, especially when people are remote. A remote company culture should be a culture based on trust. Therefore, to avoid the spread of misinformation and to build that trust it’s important to deliver timely and transparent company-wide and leadership messages and communicate these with empathy and authenticity. Furthermore, employers need to trust that employees will work at the best of their abilities and should have the confidence to give their people the flexibility they need to get their work done. Some people work better in the morning, some of them have family errands to run and are more productive in the evening, so as long as the work gets done, trust should be a given.
3. Bring values to life through video
Video can be a great tool to live your company values remotely and collaboratively. At Seenit, we believe that no matter where your employees are in the world - the power of collaborative storytelling through video - can bring your company values truly to life and drive an engaged and inclusive culture.
How? Check out the video we’ve created below:
4. Be creative
There are so many ways to engage your employees digitally. Our speakers have come up with brilliant examples from employee-led video collaboration to fun games such as Through The Keyhole and Scavenger hunt or remote team lunches, storytelling time, as well as work-out and meditation sessions can all help create light-heartedness and connectivity between employees.
Maintaining an inclusive and engaged company culture when people are remote is not easy, but there is a lot you can do to help achieve it to then ultimately leverage all the positives that come from remote working. So, don’t forget to empathise, build trust, maintain a work-life balance, and support one another.
Let us know your thoughts or tips by commenting below and for some more WFH tips and tricks you can check out our video series below:
- Episode 1: How to stay productive when working from home
- Episode 2: The advantages and benefits our employees are seeing from working remotely
- Episode 3: What does WFH in different job roles look like
- Episode 4: How to keep togetherness as a team while WFH
- Episode 5: Our message of support to the community
- Episode 6: How to combat loneliness during Covid-19 isolation
- Episode 7: here: Challenges for the times ahead
- Episode 8: How to avoid distractions when WFH
- Episode 9: Our isolation resolutions