Keeping your company culture alive remotely

Posted by Angela Waddell

Well this sure feels like an upside-down world right now.  

Being a social, outgoing person and someone who loves to share a laugh and a chinwag at work, it’s been a real adjustment having to work from home full time.  Add a toddler and a five-year-old into the mix and let’s just say I feel like I’m in a real-life snow globe that someone has shaken up!

It has taken me a good few days to find my new routine and feel somewhat productive again and  I’m sure I’m not the only one trying to adapt to this ‘new normal’.

So what does this new normal mean for company culture? And how do you maintain this with your workforce while working remotely? Here are some things to consider.

 

Communicate, care, connect

Thank goodness for technology. Whether you are using Teams, Hangouts, Zoom, Skype, Facetime or simply a phone call, make sure you stay in touch.  

Arrange team catch-ups on a regular basis and commit to your one on ones more frequently too.   

Communicating will minimise any mistrust, reduce work-related anxiety and help with motivation and productivity. Don’t forget this is what makes us human.

While you are communicating, check in with each other, remember everyone is adjusting and show compassion and care.

Try to avoid becoming a keyboard warrior and remember that tone and context can be easily misunderstood with just written words.

 

Value your values

Remind yourself of your values and find fun ways to incorporate these into your team catch-ups.  Connecting back to the company values will increase loyalty and alignment to the business.  

We heard from a company that is setting a different task each video call -- last time it was ‘wear your weirdest hat’.  Another company we know had to share who their work buddy was for the day -- there were all sorts of interesting anecdotes from that!

 

Connect to your vision and Purpose

Reminding the team what they are working towards and what their contribution means to the business will help maintain focus and commitment.  Celebrate the wins, no matter how small.  

 

Context is key to clarity

When you communicate, ensure you are providing as much context as possible and avoiding any opportunity for misunderstanding and assumptions.  There are many ways to interpret something if you don’t add enough context to it so be clear in your communication and ensure there is clarity on the WHY too.   

 

Assume goodwill

Most people are doing the best they can in these unusual circumstances, but we are only human and there will be slip-ups and misunderstandings. Before jumping to conclusions and entering a blame game, assume goodwill, reach out and discuss it before situations escalate.  

The first thing to derail culture is conflict.  Nip any niggles in the bud early on and don’t let anything fester.  Sometimes when we are remote, we communicate less and think more. You almost need to picture the person right beside you.  How would you act? What would you say?  

 

Most importantly, remember to have fun

Laughter is part of most office cultures so make sure you keep this going while working from home.  Send each other jokes, share funny stories, play silly games with each other. Here’s an example we liked…   

It’s the year 2050 and Johnny woke up with the need to relieve himself.  However, today was not just any day. Today was the day that Johnny was about to use the last toilet roll his parents purchased in 2020.  

 

Keep spirits high!

We would love to hear how you are keeping your business culture alive while working from home so please share your advice and stories in the comments.


If you need any support around bringing your culture to life via video calls then drop me a note on angela@sproutnz.com I would love to help.

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