Why Focus on Building Culture in the Virtual Workplace?

Global workplace culture trends have experienced a massive shift in the last few years and these changes are accelerating faster now, with the coronavirus pandemic, then ever before. It is becoming increasingly common to have at least some employees working remotely, from either co-working spaces or from home. While working remotely, it is important to make sure that you are able to be as productive or even more productive than you would be in a physical office. A key part of productivity among remote and distributed teams is establishing a company culture.

But what does culture mean?

Company culture encompasses the character, values, and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of your organization. It’s what your company is made of, like a personality. Workplace culture is influenced by leadership, management, policies, strategies, and people. Some say that the downside of remote teams can be the impact on company culture, but there are a variety of ways to make sure this doesn’t happen.

Many studies have shown that remote work has valuable effects on employee productivity, and there are very successful companies that are 100% remote. As more and more companies work remotely, it is important to consider how to create and/or maintain company culture without needing a physical office space.

Having a positive workplace culture is key in attracting talented hires and driving overall engagement, but it also impacts happiness, satisfaction, and employee performance. Employees who feel connected to their company and who are proud to work there will work harder.

How can you create and maintain a positive remote workplace culture?

The first step is to begin to define your company culture, and how you want it to be. Try writing a list of company values. You should also document your hopes for the future of your company culture and your overall goals. Once you have done this, you can begin to communicate these to your team and consider publicizing this to your clients or audience as well. This company culture can be constantly reassessed as your team grows or changes over time.

The next step in cultivating a positive culture is to recognize good work. When employees perform above and beyond your expectations, as a leader, remember to recognize what they’ve done and reward them. This behavior gives your employees a confidence boost and motivates them to perform better in the future.

There will be challenges!

Having a remote team means that your culture is going to be more difficult to grasp for new team members. To combat this, consider focusing on culture throughout the hiring and training process. Since you know the traits required to be successful in your culture, you know what kind of people you’re looking to hire. Consider giving “culture fit” screening the same weight as screening for skills or experience.

Within a virtual company, it is especially important to consider someone’s dedication to your company and if they understand your team culture, to ensure that they are a productive and dedicated member of your team without being able to communicate in person. We suggest having potential candidates interview with several employees you consider to be cultural stewards to ensure this is possible. To exhibit your company culture during the interview process, you can share stories to get the candidate excited, and gauge their interest and engagement. It is also helpful to ask situational questions when trying to decide if someone is a good fit.

With these tips, you are well on your way to creating and growing a positive company culture with your remote team. VForce is your go-to resource for ensuring your remote team’s success. Click here for more of our remote team resources.