When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, many companies and business owners scampered to find their way to the new normal. Most were left with no option: remote work is the only way to keep their businesses operating and profitable during the global pandemic.
Before the pandemic, there were already many companies that operate remotely. This is fast becoming the norm and is expected to increase as shown in this study by Forbes. So, business owners and entrepreneurs need to adapt fast to survive this decade.
The question is, how do you quickly adapt to the new normal and start building a culture for your remote teams?
There are many benefits associated with building a culture among remote teams. It improves workers’ satisfaction and reduces unscheduled absences. It also increases workers’ productivity. A 2-Year Stanford Study reported a tremendous productivity boost from skilled professionals working from home.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, it also saves employers money, increases collaboration, and expands the talent pool. Building a strong remote team culture is necessary. It matters much more than many business owners may want to admit or may be aware of. Unfortunately, many businesses are not putting the right strategy for building remote culture in place.
So, as a business owner, how can you create and continue to grow a positive remote team company culture?
1. Have a great onboarding process
Just like it’s important to welcome a new employee in a traditional work setup, the same is true for remote teams. This is step is crucial so that team members will have a sense of belonging.
During the onboarding process, you need to communicate your vision, mission, and values. Good and clear communication is highly essential to building a strong remote team culture. Let your team know from Day 1 what your company stands for.
Take advantage of technology to avoid miscommunication and confusion. You can use communication tools like Zoom, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, or Skype to foster effective communication among your remote team members.
2. Organize virtual weekly or monthly meetings
Just because you operate a remote team does not mean that you should not have weekly or monthly meetings. The monthly meet-ups or weekly briefings go beyond just giving updates. The weekly meeting helps you to create a bond among all the team members. Checking in regularly will help your team feel they are not isolated. Everyone is part of something big and important.
3. Make use of collaboration tools
With collaboration tools, your team members can edit project files, provide feedback, leave comments, and chat with each other in real time, without moving files from one place to another. Everything can be done in one place. It also helps your team members see each project’s progress and their contribution to the overall goal.
Here are a few more reasons why your team needs a collaboration tool:
- It improves the productivity of team members. Cloud collaboration tools have transformed how many professionals work in the skill economy.
- It helps store information safely in one place, thereby improving ROI and eliminating lost time. IDC research revealed that the inability to find the right resources cost companies about $5,000 per worker With collaboration, you can easily locate the right information whenever and wherever needed across the globe.
- It helps unite your team members irrespective of their location and simplifies project tracking in one place. Most online collaboration tools have search functions that make it easier for your team members to search and easily access the documents they need, regardless of when or where they need to access them. This means your team spends less time waiting for other team members to come online, so they can re-send an email or upload a file. In addition, the alterations to documents can be made in real time using cloud collaboration services. Thus reducing back-and-forth emails. Some of the good collaboration tools are Slack, Asana, Trello, and Google Docs.
4. Leverage regular training for your remote teams
You need to embrace the opportunities presented by the new normal, and regular training is one way you should harness to stand out.
It’s crucial to offer training opportunities for remote teams so they can perform optimally. There are a lot of online courses out there that you can give them from personal development to skill training, or just encourage them to read more by gifting them book vouchers.
5. Build camaraderie among remote teams
Again, building strong relationships among your virtual team members is important.
Here are a few ways to build camaraderie with your remote team:
- Set time aside for chit-chat during meetings
- Use video chat for your weekly or monthly meetings
- Create a group chat for the remote team to hangout
- Create contests – with prizes for outstanding performance
- Create a virtual breakroom to interact.
6. Prioritize the well-being of your teams
Put the well-being of your team as the top priority. Putting people first is the right thing to do. And then your team members feel that they are important, and they will be committed to your company. When your team members are empowered, they will give their best. In the long run, this will give your business increased profits. because your workers are always enthusiastic and give their best.
7. Promote teamwork among remote team
According to a 2018 ADP Research survey of 19,000 workers, those who work as part of a team are more likely to perform 2.3 times better than those who work in isolation. The massive global survey also revealed that being part of a team results in better engagement — regardless of the mode of operations or location.
If you’ve not been recruiting and managing remote teams before, you need to learn how to do this effectively, especially if you want to keep remote teams for the long term. You don’t need to stop at recruiting a group of talented remote teams. Take a step further to get the best of the new normal by building culture within your virtual workforce.
Building a culture with remote teams is not only helpful but is also highly profitable. My company has been fully remote from the start, so I perfectly understand the challenges of managing remote teams and, the benefits of building a remote team culture.