Growing a positive company culture with a remote team
Remote teams are on the rise and it seems that this trend is not going to slow down anytime soon. However, managers all over the world have one problem to tackle - how to grow and maintain a strong and positive company culture, when your work colleagues are distributed across the globe?
VentureDevs has been distributed since the company’s founding 4 years ago. Over time, we’ve generated our toolkit to fit our team and grow our culture across all of our locations. Everyone’s toolkit will look slightly different, but here is our recommendation for what steps you can take to create yours:
1. Choose the right tools
- Tools that fit your culture - Your team will be working ‘inside of an app’ instead of spending their time in the office. Therefore, you’ll need to select the tools that will help build your company’s spirit and culture. At VentureDevs, we foster a fun, creative, and collaborative work environment, so our team loves tools such as Slack and MailChimp.
- Collaboration tools - Zapier’s 300+ person workforce is completely remote. They believe that choosing the right day-to-day toolset helps to create a great collaborative environment that is built around shared experiences (and of course, GIFs / memes). As a remote manager, you can build your company’s online office personality, with the right tools. Here at VentureDevs, we plan Zoom hangouts (such as Social Corners & VentureDevs Breakfast) to bring our in-office, remote, and international team members together virtually.
- Relationship-building tools - Erin Harper, The Upside’s CEO, says: ‘We recommend that companies create virtual hangout spaces via Slack where remote employees can live chat, share files, post photos and collaborate throughout the day to mimic everyday office life’ (source: Forbes). The reason is simple - since employees are not spending time together in the office, they can use technology to create bonds online! Some popular Slack channels amongst the VentureSquad are centered around music, sports, games, photography, and meetups.
2. Communication and bonding are key
- Team meetings - While building a company culture remotely, communication is absolutely crucial. If you’re working in different time zones, it’s really important to set aside regular meetings so that the staff can communicate and cover the most important topics for the upcoming week. Having these meetings helps everyone to share news and keeps the team motivated.
- In-person experiences - Having real face-to-face meetings with your team members is also really important while building your company’s culture. Hanging out in person creates a whole level of personal interaction, and it also builds trust. Whether it’s a holiday dinner, a hiking trip, or playing board games, physical gatherings allow the team to learn more about each other and build their relationships in a way that is very different than the bonds created online. Our employees make many different types of efforts to get together whenever possible, and the U.S. VentureSquad even tries to visit the offices in Poland once or twice a year!
3. Work-life balance
- Remote productivity - A lot of managers have a fear that remote employees will lack engagement and get distracted by their lives, rather than work from 9 to 5. In reality, it’s completely the opposite. Various studies show that remote workers are actually more productive. According to Business News Daily, statistically, remote workers work three additional weeks of work per year and their satisfaction level is higher than while working in an office-based job!
- Avoid burnout - As a remote team manager, you should definitely encourage and promote a balanced approach in order to avoid burnout. Whether it’s mini-vacations, work & travel, or a longer holiday break, everyone needs to step away from the computer for a bit and have some rest – not only physically, but also mentally.
As mentioned before, remote teams are on the rise and they’re not going to stop anytime soon. Especially now, during the COVID-19 Pandemic, building the remote work culture seems to be more relevant than ever.