Remote work is fast becoming a permanent facet of the employment landscape. There are advantages for employers, including the ability to cut back on overhead and to widen the geographical net for attracting top employees. However, one of the casualties can be the ability to build a cohesive company culture. Companies will probably be learning for the next few years what does and doesn’t work, but the tips below can help you start creating a positive culture at work even if most of your staff is scattered far and wide.
Look to Fleet Management
One helpful way to approach this is to look at a department that has always been remote to some extent. This is the case for fleet management. Managing a fleet is not just a matter of turning drivers loose to do their jobs. Fleet managers have to stay on top of driver performance and vehicle maintenance at all times, and one way they can accomplish this is with a software that tracks, automates, and analyzes data.
You can get started with Samsara to keep an eye on such things as safety, compliance, and costs. A manager can then use this data to reward individual drivers for good performance and to work toward improvement with those who are underperforming. Managers in other departments may want to look for a similar total software solution that will help them with project management. This can be particularly important when teams are dispersed throughout the city, state, country or world.
Less is More
Some companies have launched rather aggressive efforts to try to get more literal face time among employees, scheduling frequent videoconferences, and requiring people to be online at specific hours during the day.
However, a better approach would be a flexible one and one in which videoconferencing and other interaction is done less frequently so that employees can actually look forward to it.
In addition, rather than attempting to replicate in-person ice-breaking and team building exercises over video conferencing, a better approach is to schedule these times with a goal or focus that is unique to the online environment. Employees could be encouraged to play games together during their downtime. Companies could schedule social activities with organizations that are dedicated to providing online experiences.
Whatever else they are doing, employers should always ask employees what they want and how they can feel more engaged at work. When employees are working from home, it can create an awkward blurring of lines between personal lives and works. With themes like diversity and inclusion in the workplace being at the forefront, it can be challenging to remember there are other things your team might need to be nurtured through as well, such as this struggle to balance life and work while in remote settings.
One way to address this is by acknowledging it and allowing employees the flexibility to schedule some personal tasks within reason during that time, such as picking up children at school or going for a run. This can help build a culture of trust and makes employees feel as though they are able to bring their entire selves to work. These surveys might also identify what specific activities any particular team might enjoy as a way of getting to know one another better.