Culture

How To Involve Remote Employees In Your Teams Culture

You spend a lot of time committed to building and fostering a supportive and inclusive company culture through investing in the best talent.  However, when it comes to incorporating remote employees into your team culture, the challenges start arising.

The landscape of work is changing.  Within the next decade, it is expected that a significant proportion of staff will be working remotely. 

As companies hire more remote workers and establish distributed teams, it’s essential to not allow distance to be a barrier to work culture and achieving the vision of the organisation.

Here are some ideas for involving remote employees in your team culture and making them feel a part of the organisation – no matter how many miles they are from headquarters.

Implement Unified and Integrated Work Systems

Developments in technology have facilitated the existence of remote workers.  It will also help to sustain the presence of remote employees in the workforce. 

To enable your remote team members to feel connected and able to work alongside their team, ensure they have all the necessary communication and productivity tools at their disposal, from team collaboration systems, such as Google Suite, to project management systems like Asana and Trello. 

Communication sets the tone for a team’s unique culture.  Utilise your digital communication systems to enhance collaboration and conversation with one another.

Establish Regular Check-Ins

Face to face communication is crucial to helping your remote employees feel visible and a valuable part of the team.  As much as possible, invite remote and virtual team members to in-house team meetings via video conferencing.  They will stay in-the-loop of office communication and have a sense of personal contact with the other team members. 

In company-wide meetings, it is often easy to overlook the presence of the virtual workers who are listening in on the meeting.  If appropriate, make sure the remote workers have a designated time allowance to ask questions or seek clarifications.

Give your Managers the Best Possible Skills to Lead.

Managing on-site teams is difficult.  Mastering the art of managing and motivating in-office and remote workers is an additional responsibility and challenge. 

Make sure the leaders in your company can attend leadership development programs.  This should include strategies for managing remote workers and extensive training in the implementation and use of tools and resources for connecting and working with virtual employees.

Recognise When Good Work is Done

Unique culture and community grow the more recognition that is displayed for good work.  There are numerous innovative and creative approaches to giving your remote worker praise.   

A simple shoutout in a company-wide note makes the remote worker know they are an essential part of the team. 

Do not underestimate the gesture of sending mail to your remote workers, including birthday gifts, thank you cards and small gifts of appreciation like a snack box.  The thoughtfulness of receiving a gift in the mail makes anyone feel appreciated.  The way you can create recognition is only limited by your imagination.

Get everyone together if Possible

This is not always an option, but if you have remote workers and an available budget, consider bringing all the team members together for a face to face collaboration and connection experience at least once a year. 

You may have dispatched teams that work closer to the centralised office.  In this case, you can have more frequent meetings.  These events can range from your company’s annual retreat to learning and development or team building days.

Now it’s all up to you!

With these ideas, you can continue to be open and flexible in hiring the best people for the roles in your teams.  While still providing a unique and robust company culture experience both inside and outside the traditional office walls.

© The Remote Work Index