Building a remote working culture in today’s digital world has become increasingly important. This shift has allowed organizations and employees to enjoy some benefits that they may have otherwise missed out on in a traditional 9-to-5 workday. These benefits can be flexible work hours, less crowded transportation options, or more accessible family care.
However, not every organization can successfully make the switch. If you’re one of the organizations still finding a proper way to establish a remote working culture, this article is for you. This guide will help you build a remote working culture while keeping the best employees as part of your retention in the IT staffing program.
What Is Working Culture?
A working culture can be defined as how things get done in a multi-faceted system of values, beliefs, norms, and behaviors. No matter how your organization views a working culture, the bottom line is that your culture plays a vital role in shaping your employees’ day-to-day experience, especially in a remote setting.
Cultivating a positive organization culture is one of the biggest factors in retention in IT staffing, and this rings true for any other industry. However, the organization culture you’ve spent a big chunk of time and resources building might not translate directly to a remote working environment. Remote or not, leveraging a positive workplace culture is crucial.
What Happens When Norms Change to a Remote Working Culture?
COVID-19 and its aftermath have set a precedent for changes in how people work today. The way organizations adapt to these changes can set the tone for their employee experience. The thing is, workplace culture has two facets we have to look at: how things are supposed to get done and how things actually get done.
An organization’s culture changes as its people make judgment calls about acceptable behaviors. These people then adapt to these patterns to establish new norms. For instance, when bad behavior is not penalized, it’s normalized and can become a part of your culture.
Today, new ways of conducting business are currently being established. Business leaders must seize every opportunity to be involved in setting norms for a new remote working culture – before your employees do it for you. However, cultivating it from the ground up is still a new approach to business that requires careful planning and execution to reap its benefits.
The Value in a Positive Remote Working Culture
When we hear about remote work culture, it’s easy to imagine developers and designers working from their favorite cafes, surfing every day for new client work. But there are other reasons organizations have started to allow remote workers – and those are more important than you might think.
The remote working culture is quickly becoming an attractive proposition for organizations seeing higher retention rates, improved employee satisfaction, and better productivity when they offer flexible work hours to their employees. This rising culture has the potential to revolutionize how organizations and employees work together.
As much as competitive compensation packages and employee perks attract candidates, positive day-to-day experiences also contribute a lot to retaining employees. By building a remote working culture that puts your employees first, you can exponentially increase your organization’s levels of engagement and alignment. This results in high employee morale, making it easier for you to attract and engage top candidates down the line.
How to Build and Maintain a Positive Remote Working Culture
Now that you know that the best time to act is now let’s get right to it! Here are some tips on how to create a workplace culture that resonates with remote and hybrid employees.
1. Foster Trust
It’s important to lay the foundation of trust first before establishing any process or structure that can help build your ideal remote work culture. When there’s trust among your team, the willingness to work together toward a shared goal follows.
Having an open and honest relationship with your employees is one of the most important parts of fostering trust. Trusting connections and candid conversations are the backbones of cultures.
The challenge in a remote work setup is dealing with virtual communication that strips context and nuance from conversations. To address this, talk to your team and actively listen to facts, feelings, and values to address this. Schedule regular one-on-ones and clarify any points of confusion during meetings. It’s always best to create a safe communication atmosphere where people feel comfortable speaking up.
2. Use Appropriate Channels for Communication
Have you ever seen the meme: “this meeting could have been an email”? Even as a joke, its popularity is a reflection of the apparent meeting fatigue in employees. Before you schedule a meeting, consider if that’s the best channel for communication.
Attending video or web conferencing meetings all day long leaves employees less time to do meaningful work. They often have to sacrifice their evening just to get things done which leads to frustration, burnout, and disengagement.
It’s important to know your employees’ preference for communication. Set rules for email, phone calls, and chat. Remember that video conferencing can be better suited for solving problems and building relationships, while emails are better for sharing updates.
3. Be Proactive in Resolving Misunderstandings
One pain point in remote work is the lack of hallway conversations and “watercooler” channels. Changes are happening simultaneously and communication is sparse. As a result, there might be points of uncertainty and unanswered questions.
Whenever there’s conflict, whether it’s between coworkers or other departments within your organization, don’t shy away from it. Instead, take advantage of opportunities to discuss any issues and figure out ways to resolve them. This proactive approach keeps everyone happy and helps you create a remote work culture that others will want to emulate.
Remember that emotions left unchecked in the virtual work environment might escalate into a pile of negative comments. When your employee reaches this point, it can be difficult to resolve. Therefore, it’s essential to signal intent for casual conversations to solidify a stronger culture where people feel comfortable with online communication.
4. Be Clear on Work Expectations and Nurture Collaboration
One of the huge factors of employee dissatisfaction is micromanagement. Leaders need to trust that everyone on their team is pulling their weight even when they can’t physically see them working at their desks.
To address this, be sure that everyone knows their role and has clarity on what they’re responsible for when it comes to key deliverables. Collaboration becomes more manageable when your team members understand how each other’s roles play into their own.
In a remote work setup, actions speak louder than words. When your team does competent work, it will show. It’s important to build a culture of integrity. It’s good practice to incorporate some basic rules to help you strategize. Have everyone set return calls and emails on time, set reasonable deadlines and meet them, and be open to renegotiation.
5. Set and Respect Boundaries
Another challenge with remote work is that employees often feel they don’t have control over their work hours. As work and home life overlap, it’s important to set boundaries and communicate them to the whole team.
Talk to your employees about expectations surrounding work hours and response times. After those boundaries are set and respected, it becomes part of your culture. When employees feel comfortable in agreeing and disagreeing with certain expectations, it’s easier to work within parameters and adjust accordingly.
6. Get Help from a Staffing Solutions Firm
Managing hybrid teams has its own set of challenges. We’re entering a new era of work! There’s no universal approach to building your remote working culture since all organizations are unique. However, by enlisting the help of a trusted and reliable Staffing solutions firm, you’ll get insights and tremendous support on your culture-building, onboarding, and employee retention efforts.
LET ACS PROFESSIONAL STAFFING HELP YOU BUILD AND MAINTAIN A POSITIVE REMOTE WORKING CULTURE
If you need help in adapting to today’s shifting business imperatives and seeing a successful remote workforce, ACS Professional Staffing is here to help! We understand the importance of having the right people on your team as you journey into the new era of work.
ACS Professional Staffing offers a variety of staffing solutions to meet your short-term and long-term needs. We can connect you with the best people in IT, engineering, finance, administrative support, and more. We also specialize in direct hire placements, contract-to-hire staffing, and payroll services. Your goals are our goals! Connect with us today to learn more about the customized workforce solutions that ACS Professional Staffing can create for you!