Remote work was already becoming more prevalent prior to 2020. But once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, work-from-home culture became more widespread than ever before.
And even with increased vaccination rates nationwide, many American workers aren’t eager to give up this arrangement. According to a recent survey conducted by FlexJobs, 65% of employees want to continue working full-time even after the pandemic dissipates. What’s more, 58% of workers said they’d look for new positions if their employers wouldn’t allow them to continue working remotely.
Remote work can be of huge benefit to employers, as well. Increased productivity and cost-savings make it easy for many businesses to make the conscious decision to eschew traditional office work in favor of work-from-home arrangements.
Still, there are some drawbacks to working outside of an office environment. Businesses that weren’t already offering remote work solutions may have found the transition to be difficult from a cultural standpoint.
Company culture refers to how your workforce interacts with each other and the values that guide the way you communicate. Without in-person interactions and a conscious accessibility shift, you may find that your culture has changed during the past two years.
However, it’s not impossible to maintain – or even improve – company culture while working remotely. Here are just three ways to grow your culture even as you continue to work from home.
Plan a Variety of Virtual Events
Company culture encompasses far more than just at-work perks. Merely having pizza parties and office happy hours does not a healthy culture make.
That being said, cultural events can play an important role in your ability to stay connected with your colleagues. Working from home may feel isolating for many folks, which makes the opportunity to socialize (even through a screen) that much more enticing.
Whether you host a weekly trivia night via Zoom, schedule monthly lunch and learns, or celebrate the season with a virtual Thanksgiving meal, these events can help employees blow off steam, build stronger relationships, and get the creative juices flowing.
Form Some Online Book Clubs
Employees will start looking for other opportunities if they feel their growth is stagnated. That means you should be actively mentoring employees and creating career paths, even when they use their homes as their offices.
But that’s not the only way you can encourage professional development. Workplace book clubs can provide a much-needed chance for your staff to learn about new concepts, apply leadership skills, and connect with other employees with whom they might not otherwise interact.
Book clubs can empower your employees and create a culture of innovation for your company. There are all kinds of books to read in small groups that can help to inform your business model, your communication style, and your deepest aspirations as a brand. By getting your team involved in that process, they’ll stay engaged in the work they’re doing and acquire the skills they need to advance their careers at the same time.
Prioritize Frequent Support Meetings
Although working from home comes with more freedom and flexibility, it can also feel lonely at times. Since spur-of-the-moment check-ins aren’t as easy to come by, management might fall by the wayside if you aren’t careful.
That’s why supervisors need to make it a point to schedule frequent support meetings for all employees. Team stand-ups, 1-on-1 meetings, and quarterly performance reviews are all great ways to ensure staff members are receiving the support they need to excel.
When you transition to remote work, these meetings become even more important. They allow employees to feel valued and invested in their work, while also helping managers gauge progress without resorting to micromanaging. If you make these meetings a priority, your employees will know they matter.
A Strong Company Culture Makes Remote Work Even Better
Having the ability to work remotely is important to the U.S. workforce. But without a strong company culture, this arrangement won’t keep employees around. Focus on strengthening your culture now and reap the rewards in the future – regardless of where your team works.