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Creating a Company Culture in a Remote Environment
Many organizations take pride in their company culture—often, it can be a core competency and a competitive advantage. However, as employers expand remote work opportunities to more employees than ever before, organizations may want to consider how their culture can stay intact through an increased virtual workspace.

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Creating a Company Culture in a Remote Environment

Many organizations take pride in their company culture—often, it can be a core competency and a competitive advantage. However, as employers expand remote work opportunities to more employees than ever before, organizations may want to consider how their culture can stay intact through an increased virtual workspace.

What Is Company Culture?

Company culture is the personality and environment of an organization. Defined by more than just a mission statement or organizational values, company culture encompasses the unwritten norms of how individuals act with one another. While poor company cultures can be detrimental, strong company culture and positive employee morale can positively impact recruitment efforts, retention, and an organization’s bottom line. 

The Society for Human Resource Management breaks down company culture into three broad categories:

  • Social—How individuals act, and how authority and influence exist between different roles and teams
  • Material—How people in a group make or achieve something, and the ways people work with and collaborate
  • Ideological—How values, beliefs, and ideals establish how individuals exist and interact

Company culture has long been associated with the way interactions take place. In the absence of face-to-face conversations, that same company culture translates through interactions via communication channels such as email, phone, video, instant messaging, employee intranets, and more. As the utilization of remote work expands, employers may want to consider how their culture translates into the virtual workplace.

A Strong Company Culture

Company culture should align with the mission statement and values—this will vary from workplace to workplace. According to Glassdoor, positive company cultures have common themes that matter in today’s economy. These include:

  • Agility
  • Collaboration
  • Customer focus
  • Diversity
  • Execution
  • Innovation
  • Integrity
  • Performance
  • Respect

Company Culture in the Remote Workplace

Effectively expanding company culture into the remote workplace is about more than just creating policies and adjusting business practices—the actions and behaviors will continue to define a culture, just as in any work location.  

Within the remote workplace, there are ways that employers can help expand positive attributes of a culture to those engaging in remote work. Options for employers to consider – encouraging behaviors, implementing practices, rethinking employee engagement, while keeping the following tips in mind:

Focus on the why—An organization’s mission statement, purpose, and objectives can be a source of meaning for many employees. Ensure that these goals remain at the forefront of communications.

Prioritize collaboration—Employees become engaged when collaborating and feel as if they are part of a greater cause. While employees will be spending a significant amount of time alone, be intentional about facilitating collaboration with projects, goals, and objectives.  

Rethink communications—Company culture lives through how individuals communicate with each other. Be strategic about how different communication channels are used, such as employee intranets, social networking tools, and video.

Create opportunities for social engagement—When employees can engage with each other virtually, it can help build camaraderie. Non-work conversations can help build team chemistry and facilitate an environment for positive interactions to take place in a remote setting.

Encouraging Behaviors

While employers can implement policies and document expectations, employees will choose to buy in. Encouraging positive behaviors will take more than just policies or guidelines—actions can have an immense impact. Leaders often have significant influence—and when management is living out expected behaviors every day, employees will feel comfortable reciprocating.

What Is Company Culture?

Company culture is the personality and environment of an organization. Defined by more than just a mission statement or organizational values, company culture encompasses the unwritten norms of how individuals act with one another. While poor company cultures can be detrimental, strong company culture and positive employee morale can positively impact recruitment efforts, retention, and an organization’s bottom line. 

The Society for Human Resource Management breaks down company culture into three broad categories:

  • Social—How individuals act, and how authority and influence exist between different roles and teams
  • Material—How people in a group make or achieve something, and the ways people work with and collaborate
  • Ideological—How values, beliefs, and ideals establish how individuals exist and interact

Company culture has long been associated with the way interactions take place. In the absence of face-to-face conversations, that same company culture translates through interactions via communication channels such as email, phone, video, instant messaging, employee intranets, and more. As the utilization of remote work expands, employers may want to consider how their culture translates into the virtual workplace.

A Strong Company Culture

Company culture should align with the mission statement and values—this will vary from workplace to workplace. According to Glassdoor, positive company cultures have common themes that matter in today’s economy. These include:

  • Agility
  • Collaboration
  • Customer focus
  • Diversity
  • Execution
  • Innovation
  • Integrity
  • Performance
  • Respect

Company Culture in the Remote Workplace

Effectively expanding company culture into the remote workplace is about more than just creating policies and adjusting business practices—the actions and behaviors will continue to define a culture, just as in any work location.  

Within the remote workplace, there are ways that employers can help expand positive attributes of a culture to those engaging in remote work. Options for employers to consider – encouraging behaviors, implementing practices, rethinking employee engagement, while keeping the following tips in mind:

Focus on the why—An organization’s mission statement, purpose, and objectives can be a source of meaning for many employees. Ensure that these goals remain at the forefront of communications.

Prioritize collaboration—Employees become engaged when collaborating and feel as if they are part of a greater cause. While employees will be spending a significant amount of time alone, be intentional about facilitating collaboration with projects, goals, and objectives.  

Rethink communications—Company culture lives through how individuals communicate with each other. Be strategic about how different communication channels are used, such as employee intranets, social networking tools, and video.

Create opportunities for social engagement—When employees can engage with each other virtually, it can help build camaraderie. Non-work conversations can help build team chemistry and facilitate an environment for positive interactions to take place in a remote setting.

Encouraging Behaviors

While employers can implement policies and document expectations, employees will choose to buy in. Encouraging positive behaviors will take more than just policies or guidelines—actions can have an immense impact. Leaders often have significant influence—and when management is living out expected behaviors every day, employees will feel comfortable reciprocating.

The Last Word

Every organization is different and has a unique culture. Create practices and encourage behaviors that best work for your organization and accommodate remote and non-remote employees alike.

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