The COVID-19 pandemic has spread its tentacles all around the world. So we have a long period of lockdown upon us, on a global level. It is attacking people in every age group, race, ethnicity, and economic strata as we know it. This invisible enemy has seriously disturbed the status quo of life in every way possible. As social distancing is the only way to flatten the curve of this disastrous outbreak, organizations have instructed their employees to work from home. The global work environments have had a massive digital shift. With this workstyle shift, maintaining a positive work culture for remote teams has become a tough task for managers.
Effect of COVID 19 on work culture
According to the Gartner HR survey, around 88% of organizations have encouraged or required their employees to work from home. Regardless of whether they have coronavirus related symptoms or not. Also, around 97% of organizations have canceled all the work-related travels since March 3.
With no feasible treatment to defeat this invisible enemy, this workstyle is here to stay in our lives. Work from home is no more just a trend, but it’s a brand new normal. Many employees and managers are embracing this change in the workplace. But there also are many employees and traditional companies who are skeptical of remote work because of its downsides. More remote teams and workers simply mean more challenges. Employees, as well as managers, face challenges in different levels which affect their productivity. But there’s a solution to every problem! We live in an era where technology has finely shaped almost every aspect of our lives. The list is long, and it includes work culture too. And fortunately, technology has come handy in this time of crisis. Maintaining a positive work culture for remote teams is the most important task for managers.
Tips to build a positive work culture for your remote teams
Building a great team is as it is a daunting task. If the team is remote, it can be pretty difficult for managers to maintain a good work culture. Having said all these, in this article we are going to share some amazing team-building tactics. By building a good company culture your remote team can have a great work from home experience. With the help of these, you can boost the work culture of your remote team
Communication is the Key for Remote Team
Communication is the only thing that determines whether your remote team culture will flourish or fail. In this rapidly changing workplace, strong communication is the ultimate key to ensure that your team stays on track. Work from home means your entire team collaborates inside an App instead of an office. So, you need to put in a lot more to communicate. The first obstacle for an organization to overcome is to establish how your team is going to communicate. Managers need to choose a communication platform that is suitable for the majority of their team. Many teams find that they need a combination of communication tools. For example, Trello for project communication and Slack for quick chats and themed channels. This creates a fun and laid back environment.
Once you’re all set with the communication medium, the next major task is finding overlapping times to set up communication. To keep their gears moving, frequent communication must be a priority for a remote team. And most importantly, the time should be set such that it overlaps with every member of the team. In this way, nobody misses out on anything. With the right communication and collaboration, remote teams can flourish and be very productive.
Prioritize Health and Wellness of your Team
Ensuring your team’s health and wellness can be a great challenge. But it is of prime importance that you prioritize that in order to keep your employees’ morale high. It is easy to assume while working with remote teams that employees have a better time finding their work-life balance. But the truth is, dodging the daily commute and working in their pajamas can have a dark side too. While working remotely, many employees feel awkward to take leaves even if they’re sick, just because they’re at home. But teams don’t win championships if all its members aren’t fighting fit, and your remote team is no different.
Another effective way to support your remote team is to promote the importance of self-care. Encourage your employees to maintain a perfect sleep cycle. Exactly just like the one they used to have when they had to come to the office. Include certain health and workout challenges that will motivate them to stay fit. Most importantly, you can encourage your employees to create a space in their homes that are devoted to their work. This space should include all the physical comforts so that their back and necks are relaxed.
Motivate your Team
Many of the employees are now suddenly working from home, probably for the first time. One can assume that they’re having a good time, but this could be daunting in the best of times. There’s an added layer of stress as people worry about the health of their loved ones. Potential complications from limited services and closed educational institutions further add on to the stress. The constant distancing from the team can lead to lethargy and boredom. This can eventually lead to a loss of motivation in employees.
In these challenging times, you need to keep your team motivated. Don’t forget that everyone is fighting their own battles during this time of crisis. Empathize with your team, ask them frequently about the challenges they are facing and how they’re dealing with them. Building a good camaraderie and a healthy competitive spirit can boost the motivation of your employees effectively. Motivation can help you establish a positive work culture for remote teams.
Set Goals and Measure Outcomes
Many remote employees can often feel disconnected with the vision and mission of the company. It becomes much easier to build a highly productive remote team if all the team members understand the company’s vision. As a team manager, you need to settle on a clear and concise way of communicating the company’s vision. Set short term goals for every team member and motivate them to achieve them. These goals should be measurable that can yield great outcomes. Communication of these goals and measures in a way that impacts the overall performance of the company is extremely critical. This reminds your employees of what they’re accomplishing together.
Collect Frequent Feedbacks
If you’re running a remote team for the first time, chances you may not get everything right the first time. Whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced professional, it is always crucial to ask your teams for regular feedback. You can ask each employee to pay close attention to your strategy and process. Then they can tell you where it can be improved. This opens up a communication channel between employees and management which boosts the team dynamics effectively. Ask for regular feedback and improve the process and strategies continuously. Give great emphasis on having regular feedbacks and make your employees feel free to speak their minds and be heard.