How have recent changes impacted your business?
2021 was a year of change for so many in more ways than most of us can fathom. From a workplace perspective, workforces had to become more agile and adapt to working remotely and businesses had to transform to stay afloat. Many of these changes had been in the pipeline, but never has there been such a fast and immediate change needed and implemented.
The effect on employees and their ability to excel has been huge. Working remotely from home is both a challenge and a blessing with a new form of ‘office environment’ going forward.
Remote Working Benefits and Disadvantages
The challenge now is considering the benefits and implications for building a remote culture:
- Improved work/life balance – less/no commuting, more time with family, less stress
- More freedom and flexibility – more focus on productivity than strict hours, can create their own schedule
- Reduced business costs – smaller or no office spaces
- Increased productivity – with no commute remote workers are fresh and ready to start their work
- A larger talent pool – potential remote working employees don’t need to be within reach of the office
- No face-to-face interaction – reduced guidance and support
- Loneliness and isolation – missing the social interaction of colleagues, feeling of disconnection
- Reduced teamwork – without getting together it’s harder to work as a team to collaborate on projects
- Distractions at home – children, animals, chores, ringing doorbells
- Technical issues – unstable internet connections can reduce productivity
Why is a Remote Working Culture Important?
A great team is built by establishing a positive team working culture. This benefits both employees and the company by encouraging collaboration and development. Teams accomplish more together by bringing different perspectives, levels of experience, skills and ideas. A positive working culture is usually fostered within the workplace whilst working together.
How You Can Create a Positive Culture
How can you build a remote culture that fosters teamwork, engagement and retention of staff? How can you set up the best remote working practices for your team?
- Ensure your team have an ideal working space and equipment including an ergonomic chair and suitable desk
- Define your work policy regarding working hours and if some visits to the main office are required
- Be flexible, focus on results rather than logged hours, set realistic expectations and goals
- Communicate frequently and listen to others, be open and honest, keep your team connected to share interests and values, combat loneliness and isolation
- Trust your team, let them prove to you how competent and dedicated they are, try not to micromanage
- Prioritise communication, keep your team informed using email, telephone and video meeting platforms
- Face-to-face meetings, bringing your team together regularly to keep connected
How can you attract new staff?
For many roles you now have access to a global talent pool without the need for geographical location. Yet this distributed working, enjoying flexible remote working but missing the in-person ‘team’ and feeling of connection to co-workers and sense of belonging, is a balance that needs to be found. Many companies have transitioned from office-based culture to remote workplace culture by offering virtual classes, forums, and online clubs, which will look to continue in the coming year.
Building a Successful Brand
Continuing to build a successful brand is central to developing the remote culture, feeling part of the brand, the business and the people. Offering support is important, whether it be through technology, online support and interaction, skill development or regular one-to-ones. Mental health support is also key to success.
Development of Skills
From a skill development perspective, the offering of both virtual and face-to-face training to support the change and ability to hit the ground running has never been greater. Continuing to develop your people is central to the success to be more agile to meet the needs of businesses going forward.