For many, the best thing about working in an office is the camaraderie you have with colleagues. A good team and a culture that fits their personality will keep an employee around longer than many other perks, whilst the opposite will send people running out the door quicker than anything else.
So, how do you maintain the culture you have worked so hard to cultivate when your team is working from home? Here are some tips that have been working for the Natilik team:
1. Keep in touch
It is easy to feel isolated and cut off when working from home, it is not as easy as leaning over to say hi to the person next to you. It is important to schedule catch ups and meetings with your team and the wider business. There are many collaboration tools you can utilise so you can keep collaborating and stay connected.
2. Turn your camera on
It is often said that more than 90% of communication is non-verbal. These cues are missed over the phone, and it is hard to determine tone over text. With modern day video conferencing tools, such as Cisco Webex, you can get the full picture as you talk face to face, only virtually.
3. It starts from the top
If you find yourself managing a remote team for the first time, you should ensure that you are leading by example. Arrange whole team catch ups or individual chats, keep the lines of communication open and turn your video on, so your team know you’re there for them.
4. Trust your team
If you trust your team to complete their work in an office environment, extend that same trust to when they are working remotely. Nothing will deflate enthusiasm as quickly as a lack of trust. Ensure lines of communication are open, but your employees don’t want to feel like every tea or toilet break is being scrutinised.
5. Text it out
One of the great things about sitting with your team is being able to get a quick answer to a question or ask for an opinion about a project you are working on. When working remotely, you don’t want to call for one question, this is where the chat functionality of many collaboration technologies come into their own. A quick message in Webex Teams, and you can get the answer you need.
6. Talk about more than just work
Not every conversation we have in the office is about work, whether it is catching up after the weekend or sharing details of the latest episode of your favourite TV show at the coffee machine. These interactions all add to the culture and friendliness of your business. Build in some time in meetings to chat about the social side of life, encourage the sharing of pictures in a social team or set up challenges. At Natilik, we have enjoyed some visual quizzes, a bake off and sharing pictures of our pets trying to help us work.
7. Arrange a social night
We are all currently using video conferencing technology to keep up with our friends and family, and there is no reason why you can’t apply this to your colleagues too, especially if you are usually a social company. Get everyone to grab a drink (beer, cola, tea) at a set time and get together for a catch up with your team or even company-wide. Why not try a quiz night, charades or even karaoke? All of which are possible utilising Cisco Webex.
How are you keeping your culture alive while your team is working from home? Share your ideas with us on Twitter or LinkedIn.
If you want to find out more about Collaboration technology and how you can make the most of it, get in touch with Natilik today at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the form here and a member of the team will be in touch soon.