How to Build Culture in a Remote Team

Posted: Jun 04 2020

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As much as 60% of the British workforce is now working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing organisations to reevaluate their entire business model and practices. While some may be used to remote work, for many more, this will have been their first time of working from home. There's no doubt that the change will have come easier to some and have been more difficult for others..

Team leaders faced with managing a team via a computer screen are now presented with the task of maintaining a positive working environment despite these teething problems and difficulties. A key part of this is learning how to build a strong culture with a remote team, ensuring that everyone is on the same page even when in different postcodes. The main concern that managers have is making sure productivity remains as high as it would do in the office setting, with the possibility for members of staff to take their foot off the gas without their supervisor watching over their shoulder.

Team leaders faced with managing a team via a computer screen are now presented with the task of maintaining a positive working environment despite these teething problems and difficulties. A key part of this is learning how to build a strong culture with a remote team, ensuring that everyone is on the same page even when in different postcodes. The main concern that managers have is making sure productivity remains as high as it would do in the office setting, with the possibility for members of staff to take their foot off the gas without their supervisor watching over their shoulder.

Set Clear Expectations

Whether working remotely or in the office, setting clear expectations of what is expected of the team is a must. This is especially true in present circumstances, where your business is likely to be working remotely through necessity. In this case, team leaders must instil a culture within the team where everyone is expected to communicate as much as possible with their colleagues – this can be done through various communication platforms that may have already been in place.

When the team knows what is expected from them, both in terms of productivity and communication, this goes some way to instilling a positive culture within your remote team. Without this, it can be all too easy for demotivated staff members to weigh down the team and the company.

Trust

Trust is the most important aspect for any team, especially those working remotely. Without trust, there is no team. Managers must be able to trust that their staff are working and not taking advantage of their remote workplace. Setting up a system where staff can make a note of what they have spent their time on and/or log completed tasks with as minimal admin time as possible helps to build that trust without the need for constantly checking in.

No one wants to be micromanaged. Not only is micromanagement completely counterproductive, but it simply does not make for building a healthy culture within your remote team. If and when employees feel as though they are not trusted by management, this is often the catalyst for a member of staff to seek other employment opportunities, especially if they feel that distrust will hamper their career development within the company.

Communication – Video Conferencing

We have already touched upon the importance of communication within this post, but as well as having somewhere that members of staff can ask work-related questions and share ideas, nothing beats talking face to face. Working remotely means that you cannot have the off-the-cuff discussions and meetings which you could do in the office; this is why setting a time once or twice a day where everyone checks in should be a priority when it comes to building a positive culture with your remote team.

For some, especially those that live alone, a video conference might be the only face-to-face interaction they have in a day. That can serve as a real motivation boost, as well as further helping from a team-building point of view, with members of staff better able to bond and feel connected with their colleagues, even if the actual call itself lasts for just a few minutes.

This presents a good means of discussing any action points that are perhaps better communicated verbally as opposed to in a written format. Even if there is nothing specific to discuss, allowing time to catch up helps to build and maintain team spirit, unity and connection.

As the world of business evolves so, too, has Team Challenge Company with our team working to offer specialised remote team building events. We have developed innovative programmes that champion teamwork, communication and connectivity, all perfectly placed to assist as you begin building a culture with your remote teams.

For more information on our range of team building events and how we can help your business, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today via our contact page or call us on 03300 04 09 03.

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