Establishing an inclusive, strong company culture has become a priority in recent years for many companies. When the job market was scorching hot a few years back, employers looked for ways to reshape their culture to retain their best team players and attract new job seekers. But as millions of people are working from home, it’s become even more challenging to nurture culture. And as many remote workers begin to feel burnt out and isolated, it’s crucial to confront this issue head-on. Here is how your team can foster a strong company culture while your staff is working from home.
When everyone is in the office, synergy and teamwork are more natural. Your team can plan office parties, go to happy hours after work, and do other exercises that cultivate culture. But just because the bulk of your team is working remotely, it doesn’t mean that you can’t organize similar activities. You can schedule virtual activities to give your team a break from work and have a little fun. A recent article from the New York Times illustrated that some smaller businesses were doing virtual movie nights, online games, and some in-person outdoor events. These virtual activities are a fun way for your staff to have a little fun, build chemistry with one another, and feel like they are part of a team.
Zoom fatigue is real, and it’s causing some remote workers anxiety. Another excellent strategy some employers are endorsing is meeting-free days. Blocking out one day a week where no meetings are allowed so your team can focus on their work without constant interruptions is a great way to ease the pressure off your staff and improve your company’s culture.
Share stories and pictures
At this point, most of you probably have your cameras turned off during video calls. You probably haven’t seen some of your coworkers for months (or even longer). When you are not physically together, you can miss out on some water cooler conversations. As a result, it can be difficult to keep up with what’s going on with your colleagues outside of work. An easy strategy to remedy this is to encourage your staff to share pictures and stories. Did someone just have a baby? What were your pandemic projects that you proudly finished? Developed any new hobbies over the last 18+ months? These are all things that are fun to share with each other virtually! So, whether it’s a staff newsletter or a fun Slack channel, sharing stories and pictures with your colleagues is a great way to cultivate culture.
Our team at JSG all submitted our work from home pictures at the beginning of the pandemic. Check them out here!
Who doesn’t love a friendly competition? These competitions can be work-related or just for fun. Football season is coming up, so creating a company fantasy football league is a great way to have a little fun and bond with your coworkers. Your programming team can do a virtual hackathon, or you can host a trivia night with some fun questions about your company, industry, or products. You can even do costume competitions for Halloween (which is spookily just around the corner). Whatever your team decides, creating some friendly competitions is an excellent way to build company culture while your team is working from home.
Last but not least, your team can schedule regular check-ins with your staff to gauge how they are doing. When working from home, it can sometimes be more challenging to have one-on-one conversations with your team. Regularly checking in to see how they are doing and understand what you and the company can do to support them will go a long way. Your staff will ultimately be better-taken care of and appreciated. Plus, you will learn new ways to help them do their jobs better and provide a healthier work-life balance.
Those are four ways you can foster a more robust company culture while working from home. If you are looking for more ways to support your staff and offer a better experience, check out our Client Resources!