April 14th, 2020
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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies around the globe to move toward a remote work environment. This means that staff who are used to the culture and buzz of an office environment are now adjusting to working solely from their homes.
However, just because your staff are working remotely it doesn’t mean that your company culture needs to suffer. Let’s run through five of our top tips to maintain company culture while working from home.
The main priority during this time should be ensuring your employees are feeling calm, supported and capable of fulfilling their roles. Management teams can offer reassurance and ease concern by providing updates from government bodies and health authorities and announce any company-wide initiatives that are available to employees and clients. It also gives employees the time to ask any questions that they have or suggest new initiatives.
It’s important to set clear performance, behaviour and communication expectations with your team while working from home. Communication can often drop when staff aren’t physically together, so it’s imperative that an expectation is set from the start to reduce confusion and make sure that everyone is kept on the same page.
PropertyMe General Manager of Sales and Service Lisa Pentland said, “Working from home is largely an honesty system which really feeds to the core of your company culture and team spirit. A well supported team with clear and transparent KPIs will really shine in this environment.
“When each and every team member understands the value and importance of their own daily contribution to the whole business outcome, your business will transition seamlessly. Of course the challenge is to ensure that as a business leader you continue to recognise and celebrate all of those contributions and achievements.”
It’s really important that all employees remain motivated and on task while working from home. Take some time to consider the employees who thrive on feedback and make regular contact to provide feedback for their most recent work and where possible, highlight the things that they have done well. This positive reinforcement will remind them that they have not been forgotten and their consistency and hard work is recognised and appreciated.
As you no longer have the luxury of watercooler conversations or walking into a meeting room, it’s important to keep up communication with your team on a regular basis. To maintain structure, motivation and productivity within the team, be sure to schedule regular video meetings to check in, remove roadblocks and keep everyone in the loop.
For example, online learning company Skillcrush hosts a virtual 15-minute daily standup meeting. Meanwhile, Microsoft is turning to live events, utilising their Microsoft Teams platform to broadcast to the entire company, allowing employees to ask questions and discuss ideas freely.
Schedule an after hours virtual get-together using a video conferencing software like Zoom or Microsoft Teams and ask your team members to grab their favourite drink or snack. You can ask each staff member to come up with a themed idea for each meeting so everyone is involved. The main idea is to keep it social so no work related topics should be covered.
Alternatively, you could host a virtual games night, Netflix Party lunch sessions, themed virtual drinks, virtual yoga or stretching sessions. For example, digital security company Keyfactor run a virtual Breakfast Club on Monday mornings, Open Mic on Thursday evenings and weekly virtual meditation sessions. Also HR and payroll platform Employment Hero has a Slack channel called #chitchat for scheduled Zoom virtual chit-chat sessions and hosts lunchtime Netflix streaming parties as well as virtual cooking classes.
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