Building a Remote Workforce Culture in the Age of Social Distancing

Author Nick Brandt
Posted April 16, 2020
work social distancing

With so many of us quarantined, some of us might be starting to feel a little stir crazy. While this is leading to plenty of videos of people doing funny things to combat boredom, there are larger implications for businesses that will likely need to transition their company culture to one that’s replicable online or taking advantage of the remote workforce.

Unfortunately, many organizations are finding themselves unprepared for having a remote workforce. While online collaboration tools are nothing new, firms now also have to train people not only how to use them, but how to use them productively.

Training on new systems, processes, and procedures aside, there are a number of things that a company can do to develop a strong company culture that can be applied both during the current situation and well beyond. Here are a few key steps companies need to take in order to flourish in this new era.

Allow Employees to Socialize Online

There’s a myth that if employees are chatting about non-work related topics online, they’re not being productive. But, as the saying goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. As employers shift to more a more distributed workforce, they will need to have allow their workers to truly socialize online, which includes talking about things that aren’t relevant to work. Which leads us to our second recommendation.

employee socializing online

Connect Like-Minded Employees

One of the challenges of having a remote workforce is a sense of isolation employees can develop. For example, a 2018 study found that about 1 in 5 remote workers struggled with loneliness. And another survey from earlier this year found that loneliness has a negative impact on productivity; lonely workers tend to take more sick days and underperform in their job duties.

To help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness, it’s important for companies to connect employees to each other. But what’s the best way to do that when employees can’t socialize over the water cooler or around the lunch table?

Connecting employees online to each other based on their own interests is a good place to start. Employees can be introduced when they have things in common, such as sports, activities, books, movies, etc. Putting employees together in interest-focused groups can create bonds that ultimately lead to a sense of belonging and increased loyalty.

Communicate Company Vision and Values

One of the challenges of remote work is that employees aren’t always exposed to the company’s larger vision and values. As such, they may not as easily make decisions or follow certain unwritten policies that are always inherent in a company culture.

That’s why it’s essential for firms to clearly state what their vision is for the company and what their values are. This is more than just a memo that gets emailed around or posted to a company’s slack channel. Firms need to find novel and engaging ways to communicate these essential building blocks, as well as rewarding employees who clearly work towards fulfilling the corporate vision and embody its values. With more and more firms turning to remote work these days, it’s essential to have the tools in place that can help foster a strong company culture online. And that’s exactly what Zenvoy can help you do. Contact us to schedule a demo to see how Zenvoy can help you build and maintain your remote workforce—during these challenging times and beyond

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