As the effects of the pandemic become even more cemented in our world of work, companies worldwide must adapt to the new circumstances. More than ever before, employees are opting to work from home, and many employers are helping with the shift.
Creating remote work networking has become a priority for companies because the new scenario has led many companies to work only remotely.
To achieve success, having remote work tools will help your company keep scaling and make your team feel like their work is productive.
Despite the inevitable challenges of managing a remote team, this altered landscape provides the perfect opportunity for culture to improve.
Virtual Workplaces Require Deliberate Action.
When employees work remotely, management cannot physically observe body language. Communication cannot occur casually: there is no water cooler, no break room. This leads to problems, as employees may pretend to be busy or happy when they are not. Communication must become a deliberate act.
In the office, you may have seen an employee looking frustrated or quiet, conversed with them, and discovered the cause of their problems. However, from behind a screen, you may never see a frown. Employees have time to think before answering a question. Every answer is prepared. Every interaction is filtered. Therefore, you should strive to ask each employee how they feel if they need help or find out if they have any questions. On the plus side, this allows you to know them. Be intentional, and your conversations can be much more meaningful than small talk in the break room.
An essential part of a worker's routine has always been travel, but this was lost at the beginning of the pandemic. Many became more productive with all that extra time and nothing to do. Time that was usually spent going to and from the office became time to think and work. This became incredibly beneficial. Many people find that it is often not necessary to commute to work and that they can do more work from home and of higher quality. The traditional nine-to-five office job seems a thing of the past, and business seems to be better because of it.
Employees working in different geographic regions existed long before the pandemic. Many companies have a solid foundation for bringing teams together across multiple spaces, but it's getting easier thanks to improved technology, and a remote work tools that helps in the processes Thanks to a broad landscape of digital programs, it's as easy to connect with someone on the other side of the world as it is to connect with someone around the corner. Employees in Europe feel as united as those in the United States, which makes the organization feel more united as a whole. Thanks to technology, the more we separate, the more we come together.
Find time for fun.
As remote workers to be deliberate in their communication, it also pushes them to be planned in the opportunities they can create to relax, learn from each other and have fun. Managers need to think more seriously about how to connect their entire team. Every employee is different and, unfortunately, there is no guide on how to have fun. The actions taken here depend on the workforce. The important thing is for managers to make employees feel like they are part of a group, even if they never physically meet a single co-worker. Some remote teams hold monthly sessions where they play games, answer questions about themselves and get to know their co-workers. Whichever option you choose, it's all about creating these bonds.
Culture doesn't just happen in companies. It is constantly evolving and, with a catalyst like Covid-19, it is bound to change radically. Instead of fearing a loss of familiarity, the new face of business has presented each of us with an opportunity: we can redefine culture in our own image. Through deliberate action and communication, increased productivity and a focus on uniting your team, you have the opportunity to improve your company's culture.
Below we share some tips to achieve implement this type of culture:
-Always facilitate communication channels and keep them open to all employees. Remember that working remotely is not easy for everyone and takes some time to adapt for those who are not used to this modality.
-What channels should be used to forge an employee-company nexus? The necessary ones. An internal company chat, where live communication is easy, calls, video calls, an internal e-mail account. A tool such as Slack combines most of these functionalities.
-Grant the necessary tools so that employees can do their work in the same way they would do it if they were in the office. Reducing the "shock" of interacting in an office and, suddenly, doing it from a place that is not their daily work can be difficult if they do not have the appropriate materials. Computer, headphones, ergonomic chair, even a simple notebook, everything is valid to make the employee feel comfortable.
-Train team leaders so that communication with the workgroup is fluid, practical, and, above all, human. Speaking clearly about the company's projects is necessary to generate harmony and understanding. Working on soft skills is essential in remote work. Soft skills are what will provide closeness and transparent communication. And this brings us to our next trip.
-Humanizing interactions is critical. If your company has a Human Resources department, take advantage of it. To generate a remote corporate culture that works, it is ideal that those who work in these areas are protagonists in bringing about change. "Fewer resources, more people," goes an old phrase. We believe that today, more than ever, we must put this thought into action.
And that resources facilitate and mechanize repetitive and time-consuming work, but people are the essence of a company's ability to function and its corporate culture to be optimal.
-Keep teams up to date through training. Technological transformation does not stop, and if your company wants to be at the forefront, you must invest in training. The learning culture is also part of an exemplary remote culture of the organization. Keep this in mind.
At MyLenio, we know how important it is to train the team constantly; the remote work culture should not neglect this area.
User provisioning and permissions automation tools offer a training section where you can see what training has been done, what is still to be done and update new training. The HR team can track the progress is key to continuing and that the training system works.
-Avoid burnout (the worst work enemy of these times) and provide adequate breaks. It is common to perform more tasks than necessary when working from home. You must prevent employees from getting overwhelmed or stressed because it will affect performance. People first. Remember that focusing on the well-being of employees helps to provide a good Customer Experience. If we are good from the inside, it will show on the outside.
-Reward the good, don't punish mistakes. Incentivizing employees when they meet their objectives is key to maintaining a good work environment. Likewise, punishing errors is not the key if things don't go as planned. As discussed before, soft skills are fundamental to negotiating and proposing solutions. Okay, something went wrong.
How can we reverse it? All this is also part of a good organizational strategy. Taking care only of customers without taking care of employees is only taking care of half of our journey as a company. Rely on people.
-Use social networks as a communication channel. During this pandemic, have you seen that many employees post pictures of their workspaces or when they receive gifts from the company? Well, that is also a remote culture! When we talk about identification and inclusion, this is what we mean: feeling part of and being promoters of change, of the way a company relates to its employees. Using social networks as a real showcase of what happens daily in remote offices is organizational culture.
Having chats in work channels on topics outside the business activity, health, sports, being able to share these moments in social networks, provides the team with confidence and bonds between them.
-How does this help generate a Good Customer Experience? Let's see:
If employees have the tools to do their job generally from wherever they are, the customer will notice. What if an employee can't find an answer to a question because they don't have, for example, a computer that allows them to search quickly? The customer's experience would probably be wrong.
Training is essential to keep employees always up to date. In times of transformation, we must take advantage of them to generate competitive advantages.
-Maintaining the "emotional health" of those who work in a company is not just an embellishment phrase. Fulfilling this premise is decisive for how the employee relates to a client. Mental fatigue is not suitable for anyone. Always take care of your team, and they will take care of the Customer Experience!
And by taking care of the employee as much or more as if they were in an office, we will make the new remote work model more profitable and productive than working in an office.