Remote work is here to stay. According to an Owl Labs study, over 16% of all businesses around the world are currently entirely operating remotely. There is no doubt, remote is becoming the new normal. In fact, for most people, the benefits associated with remote work can outweigh the disadvantages. Remote work not only enhances productivity by reducing interruptions, but it also allows individuals to work comfortably from home, supports employee retention, and encourages diversity in the workplace as you can hire from a broader talent pool from across the world.
However, one of the disadvantages of remote work is the lack of real, human connection. No matter how advanced video communication becomes – it is still virtual. For some, burnout and difficulty in time management have been consequences of remote working. According to a study by MDLinx, up to 45% of remote employees reported that they felt their mental health was deteriorating while working from home in the post-COVID era.
So, how can you strike a balance between the benefits and drawbacks of remote work? How can that balance be achieved while looking after the mental wellbeing of your employees? Along with leadership coaching, regular 1:1s, and remote onboarding, below are some ways that bring everyone at TG together:
1- Remote Socials
There is no fun at work without a little bit of play. Remote Socials are a monthly event where all employees come together for a fun challenge or game. It can be anything – a scavenger hunt, a trivia quiz or even a virtual escape room. Remote Socials encourage employees to get to know each other, have fun and unwind. If you are a small company with a limited budget, there are plenty of free options to choose from too;checkout the Miroverse for amazing ideas from creators all over the world. If you are a bigger company with a more flexible budget, you can always opt for a paid escape room.
2- Virtual Culture Clubs
Ever since COVID prompted businesses to go remote, company culture has become more important than ever before. Hence came the idea of the ‘culture club’ – an open forum to discuss ways of embedding and strengthening company culture in a remote first world. Culture clubs are constructive, open, and interactive workshops that crowdsource ideas from everyone and anyone across the business. The ideas and suggestions are then picked up, adopted, and implemented before the next culture club session. We find that employees use this forum to openly highlight some of the challenges and successes associated with remote working and distributed teams.
3- Communication Channels
Internal communication platforms can be leveraged to create a variety of different communities that discuss everything, from books to sharing holiday photos. This is a great way for employees to feel connected to one another through shared interests and experiences. You can set up hobby clubs or communities with unique interests, allowing employees to interact on a personal level with one another.It is a great and simple solution to encourage connection in the virtual workplace which works on most communication tools.
4- Crowdsourcing Culture
One of the best ways to foster communication and connectivity within your company culture is to involve your employees in important decisions. A simple survey or poll can give you great insights into what your employees really want, and even help you with some innovative ideas. Empowering employees and involving them in the decision-making processes through surveys and workshops instills a feeling of ownership within your workforce and creates a shared interest in a successful outcome.
While there’s no single tool or initiative which can completely transform how your company operates in a remote first world, commitment, and freedom to experiment with remote working is a must for long-term success and retention.