How To Develop A Positive Workplace Culture Within A Remote Department
As a significant portion of businesses move toward establishing themselves as a fundamentally remote workplace, there is great pressure placed upon leaders and managers to ensure that the positive workplace culture once established in a central location is carried over.
Such a task can be quite challenging, especially as the tools and process of communication between employees are fundamentally changed. Interpersonal dynamics and practices must be rethought and, in many cases, replaced, since the frequency and topics of many central workplace conversations do not convert well to message groups and video conferencing.
One of the most crucial considerations for departments to make when operating remotely is establishing what is important. Certain topics are not suitable for group conversations since they occupy the time of entire teams when it is solely an issue between individuals. As such, it should be made clear that only certain topics will be covered during group sessions and that, if a topic that is better discussed outside of this delegated time is brought up, others are comfortable requesting its deferment.
If such a culture is not established early on and video conferences are not streamlined, employees may become frustrated and neglect to concentrate or even attend.
When working in a shared and centralised workplace, it can be difficult to realise how important casual chat can be. While many businesses understandably seek to curb the amount of non-essential conversation that occurs, such forums play a huge role in team bonding and creativity.
When transitioning into a teleworking scenario, these conversations can be stifled. This is not only problematic for ensuring that departments remain connected on a personal level but also prevents open dialogue between employees and managers. Managers, as such, should make an effort to facilitate downtimes, such as short meetings that allow for more casual conversations and feedback.
A number of businesses are even seeking management training in London so as to keep business leaders up-to-date with new processes and how to positively oversee remote teams.
The process of working remotely is one that many are experiencing for the first time. For managers, this means encountering a number of unexpected issues. As such, only a certain degree of preparation can be useful since many scenarios will require flexibility.
Instead of finely tuning a plan, it is better for leaders to develop clarity of outcome. By doing so, managers are able to respond to mitigations and issues that occur more easily and quickly. Promising that the outcome of a process is made clear and expectations are met, employees will be able to adapt themselves to the new way of working more easily, reducing stress and promoting positivity and independence.
The distance of a team can lead some managers to fret about laziness. However, not only is this counterintuitive, with many examples of resulting surveillance and micromanaging actually serving to disrupt workplace culture, but it also appears that the opposite may be true. Instead of remote workers losing productivity, they are often more likely to overwork themselves. As such, managers should ensure they both trust their employees and check they are not working outside of their expected schedule.