We talk a lot about remote teams, as Tech Collective is built upon that remote structure with the core team working across the region and our collaborators spanning multiple continents.
From creating a productive remote team to building one and why you should, we truly believe in the value of remote teams. However, one thing that most companies feel will suffer from a remote team is the concept of a company culture.
Whether good or bad, culture is the backbone of any company – big or small. How teams interact, the ideals of a company and employee dynamics are greatly influenced by your culture. We broke down how we use technology, proper business process and a ton of learning from our mistakes, to build a great remote working team.
Focus on communication
Isolation is a big issue, so communication is key. Here’s how we overcome it usually.
- Get dedicated communication tools: We use Slack and Skype every single day to have meetings with our teams and create channels for both work and fun – just like a normal office. Memes can be distracting, but also a pleasant break from the mundane and also a great way to inject a bit of humour into the workday.
- Regular updates: Everyone in the team gets email updates and calendar notifications to make sure we know the comings and goings of everyone. It is easy to forget staff may be on leave if you don’t work in the same office so making sure we’re all on the same page is crucial.
- Get to know everyone: I know every single person who is part of the team – we meet virtually almost every day.
- Feedback matters: Don’t let people’s opinions and words get lost – give them the option to share and feel valued in the company.
Create a sense of community
I used to work for someone who was never in the office and made no effort to create a sense of community. In fact, office drinks or meals were slightly frowned upon, so we often had to sneak around to grab a drink with a colleague.
This was naturally terrible and I couldn’t leave fast enough. So now I focus on building a sense of community in Tech Collective like this.
- Regular townhalls or all-hands on deck: Get the whole company on a conference call or video chat at last once a month (more often is better) to give general updates and keep everyone in the loop.
- Try to physically meet your team: There is definite benefits to meeting someone face-to-face, so when you can have your remote come to you or go meet them, so the team can bond.
Create a brand story
History is a key part of the company’s culture. What challenges did you overcome to get where you are today? These challenges can become legends of the company that are passed on from veteran team members to new ones, and create a sense of kinship that no logos can create. How can you do this?
- Tell your story. We frequently talk about how we started and how we got to where we are today–and it really helps.
- Make it part of your onboarding. Every new hire or contractor has to understand our history and why we exist.
Be a company with a vision
Your company’s vision provides direction for your whole team. You need to make sure you have a strong vision that genuinely means something.
- Authenticity matters. Your vision is meaningless if it’s not authentic.
- Get buy-in from the team. Communicate it well with the team and foster a strong sense of involvement in your company. Have them buy-in to the vision of the company, so everyone works together.
Building a great company culture is hard, and your work is never done. Every new hire means you need to repeat the process to integrate them into your company. Make sure you gather feedback regularly to test the pulse of your company. If you put in the effort, the rewards will come in the form of a strong company culture that fosters togetherness, productivity and a sense of belonging.