Hiring remote employees can be beneficial for businesses: it allows employers to attract top talent from all over, fulfill employees’ needs for flexible workplaces, and even save some money on office space. But hiring remote team members can also present some challenges.
With so many professionals placing a high value on company culture, how can businesses cultivate camaraderie without having the entire team together on a daily basis? Several experts from the Forbes Technology Council have shared their tips and tricks for creating a thriving company culture with remote employees.
1. Daily morning meetings
Starting the workday with a morning meeting via video chat helps ensure that the whole team is aligned and on the same page before getting down to business. A morning meeting sets the tone for the day and gives remote employees time to discuss responsibilities with staff at the office. To support a strong company culture, regular communication is essential.
2. Digital brainstorming
Establishing a digital space for brainstorming gives employees space to openly share ideas and get creative together. Today, there are plenty of tools that make this easy to do — some teams might want to bounce suggestions off each other in a designated Slack chat, or they may want to add comments in a designated Google doc.
3. Get together in person
Gathering together the entire staff for an in-person meeting can bring the team closer together and help remote employees get a better feel for the company culture. It gives employees the chance to form real friendships, and these gatherings don’t have to be focused on business — fun team outings give everyone the opportunity to get to know each other offline.
4. Host group challenges
Want to encourage teamwork between in-office and remote employees? Get everyone in on a company-wide challenge. Ivailo Nikolove of SiteGround recommends a “Get Fit” challenge. Employees can all join in and form fitness teams from wherever they are and track their results online. It’s a great way to foster some friendly (and healthy) competition.
5. Opportunities for promotion
Just like employees who show up to the office each day, remote employees should be notified of any opportunities for advancement and should feel encouraged to apply for open on-site roles with the company. Remote employees shouldn’t feel like they’re on the outside looking in. A truly welcoming company culture means that everyone — regardless of where you work — should be treated equally.
6. Emphasize company values
A company’s culture should reflect the business’s mission and values, and it’s possible to put this into practice even if employees are scattered across the country. Maria Alegre of Chartboost explained how their team keeps their values at the forefront: they message each other about their accomplishments in an internal chat room and tag each successful milestone with a corresponding company value.
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Jane Harkness is a freelance writer who provides blogging, copywriting, and proofreading services to startups, small businesses, and nonprofits. She works with clients in a variety of industries, including food and travel, and she also contributes political essays to several digital publications.