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The lifting of pandemic-era restrictions paves the way for millions of workers to return to their offices. For many employees, however, this is not an attractive prospect. And considering that talent is scarce, employers must think twice about ordering people back full-time.

Office Optional

Office Optional

by Larry English

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Remote Work: The Premise

Researchers predict 73% of teams will include remote workers by 2028, but few companies make building and maintaining their culture with all workers – including virtual ones – a priority.

 Companies with remote teams should proactively create a connected culture. When you create a positive ...

Key Takeaways

  • Building a strong virtual culture hinges on trusting your workers.
  • Align your virtual culture with your core values and operating philosophy.
  • Invest time in screening new hires to make sure they fit your culture.
  • Create a training program to spread your culture, and a...

Defining Company Culture

Culture is the personality of a company. It defines the environment in which employees work and includes both the spoken and unspoken rules for how things get done in a company.

A positive virtual culture requires trust. Employers may worry that their remote workers will underperform, but, ...

Building a Strong Virtual Culture Hinges on Trusting Your Workers

Treat remote workers as responsible adults, giving them autonomy and flexibility.

This policy will contribute to their happiness and, in turn, they will feel a greater sense of loyalty to your company, thus building the foundations of a positive culture. Companies that have cultures rooted ...

Align Your Virtual Culture with Your Core Values and Operating Philosophy

The culture you create reflects the rules – both official and unspoken – that your company embraces. Before you create a virtual culture, reflect on your current culture. Ask why you provide the services or products you offer and what core values inform the decisions people make at your company. ...

Adding Virtual Components

After you identify and redefine your culture, start adding in virtual components. Everything your company does, from the way you conduct sales calls to the collaboration tools you use, should align with your core culture. Try to be flexible. Understand that remote workers will have different dist...

Invest Time in Screening New Hires to Make Sure They Fit Your Culture

Consider which aspects of your virtual and core cultures you can and can’t teach, then hire people who already possess the cultural aspects you value but couldn't teach, the intrinsic aspects of your culture. For example, teaching someone to be kind isn’t easy, so if you and your culture value th...

Few businesses train workers in their culture – more than 60% of companies don’t mention their culture when onboarding new employees. If you want your workers to embody your culture, teach them about it. Consider creating a culture curriculum highlighting the cultural traits you prioritize, such ...

Tailor To Different Learning Styles

  • Make both in-person and virtual learning methods available to workers, since people have different learning styles – some may prefer learning at home, while others prefer learning in a group. 
  • Hire leaders who embrace your cultural values in their own lives to serve as role models. 

Culture Sharing

  • Enable employees to share your culture by inviting a select group of people from varying career levels to serve as cultural ambassadors and share your company culture. 
  • Make ambassadors responsible for identifying charities your company can support, organizing internal events such as...

Encourage Vulnerability to Strengthen Virtual Relationships

Virtual relationships can develop into strong connections, just as in-person relationships do in the office, but remote connections may require extra effort. Create strong relationships by making an effort to be vulnerable and encouraging team members to do the same. When people display vulnerabi...

Consider bringing more of your personality to work: Perhaps you could craft a clever auto-reply or share small details about your life to help your colleagues feel a greater connection with you. Leave time for people to chat about non-work topics before virtual meetings to encourage distant team ...

LARRY ENGLISH

Vulnerability is the secret ingredient and shortest route to building any strong, collaborative relationship, whether your relationship is strictly virtual or in person.

Virtual Misunderstandings

Be mindful that misunderstandings can cause conflicts during remote meetings since people have more difficulty interpreting one another’s tone of voice or body language in virtual communication settings. 

  • Proactively manage conflict by taking extra time to connect with people.

Use all available metrics to measure your corporate culture. Figure out how frequently you’ll gather feedback on your culture and which sources you’ll draw from to make sure you have at least one quantifiable metric you can study over time. External sources – such as web platforms like Glassdoor ...

Enhance Your Virtual Culture by Investing in A Collaboration Tool

Take time to enhance your culture by finding the best collaboration tool(Slack, Teams etc.) to facilitate internal communication and cooperation in your organization. Employees can become frustrated if they lack effective methods for connecting with one another and streamlining their workflow.

Become a Better Virtual Worker by Adopting Healthy Habits

Establish boundaries – Contrary to popular belief, many remote workers work too much.

Choose your workspace carefully – Work somewhere with minimal distractions.

Schedule time for breaks – Take time for activities, such as exercising...

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