Building a Remote Team Culture

We are back with another article in our remote work series, and this time we are talking to managers who are looking to help their teams go remote. Whether it’s one, or all, of your team members who are interested, these tips can help your team stay a team, even while you aren’t sharing an office.
Olivia Maier

Olivia Maier

5 min read

Who are you?

As a manager, you might be looking for new ways to support your team and their lifestyles. This means some team members might decide that working fully remote, or partially remote would be a good fit.

You might also be a manager or business owner who wants to take a full team, or business, remote. Or looking to start a business, and want to build it all remotely.

No matter which of these situations you may find yourself in, transitioning to remote work doesn’t have to be a daunting task. A good place to start is building a remote work culture that helps your team, stay a team.

Let’s break this down…

Remote work culture is just as, if not more, important as traditional office workplace culture. The office might be remote, but it still has the same components. The management styles, etiquette, and having a cohesive team still have to come together to help people successfully work remotely.

What works for managing a remote team?

In general, micromanaging team members isn’t really possible, or productive, when it comes to remote teams. It might be tempting to check in continuously to make up for the lack of visual cues, but trusting your remote team to do what they are supposed to do is a key for everyone involved. It gives you more time to address your key responsibilities, and helps your remote team take advantage of the benefits of working remotely. It can be helpful to clarify responsibilities during the preparation of going remote, so everyone knows that the entire team is going into things on the same page.

Help team members understand remote work etiquette

Watch out for “noise pollution”

It can be helpful to have a running video call for team members to pop into throughout the day. But, team members must remember that everyone in the call can hear each other. So if you have team members who like to work listening to their favorite music, let them do it! Just make sure that they understand that having their headphones in helps their teammates stay on track and focused too. This goes for team members working from home with family members around, any household pets, or noisy settings in general.

Giving updates

It would be frustrating to reach out to team members and to be left waiting around for a response. It would be equally frustrating from a team member’s perspective as well, for them not to know why you aren’t responding. This wouldn’t be a problem at a traditional office, because you could use visual cues to see who is on a lunch break, who is on a call, and so on. Establishing a routine of letting team members know when you do take those breaks, or aren’t available will encourage them to do the same as well. Keeping those updates flowing will avoid those frustrations.

Communicating across messages

We probably have all experienced a text or email being misinterpreted in either our personal or professional lives. With a remote team, a lot of the communication may be done over text. Making sure your team understands that miscommunications may happen and how to effectively deal with that will help your remote team run much more smoothly.

Remaining a team

Checking in and chatting

Working from home can sometimes cause people to feel separate from the rest of their co-workers. By checking in regularly, you can stay up to date on all aspects of traditional work life, from home. Use chat rooms, separate video calls, and group meetings to make sure that all of your team members feel supported and comfortable in their remote work.

Pro tip: If a team member does something special, shout it out to the group! Making everyone aware of a team member’s success can help with morale, and make the group feel connected.

Start, or end, the day right

Having scheduled team meetings can help everyone kick the day off understanding what the team as a whole is working on. Or, ending the day can give team members a chance to talk about what they were able to accomplish that day, or where they need extra support or ideas. Either way, having regular meetings with the full team scheduled can help with a cohesive work environment.

What jobs work remotely?

The short answer? Almost any!

You have the ability to help your team members find ways to go remote on a one on one basis. It also is possible to move an entire team to remote status, and remain an effective team. In fact, efficiency and effectiveness are some of the benefits consistently cited with going remote. So if remote work is right for you, a team member, or the team as a whole, start the process by establishing your own remote work culture.

There are a lot of ways for managers can create a remote work culture, and we could definitely go on and on about it. If you want to read more about anything we wrote about today, or get more ideas on how to create a remote work culture, leave it in the comments section! We’ll be checking to see what you want to see next!

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