Working from home, whether it’s voluntary or not, comes with its unique challenges. However, when a management team employs the right kind of company culture ideas, it actually has the potential to supercharge your team’s productivity and boost your bottom line in the long run.
So, how do you ensure that your corporate culture translates to the remote working space?
Here are a 7 tips gleaned from businesses that have been playing in this space for a while:
1. Make sure your employees are properly equipped
Your team can only work to the best of their ability when they have the tools they need to do the job.
MeetEdgar, a 100% remote social media scheduling platform, improves employee experience for their employees by ensuring that they are conveniently connected and able to perform their functions from the word go.
They do so by providing full-time workers with the equivalent of R1700+ monthly towards internet access, up to R5000 to secure a seat in a co-working space if they prefer to work in one, as well as a brand-new MacBook that becomes the employee's property after 6 months of working for the company.
In the South African space, it’s very important to check in with your team members on their home connectivity set-up, especially if remote working is not something with which they are familiar. You may find that certain employees are not set up with internet access that can support uninterrupted Zoom meetings, large file transfers, etc.
2. Make scope for ample time off
The idea of unlimited paid leave may take some time to wrap your head around, but major global companies like Grant Thornton, Dropbox, GitHub, GlassDoor, and GE already do so, and report increased productivity as a result thereof.
Zapier, a web-based service that enables users to integrate individual web applications into a unified platform, also offers their 130+ remote employees in 15+ countries around the world 14 weeks of paid parental leave, as well as unlimited time off.
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3. Provide the means for self-improvement
Help Scout is a desk software company that employs a remote team of 110+ individuals in 80+ cities worldwide. They help their team to be their best by giving each employee access to the equivalent of R30 000 annually to fine tune their skills.
Team members are encouraged to sign up for conferences and classes, order books and upskill themselves with the help of new software, all of which the company is happy to pay for.
4. Give your team the opportunity to pay it forward
Ongoing, timeous employee recognition and rewards have been proven to be a very effective means of improving company culture. However, at a time when need is great in communities around the globe, it has also become apparent that certain employees prefer to pay it forward, rather than keep an unexpected windfall in the form of a reward for themselves.
Olark, a fully distributed live chat software company, offers to match employee contributions to charitable causes of their choosing. How amazing? If your business wants to ensure that the entities that receive charitable donations in line with company values, it would be as simple as drawing up a list of approved charities beforehand.
Did you know...Recognising and rewarding your team for hard work doesn’t have to be a mission...
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5. Place work-life balance front and centre
Social media management company Buffer has a fully distributed team of 85 people living and working in 15 countries around the world.
The company takes a strong stance on encouraging their employees to stay healthy and take care of their personal well-being by staying mentally active, sleeping enough and moving their bodies. They do so by providing their employees with a free personal fitness device that monitors daily steps and sleep quality, as well as an E-reader with access to unlimited books across all genres and topics.
Best of all - they allow their employees' family members to get in on the action if they want!
6. Encourage feedback at all times
Medium, an online publishing platform launched in August 2012, promotes open dialogue from the moment a potential new employee walks through the door (or dials into the digital meeting) for their very first interview.
For instance, they take the time to get to know their candidate by asking them to teach their interviewers something. This can be anything their heart desires - how to keep a yeast culture alive, how to fold an origami crane, the best way to organise your music collection, where to find the most random tourist destinations online, etc.
This interesting technique helps them to see if the person is a good cultural fit, gauge how dynamic and engaging they are under pressure. Breaking away from the normal ask-and-answer interview template in this way, they open the floor for candidates to communicate more freely on a topic they enjoy.
7. Set clear goals so everyone knows what’s expected of them
Skillcrush is an online learning community that conducts classes in design, coding, and other digital skills.
Their diverse and inclusive team includes plenty of women, people of colour, LGBTQ+ employees, team members with disabilities, parents and caretakers, as well as people who have been out of the workforce for a while before entering the tech sphere.
Their management team makes use of the OKR (objectives and key results) goal-setting framework to define and track objectives and outcomes for each sub-section of the overall team. By setting up a clear and transparent feedback loop with regular check-ins and progress assessments. The Skillcrush leaders ensure that their team knows what is expected of them at all times at the hand of manageable goal posts.
Remote working for many businesses in South Africa is new and can seem overwhelmingly scary.
The abundance of new technology out there will make your transition an easy one. There's everything from remote collaboration tools to platforms that aid your recognition and engagement efforts.
In fact, employee recognition is a great way to build a culture that's productive and motivated. We wrote an eBook to help people just like you to easily build employee recognition programs from scratch. Trust us, the results speak for themselves. Simply click the button below to get started 👇