The Future of Remote Work
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a large, nation-wide shift to remote working. While this time has been filled with stress and uncertainty, many employers are noticing the positive benefits of having the option for their employees to work remotely. Employee engagement has increased in 2020 and so has job satisfaction. In addition, flexible scheduling has led to a more balanced work and home life, leading to improved mental health. With so many unknowns still surrounding COVID-19, many employers are considering continuing remote working policies.
Remote Work Culture
With a more permanent remote working policy comes the essential question of how to create a strong and positive remote work culture. In a recent Forbes article, Sandra Lewis, founder of the remote staffing businesses Boldly, explains some steps you can take to create the best remote work culture possible.
- Be Intentional: A great remote work culture starts with intentionality. Be clear with your team and communicate what you expect, what remote working means to you as a leader, and how you expect team members to treat one another. From there, make sure every action is intentional and promotes a positive culture.
- Be the Example: This rule comes up in almost every leadership post we do because it is true. Leading by example is the best way to get others to naturally follow. Instead of demanding certain behavior, you embody that behavior and show the benefits. Work-life balance, trust, effective and clear communication, kindness and compassion should all be traits you led by example to create positive culture.
- Add in the Fun: As Lewis states, fun is the unsung hero of strong working relationships. Do your best to create fun situations such as creative ways to celebrate important moments and creating fun team traditions. You can’t always get everyone to participate but adding small moments of fun like this gives your team permission to let loose and enjoy themselves a little more.
- Create an Open Environment: Great culture thrives in an open environment where team members feel the freedom to think outside the box and be creative. Trusting team members to get their work done in a way that they think works best shows you trust them, which sparks creativity and helps them feel like they matter and are making a difference.
- Be Ready to Make Adjustments: Pay attention to your work culture and continuously observe it, looking for healthy components. Ask yourself if team members are showing appreciation to you and others? Is fun and positivity apparent in day to day conversations? Is everyone encouraging each other freely? These are signs that your team is cohesive and that you have a strong and positive work culture. If you aren’t seeing these things, be ready to make any necessary adjustments.
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