Remote teams probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when most people think about “company culture”. But that doesn’t mean remote teams can’t have an equal, if not better, culture than co-located teams.
Some of the things you can do to foster team culture may not seem foreign to you, but adding them your remote team may help improve team relationships drastically. In the end, closer relationships between individuals often helps the team as a whole.
Ways to Make Remote Team Culture Great
A Digital Water Cooler
There’s no water cooler for remote workers to go to get away and chit chat, but there are ways to help create the benefits of same atmosphere
At Zapier they pair members of their team randomly to talk about non-work related things on a weekly basis. This get’s team members talking on a more personal level, building a closer relationship with their teammates.
Another company, Pinterest, analyzed their team’s pinterest boards and pair employees with others that had similar interest on their boards.
Instead of a Ping Pong Table
Team members don’t have to play ping-pong to have fun. Playing ping-pong remotely would be pretty awkward anyways.
There are plenty of fun game-like things you can do with your team. Some of these can be integrated into day-to-day tools you are already using. Below are some of our top ones:
- Games – Pick from a plethora of online games
- Slack Channel – Create a channel just for talking about non-work topics
- Memes and Gifs – Share funny cat gifs
- Share videos – Humorous, educational or informative
- Share music channels – Share your Pandora or Spotify feeds
Meet Up in Person
Meeting up in person every now and then can do wonders for building relationships even further. This may be a privilege not all remote workers get, but the ability for everyone on a remote team to be able to meet up and work together helps remote teams strengthen already existing relationships.
Doing a Team Challenge
In an article from 6q, Rachel from Hubstaff goes over how their team creates challenges, such as running a 3k everyday for a month, that remote team members can participate in.
This gives team members something to talk about and helps them feel more connected with a common goal of completing the challenge.
Transparency and Visibility
The ability for each team member to have a common place to ask questions or voice their opinions publicly on company matters is another important part of building remote team culture.
There is a myriad of ways to accomplish this if your team is not having regular video or audio meetings. Documentation tools like Confluence can give members the opportunity to observe and comment on what others are doing.
Get Creative with Your Culture
Studies show that remote workers have a higher level of productivity (1). But without a solid team and relationship with their co-workers however, remote workers may experience a higher level of turnover – even more fuel for the fire of how important it is to maintain and improve your remote team’s culture.
Building a remote team culture can be rewarding, and the most of the steps to do it are actually pretty easy. Get creative with your team and find out what type of activities works with everyone’s personality – your culture will be developing in no time.