If employees are the lifeblood of a business, then it’s safe to say that a company’s culture is its heartbeat. Dictating everything from how a business should run to how it treats its employees, company culture can be one of the biggest draws for potential talent. But what type of culture does remote work demand? The Dice article, “Remote Work Demands a Supportive Company Culture” explores GitLab’s company culture, and shows how it caters to its remote workforce.
Here are some insights from the article:
Take various time zones into consideration.
Having a remote workforce means that the world is yours when it comes to recruiting talent—literally. While that can be an exciting prospect, it’s important to note that having the luxury of a global workforce means that you’ll have to factor in all of their respective time zones when planning team meetings and the like. One way around that is to do what GitLab does—record meetings and presentations and upload them to YouTube. That way, workers won’t miss out on important company updates—whether it’s 2:00 P.M. or 2:00 A.M.
Management has to be on board.
A remote work policy only works if everyone—including managers—believe in and support it. After all, if a company is remote (but employers still act as if they’re managing in-office employees), it might not work. They need to remind workers to take advantage of their flexible schedules, and praise employees when they share how they are able to have work-life balance. Showing support for your workers by insisting they use their work flex will not only help boost productivity, but also make them more loyal employees to your company.
Good communication is critical.
Communication is a two-way street. When one side fails, communication can cease to work. That’s why there’s no such thing as over communicating in a remote work environment. From squashing virtual squabbles between workers to helping to clarify the finer points of a presentation, reaching out via phone, email, text, video conferencing, and other communication tools means that everyone should pretty much be on the same page.
Transparency is important.
In order to establish a solid connection to the company, employers need to determine how much transparency they will allow at their organizations. While there might not be a need to divulge some top secret stuff, other information that can directly impact your workers should be disseminated quickly and efficiently. But be sure that if you’re going to share news, it’s with everyone and not just a select few employees. It’s not a good idea to let some workers in on the intel (and not others), so be sure that your channels of communication are clear to all.
Employees must be able to self-manage.
Not all of the onus on company culture falls on the employer. Remote employees also need to take on some of the responsibility for the success of the organization. And a big part of that comes in the form of being strong self-managers. No matter what industry you’re in, your remote employees must be able to work independently, think on their feet, problem-solve when need be, and always communicate any issues as they arise.
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