8 Tips to Improve Workplace Culture in Remote and Hybrid Teams
Irrespective of whether your workforce is remote or hybrid, its culture – good or bad plays an important role. Workplace culture is an indicator of a company’s health and growth potential.
In short, your workplace culture is the social operating system deciding how employees collaborate. A thriving, inclusive, and positive work culture attracts and retains the top talent from the industry – creating a win-win situation for both employees and your company.
56% of employees prefer work culture over salary. Fostering a positive and healthy work culture is essential, even if it doesn’t directly translate to profits. Today, employees gravitate toward meaningful and purposeful work. When they believe their mission and ethics align with the company’s goal, they will happily sacrifice a 10% increase in salary for such a company.
Improving a company’s culture in remote and hybrid teams is necessary to thrive in the competitive and tech-driven world.
In this article, we provide some tips to improve workplace culture in remote and hybrid teams.
8 Tips to improve workplace culture in remote and hybrid teams
Here are a few ways to improve your workplace culture:
1. Track employee’s working hours
No employee likes to work in a place where managers breathe down their neck now and then. When employees are micromanaged, they feel devalued and disrespected, hindering their thought processes and creativity.
Such employees lose their autonomy and zeal to work and excel under such managers.
To prevent managers from managing every step employees take, companies use time tracking to provide transparency to employees and put a break on constant manager interference.
Companies implement telephone time tracking as a tool for employees to optimize their work time rather than for managers to keep a hawk-eye on employees.
These telephone time trackers allow employees to clock in and out using any registered phone of their assigned work site. Interesting, isn’t it?
When employees know their time is being tracked and see how they’re spending their time at the office, they feel managers trust them and value their work, encouraging a positive attitude and trust toward the workplace. This contributes to a culture of initiative and forward-thinking, benefitting your business.
Interesting statistics: 77% of employees don’t have a problem with businesses tracking their work as long as they’re transparent about it.
2. Ask employees what they think
The best way to learn what your company’s culture looks like today and what expectations employees have is by asking them directly.
The key to success is gathering employee feedback to create a culture where they like and prefer working. Asking employees for their opinion is vital in a hybrid and remote workforce as you’re not going to get feedback from the canteen conversations from anyone.
For instance, you might focus on team-building activities to bring the remote team together and inculcate a sense of togetherness. In contrast, your remote employees might look forward to physical and social interaction with team members once every year.
Employees might have different views, and when you know these views, you strike a gold mine.
Pro-tip: Addressing and valuing employees’ viewpoints conveys your company is invested in a human-centric approach.
3. Help employees advance in their career
While increasing social interactions and giving employee feedback is important, supplement occasional workplace recognition for meaningful promotions to deserving employees.
Creating a transparent career growth plan and ensuring employees know the criteria for getting a promotion creates a positive work culture and promotes workplace equality. Chart the steps employees need to perform to advance in their careers and discuss their workplace goals during one-to-one discussions.
Providing limited career growth opportunities is often a big turnoff for employees who search for job opportunities valuing their contribution, skills, and knowledge.
Interesting statistics: According to a report, the most common reasons employees leave a company are new career and growth opportunities.
4. Set clear expectations
Managing and leading employees in a remote and hybrid environment can be challenging and overwhelming. So, setting clear expectations for employees helps them succeed and eliminates miscommunication.
When you set clear expectations about working hours, you encourage a work culture that ensures a perfect work-life balance.
Additionally, encouraging employees to block off some time for deep work increases their capacity to perform and excel in the workplace. Setting expectations about career development and performance is also essential. When managers cannot convey what success looks like, employees struggle to work hard and perform to their full capacity.
Providing clarity in your workplace could be the difference between a thriving and declining workplace culture.
Pro-tip: Employees thrive in a culture where they know what the company expects from them.
5. Avoid on-site favoritism
On-site favoritism is damaging for hybrid teams. Such workplace favoritism occurs when managers and leaders favor team members they see in the workplace more often.
Research shows on-site favoritism occurs unless companies take concrete steps to eliminate it.
To avoid this:
- Companies track various career-growth-related assignments and search for patterns to see if managers favor on-site employees out of turn. If you think your managers are practicing any biasness, take concrete steps to eliminate them.
- Companies hold meetings entirely in person or online to avoid giving preferences to employees who visit the office.
- Companies make all meetings asynchronous and record them whenever possible to leave out employees with prior commitments, such as employees working in another timezone.
Conducting equal meetings for remote and hybrid workforce ensures no one in the company feels left out and no one has the upper hand.
Interesting statistics: 96% of US executives notice the work of employees coming to the office more than remote workers.
6. Use technology to support your values
Working effectively in a remote or hybrid company requires access to ground-breaking tools and technologies, making communication, and collaboration a breeze.
That primarily means switching to tools like Google Docs, project management tools like Wrike, collaboration tools like Slack, and document management tools like Confluence.
Finding various ways to collaborate remotely improves the workplace culture and takes employee creativity to another level.
Ensuring employees work in a comfortable and tech-driven setup no matter where they work is essential for improving workplace culture.
To promote a healthy work environment, provide remote workers with an initial setup and give employees a budget for various office supplies.
When everyone in the company uses the same tools and technologies, it improves workplace culture because all employees, irrespective of their designation, receive the same treatment.
Pro-tip: When employees receive the required tools and technologies, they work hard to reach organizational goals and improve workplace performance.
7. Think about your team first
Remote and hybrid teams naturally feel detached from the central company as they rarely meet others face-to-face.
So, managers must create a team-oriented environment that transcends working in proximity.
When thinking about the team first, leaders provide coaching, making employees feel a part of the group.
Another reason why you should think about your team first is to value everyone’s contributions and perspectives. When companies fail to value the contributions of the remote and hybrid teams, it creates an environment of mistrust and lowers employees’ morale.
Pro-tip: Your employees don’t have to be physically present in a single space to function as a cohesive unit or team.
8. Encourage time to play
With 58% of employees feeling burned out due to work or schedule, looking for ways to reduce this burnout is paramount for workplace success.
Interestingly, children alone don’t require time to play, even corporate employees require some time off from their job. Companies need to schedule playtime to reduce burnout. Playing trivia with team members and conducting virtual team painting events improve workplace culture.
While there is no magic syrup for improving your culture, encouraging employees to relive their childhood now and then helps achieve your goals.
Pro-tip: Conduct such activities monthly to keep your team members efficient and productive.
It’s the right time to build your workplace culture
Improving and building a culture takes at least 21 days because it takes time to form a new habit.
Companies that continuously strengthen and nurture their culture use at least one of the eight tips to improve workplace culture.
While it takes commitment to understand your current culture, it becomes easier to improve your workplace culture once you understand it.
While improving your company’s culture is admirable, it’s a bit more challenging for hybrid and remote teams.
Creating a shared purpose, scheduling time together, celebrating wins, recognizing talent, and setting clear expectations are a few ways to build and maintain a positive work culture.
Improving your culture increases greater productivity, satisfies employee experience, and ensures stronger employee engagement.