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Remote Work Culture: Creating a Community

Updated: Jul 9



In an increasingly remote workforce, that sense of community we usually build in an office has become even more important yet less easy to attain. It's great for productivity, but it also fosters a feeling of belonging and support among colleagues. Companies are finding innovative ways to bridge the gap, utilizing tools like virtual team-building activities and regular video check-ins to ensure everyone feels connected and valued. This shift emphasizes the importance of intentional communication and engagement to keep the remote work environment healthy and collaborative, boosting productivity, focus, and comfort.


What’s working from home like?

As a fully remote team, we have first-hand experience with constructing and balancing our own remote work culture. We asked a few members of our team to share their thoughts on the best and worst qualities of remote work:


“What are the best aspects of remote work?”


  • Remote work enhances flexibility by allowing employees to create schedules that fit their personal lives and work preferences and accommodating different time zones and peak productivity periods. It also facilitates autonomy by enabling employees to manage their own tasks and environment, providing control over how they achieve their goals.


  • Having no commute saves time and money, giving remote workers more time for their personal lives. This extra time reduces stress associated with daily travel and lack of rest, additionally contributing to a better work-life balance and improved mental well-being.

    • “Definitely not having to get ready every morning and commute. Not only is it better for me, I feel like the extra 3 hours I get each day keeps me more rested and therefore more productive.


  • It’s cheaper overall! Apart from travel costs, there are far fewer expenses required for remote work. Office-involved costs like lunch, office attire, dry cleaning, frequent coffee runs, and the occasional office contribution for events or celebrations add up, saving significant amounts of money over time.


“What are the most difficult parts of working remotely?”


  • Environmental stressors can make or break your at-home work experience. While some people have more control over their environments, others feel differently. At-home distractions, such as pets, visitors, or household members disrupt focus and can reduce productivity overall.


  • Many remote workers report feeling isolated from their team and others. In many people’s experience, making friends as an adult is challenging, especially balanced with a 9-5. Without the daily face-to-face interactions in a typical office, it’s easy to lose that sense of togetherness in a remote environment.

    • “I often miss the small connections that come from working in an office such as shared lunches, celebrating others in the office with cake and laughs, costume contests, holiday parties, etc.”


  • Some report having less motivation to get out of the house after work. After sitting at a desk for most of the day rather than heading out to the office, it’s common to get a little too comfortable in your home.


The perfectly balanced remote work environment isn’t easy to create. As we always strive to improve, this study was conducted primarily to see how we can better our own team culture.


With research and past experience in mind, here are a few ways to keep your team relationship strong:


Communication

Effective communication helps set clear expectations, reduce misunderstandings, and foster collaboration, enhancing productivity and team cohesion. 


Be sure to regularly check in to see if someone might need a helping hand. While boosting comradery, this also provides a channel for support, establishing a sense of belonging and well-being among remote employees. 


Utilize surveys and feedback forms to plan for continuous improvement. Gather intel on what works best, and what your team might need to succeed. Be flexible and willing to try new activities based on their input.


Use interactive tools and platforms to boost communication. Our team mainly interacts through email, Slack, and Microsoft Teams. By encouraging group chats for both business-focused and casual conversation, we strengthen relationships and promote team-wide socialization. With interactive planning and brainstorming tools, you can unify your project schedules, ideas, and delegate work.


Regular virtual meetings work to unify your team, clarifying issues and making your projects and conversations more hands-on and cohesive. Schedule frequent video calls for updates and a little bit of casual interaction, or try pairing up your coworkers for a virtual coffee break.


Shared goals in general provide a good reason for regular communication. Assign group projects that require collaboration, such as brainstorming sessions or joining presentations.


Team building

A healthy, communicative work culture has a few key requirements, but a strong bond is at the top of this list. Team-building exercises can bring your team together, creating a friendly, family-like atmosphere. Whether you have a long-standing team that interacts often or are bringing new players into the game, these bonding experiences are important to keep in the mix.


Try a few of these team-building activities to promote solid internal relationships:


Virtual icebreakers, while a common method of introduction, can always help your team get to know each other better. These can get tiring, but switching up your games and methods can keep things fresh! Try games like Two Truths and a Lie or a quick show-and-tell to get conversation flowing.


There are also hundreds of collaborative online activities available to try! Play team-based trivia games on sites like Kahoot or check out team-building-focused platforms such as Let’s Roam for more.


Skill-building workshops can also strengthen comradery; scheduling group assignments and hands-on team tasks during these sessions can bring people together while providing support. Encourage peer-led conversations as well, allowing team members to share their skills or knowledge with each other.


Showing your support

The greatest, most cooperative work environments require a strong support system. Here’s some advice in showing your colleagues you care:


Wellness resources go a long way towards supporting your staff. Offer counseling services and mental health days, or host online wellness sessions to promote relaxation and mental well-being. In reducing stress and getting people out of their chairs, your team will feel more focused and mentally balanced.


Make sure your team feels recognized! Regularly shout out and celebrate both individual and team achievements during meetings or via internal communication channels. Virtual celebrations for major project completions, work anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays give everyone more of that much-needed face-to-face time and strengthen support.


Celebrate and appreciate your team’s individual cultures. Plan solid cultural and diversity initiatives to encourage your team members to share their traditions. Offer sessions on diversity and inclusion to foster a more cohesive and understanding team environment, and develop and enforce policies that promote diversity and inclusion within the workplace.


What next?

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is the perfect workplace. As we move into an increasingly remote workforce, it’s important that we remain attentive and proactive in our mission to improve our work culture. 


And remember, the most crucial part is listening; let your team be heard, and respond to their needs. A healthy environment keeps morale high and productivity at its peak.


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