Everyone around the world has faced new challenges because of the global pandemic. We changed our usual office space for our home and social distancing has become the new black. However, many workplaces expect their teams to make this transition without missing a beat.
As companies, we must understand that we were not prepared for this change and while there are teams who are used to working from home, there are others who are new to this. The challenge here is…how do you make your team feel they are connected and close to the company?
When we where at the office we would see all of our co-workers, say hi, talk, eat lunch together and enjoy celebrations together. You would feel the warmth of your team, the companionship, but at distance, this seems hard to achieve. You lose communication, you forget to write back, you don’t feel the need to stay connected.
We are about to show you 3 ways to keep your company culture when you are remote. This is what we have been doing at Applaudo and even though we miss seeing our team members’ faces every day, we still feel closer to each other just like we did when we were at the office.
#1 Don’t lose communication
Communication is an essential element to help you keep your company culture with remote teams. Your team shouldn’t feel alone during these times. If you haven’t been keeping constant communication, your team will start feeling discouraged. At Applaudo, one of our values is Effective Communication because we know our team wants to hear from us. Since the COVID situation started, we communicated everything, we were transparent on how we were going to handle it and what our next steps would be.
Internal communication has helped us stay close to our team. We keep sending internal announcements as we used to do before COVID, our Operations haven’t changed and our processes keep moving forward. Slack, Gmail, Google Meet, Zoom, all these platforms have been an ally during these times and have helped us achieve better communication even away. As a Nearshore team, we are used to communicating with customers abroad, but it is a whole new challenge when it comes to your team.
Communication makes you feel closer, don’t lose it.
#2 Keep your team culture
We know that celebrations and interactions are hard to manage when people are at distance. But, you have to understand that your team culture can not disappear even if you are remote. It is a challenge, yes, but not impossible.
Applaudo is characterized by a warm and friendly atmosphere. Our team members feel this way and people outside our company also feel the warmth and friendliness of Applaudo. That’s why for us it was very important to make sure our current and new team members would feel this way even remotely.
So, what have we been doing?
Celebrate birthdays and special dates
We have ensured that our team members feel special on their birthdays by sending a special cake to celebrate with them even at distance. Special dates such as Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, we have celebrated each one of them. We have sent special gifts that we know they will like.
Recently, we celebrated our 7th anniversary, and as much as we would have loved to celebrate physically that day, we felt the excitement, the happiness, and companionship all day long. We sent a box with goodies and connected in a video call at a special time to toast on 7 amazing years together.
These details and celebrations are a great way to tell our team that we always think of them, that we are there to support, celebrate, and to count on us whenever they need us.
Virtual activities are a great way to engage, to chat with other team members we don’t talk often and see each other faces. Even if it is on camera.
Our HR team has been doing an amazing job organizing virtual activities. One of them is our weekly activity every Wednesday. Anyone is free to join the video call, participate in a fun game, and have the chance to win a prize! After a long day of work is necessary to take a break and what a great way to do it by sharing with other team members.
Also, every Friday is Friday Workout! We have encouraged our team to stay active. Even if we have to stay at home it is important to keep our body moving. You need to stretch, to eat well, and drink a lot of water. All these help to feel good during the day. This also helps to bring together new team members because they will feel the team culture.
#3 Be supportive
Everyone is struggling to stay focused and get work done, being at home all the time can turn out very stressful. Support your team during these moments. Let them know that you are there to help them if they need to. Are they having a difficult time or something unexpected came up? Allow them to feel free to talk about it with you. We have encouraged our team to always let us know any inconvenience they have and how we can help them.
Be flexible. Encourage them to take breaks when they need to, and to take care of themselves. At home, you lose track of your time and you find yourself working after hours. That’s not the right way to do it. Tell your team to keep a schedule, just like they did when they went to the office. It is important to show them that above all, we have their back at any moment.
The new reality has challenged us to redefine the way we work and communicate with our team. But if we do it right we will be able to stay connected and engage with them. Whether your team continues to work remotely or happily reunites back at the office in the distant future, you’ll be stronger for it.