As virtual communication and collaboration become easier and easier, it’s increasingly common for businesses to have remote workers—or even remote teams. Maybe you have employees who work from a home office every day, or maybe you simply like to give your team members the choice to occasionally telecommute. Either way, it’s important to have the right infrastructure in place to support remote workers—and that includes both the right kind of technology and the right kind of culture.
But what does a remote-friendly culture really look like? Let me give you some ideas.
How to Develop a Remote-Friendly Culture
- Start with trust. Remote employees need to feel like you trust them—even when you don’t have face-time with them every Create a culture where employees can come to you with questions or concerns and not have to worry that you’ll penalize them. And let employees know that they can make mistakes without getting punished for it—so long as they learn from their errors.
- Bring people together. At least once a year, you need to have the full team together in the same space—whether it’s for a training event, a team-building activity, or simply for the company-wide holiday party!
- Invest in your employees as people. Ask them questions about their lives outside of work. Use Skype, email, or whatever other communication tools are at your disposal to invest in relationships. And make the initiative to talk with remote employees even when you don’t need something from them.
- Start a buddy system. Pair non-campus employees with campus employees. Encourage each duo to get together once every month or two, and to check in with each other online as much as possible.
- Give your remote employees the resources they need. Make sure they can reach out to you whenever they need to, and that they feel like they have the same tools and platforms that your campus employees have.
- Schedule some face time. Get it on your calendar to have a one-on-one meeting with each remote employee every so often—whether it’s in-person or simply via teleconferencing.
The bottom line? You need the right kind of culture for remote employees to thrive—and these tips will help you achieve it.