May 7, 2015 lauren

Tips For Building A Remote Work Culture

Remote Work Culture

As the workplace becomes more and more location agnostic, companies today are faced with the challenge of building a remote work culture for employees who work from home and in locations outside of company headquarters.

How do you build a remote work culture? We asked employers for tips about their commitment to building company culture for employees who work remotely.

Culture is About How You Work
Zapier, who wrote an amazing guide to remote working, has this to say about remote work culture:

“Everyone that works on Zapier has bought into the belief that you come to work for the work, not for the ping pong. Most of your time at work is going to be work, so the work has to be rewarding by itself. Here are examples:

: How we talk to customers (is speed more important than quality?)
: How we communicate with each other (is this a phone call conversation or an email conversation or a chat conversation?)
: How much work do you do (do we work 40 hours or 80 hours?)

Those decisions and values create culture in remote companies more than a ping pong table would.”

Provide Access To The Same Information

Remote work culture actually works when employees can access the same information. It’s your job to make sure that happens. As Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson note in their book, Remote: Office Not Required:

“As a company owner or manager, you need to create and maintain a level playing field—one on which those in and out of the office stand as equals. That’s easier said than done, but one way to better your chances is to have some of the top brass working remotely. People with the power to change things need to feel the same hurt as those who merely have to deal with it.”:

Use Technologies Strategically
Remote teams can feel integrated in through the use of technologies like Google Chat, GoToMeeting and Slack. Technology ensures that the team is communicating with each other outside of an in-person meet up a few times per

In Person Meet Ups
Don’t be afraid to fly a remote employee in frequently. By flying them in, you’ll show them that they are a member of the team and that you really value their contributions. It will also show them the organization that they are working with on a daily basis.

Chat applications are the new water cooler
Team members can all be on a chat application to instantly connect with other team members for water cooler conversation. This enables a rapport to be built over casual and professional conversations.

Establish Community Traditions
Birthdays and holidays are perfect culture building opportunities for remote workers. It’s never been easier to plan a surprise birthday behind someone’s back, or coming up with a cool holiday promotion that everyone can be a part of. Make sure to leverage these special occasions to do something meaningful internally.

Regular Video Conference Calls

Get everyone together on a regular basis using a video conference call software to keep the culture vibe strong. Google Plus Hangouts are one free way to do this. Spend a few minutes before and after the video conference to make sure the conversation isn’t always work related. See what is happening in everyone’s lives, leverage the unique experiences remote workers enjoy, and let everyone be a part of the successes.

What tips do you have for building a remote work culture? We want to know. Share your experiences with TruPath on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

TruPath helps established organizations continually grow their business with culturally aligned talent. We’re a partnership minded search firm that finds and helps directly place mid to senior level professionals in mission critical roles at your organization. Contact us today to learn more about how TruPath can help you find culturally aligned talent.