Establishing a good team culture has become more important than ever now that so many employees globally are working remotely, a process that has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. This development came under discussion during the Flow Connect webinar on 25 May 2022, led by Flow Communications CEO Tara Turkington and Flow chief technology officer Richard Frank.
“Hybrid working predates Covid. In 2016, Gallup conducted a poll that found 43% of employed Americans logged at least some out-of-office, on-the-clock time,” said Tara.
A poll conducted during the webinar showed that most attendees were doing 100% remote working, with the rest engaged in hybrid working.
Lesson number one about remote working is “don’t be afraid of remote working”, Tara pointed out.
“Remote working is not the same as working together physically, but embrace what it can give: flexibility, responsibility and enhanced teamwork,” she added.
The idea of remote working or hybrid working isn’t going away “post-Covid”, she noted, saying it is now more important than ever to ensure that companies have a good team culture as this can help create a sense of belonging and a shared vision of the future among employees.
“Remote working is not the same as working together physically, but embrace what it can give: flexibility, responsibility and enhanced teamwork.”
Tara explained that when Flow went 100% remote, the company tried to make remote working as engaging and fun as possible.
Tara’s top tip for creating a good team culture is to “communicate, communicate, communicate!”.
“Internal communication is always key to a healthy business, and even more so in the case of a remote one. It’s not only about the daily grind – ensure that you give regular updates on the bigger company strategy, objectives and progress made, so everyone knows what they are working towards and why they are doing it.
“Use different channels of communication including email, chat, newsletters, virtual town halls, and staff and ad hoc meetings.”
Another tip is to create a culture of learning. “A weekly online learning session can deepen skills and team culture,” Tara said.
At Flow, we run a weekly Flow School on a topic that is broadly applicable to all staff members. Topics have included workplace diversity, change management, sales strategy, and email and online chat etiquette.
Another tip from Tara: don’t forget to have fun with your teams. “You have to work hard at having fun; creating fun memories takes careful planning and organisation,” she added.
Richard focused on the technology and equipment needed to ensure teams stay connected and are able to work together and collaborate.
To encourage online collaboration and a good team culture, it is essential that colleagues have great hardware – such as webcams and microphones, and decent internet connections
Good webcams and microphones are surprisingly cheap and can make a massive difference to your online culture
Encourage remote workers to have high-speed connections. There are often good connectivity options available for less money than you would expect!
Having a power backup option is essential
In hybrid and remote settings, a company playbook becomes indispensable for not only knowledge sharing but also guiding company culture. A playbook guides new staff on “how to get things done” and also “how things are done” – and not done
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