Tackling the challenges of remote work: How to build a remote corporate culture?
While the vaccination against Covid-19 is spreading worldwide and some workplaces are back to the office, remote work is not going away yet. On the contrary, experts predict that the shift to working remotely that we all witnessed in 2020 is here to stay permanently in the years to come. In fact, by 2025, research predicts that 70% of the workers will work away from the office at least 5 days a month.
Now, it is no longer a necessity to go back to the office and as job operations have shifted, so did the needs of employees. In a recent article that we shared, “Employee turnover – how to prevent it in a post-Covid world?” this exact employee shift in needs was elaborated on with further details. Workers found perks in working away from the office, and the majority prefers to work at least some days of the week from home. Companies that do not offer remote working possibilities or to their employees risk losing their talent.
- Teams working remotely at least part time 56.8% 56.8%
- Workers overall will continue working remotely in 2021 26.7% 26.7%
What are the perks of remote work?
Why most office workers became accustomed to and even like telework is perfectly justifiable. There appears to be a solid ground of research indicating reasons why distance work has benefits. Some of the remote work advantages include:
Employees are less economically restrained when they have fewer commuting expenses.
The challenges of remote work
The mentioned advantages come with conditions for employees to be able to experience those. After all, we have all heard of or experienced directly the downsides of working remotely. To list them shortly, the downsides of distance work come down to:
✔ Location-based: if you broaden your search criteria in terms of location because remote work offers that possibility, consider a couple of barriers. For instance, what might be a competitive salary in your country/ state, could not be in another. Not to mention the different tax regulations that come with the various countries’ laws. Also, work coordination between different time zones needs to be organized well.
✔ Relationship-based – relationships between employees or between the recruiter and candidate (from remote interviewing to regular workdays) is more challenging to build, thus risking weakening relationships. What comes as employee’s motivation pillars – career, community, cause – is compromised if you do not address it and spend efforts on it as a leader or recruiter.
✔ Presentation-based – if when you were onboarding, new employees meant a tour through the office, a presentation of all the perks they could find at the office, the social activities close to the end of the workday, think twice. In a remote work scenario, how the office space looks or the line that you are flexible does not make you unique. Recruiting remotely would also mean upgrading your recruitment tools and including better collaborative video interviewing programs and ATS that make remote recruitment easier.
How to develop a company culture remotely?
As per the above, the organizational culture is one of the points within enterprises at a weakened stage. How do you transfer your company’s values, or how do you keep the Friday bar’s fostering spirit when most interactions are happening online?
While there could be fewer interruptions at home in an ideal scenario, 16% of the surveyed of a Glassdoor study share that they do not have a dedicated working place at their homes where they can be focused.
To top it up, while employees can be more engaged in a hybrid working schedule, 20 % of those who solely work remotely express that they lack interactions and have a sense of isolation.
Talent war: Fewer candidates are applying for open job vacancies
1. Hybrid approach
- One of the solutions to fostering a remote corporate culture is to build centralized culture communities. What that entitles is that you choose to hire employees from a particular geographical area. In this way, you can offer a hybrid approach and get the best of both worlds: remote work and office hours as well. With centralized culture communities, you can have the power of personal connections and reduce the feeling of isolation among employees.
- Just like small talk forms over lunchtime or in between hallways, you can also create dedicated digital spaces that are meant solely for that. A conversation about what movie to watch or where to go on a Friday evening allows employees to connect and give a sense of community.
- Centralized culture communities allow for culture consistency: traditions and values vary in locations, and having that focused in one place helps with permits for a consistent foundation.
Part of maintaining company culture is to keep employees informed, and their information organized, so misunderstandings are avoided. Technologies are enabling what could not be possible a decade ago: signing papers virtually, collaborative platforms for improved communication among the team and so forth. What holds the company culture is effective communication, so remember to have a neat chat and feedback tool in place.
The talent gets taken quickly by competitors with better recruitment processes
One other urgent challenge is how fast the best talent gets hired. Companies report that the screening process takes up most of their time when reviewing applicants. And while they struggle to keep up, competitors with faster recruitment processes and tools at hand scoops the talent up before they have even finished screening their candidate pool.
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