A lot of companies today are open to hiring talented people, irrespective of the locations. Thus, geographies are slowly and steadily waning out from the hiring process. In today’s day and age where technology has made it possible to stay connected professionally and personally, virtual offices are becoming the new norm.
However, this new culture has a flip side too, if technology connects then lack of human interface disconnects. Just like in a long-distance relationship, where the possibilities of clashes increase because of separation similarly, the remote employees, too can feel neglected because of distance. But, let us admit, compared to the former, handling virtual teams is far easier ;). So here we bring to you 5 tips to build a healthy work culture from a virtual office-
Communication is the key to a successful workplace. Irrespective of where your team is located staying connected solves a lot of unnecessary worries. Thus, as rule number one, providing accessibility to instant message tools like Skype, Lync and other unified communication channels that help bridge the physical gap is crucial. Also, apart from this tool, schedule a regular voice and video conferencing call with the entire group, preferably once a weak. This gives names to faces, connects people and is helpful especially when sharing important updates.
Asa virtual office will have people or teams working from different locations, it is thus recommended on establishing virtual ‘office hours’ for them. This makes people considerate towards each other and meetings too can be scheduled depending on different time zones and availability of each. This also helps in fair distribution of work as per deadline and therefore, build trust and reliability across the department.
3.Recognize and Appreciate
The best way to motivate an employee irrespective of where he or she is working from is to recognize their good work and appreciate them. Thus, have a program that publicly acknowledges a deserving employee. This can be done over telepresence for everyone to participate. Also, to make it fair, both team leaders and the members of the team, irrespective of the location, should be allowed to nominate anyone they think deserving. This creates positivity in the workplace, a sign of a healthy work culture.
One of the challenges that a remote employee faces is the absence of office social life. With conversations mostly restricted to work, they can often lack a sense of belonging. So, to build a healthy work culture from a virtual office encourage collaboration and build a team. Companies should thus host training programs and facilitate fun activities that do not need a physical presence. Also, for new employees, a go-to person in the form of office buddy should be selected. The responsibility of this person will be to make the new member feel comfortable by answering any queries or doubts other than work. therefore, collaborate and grow.
5.Annual Office Get-together
To make all of your employees, especially your remote teams feel as a part of the company, host an annual get together. This will allow everyone meet, know each other and even form connections, other than work. The informal annual retreat will thus promote unity in diversity that will go a long way in building a strong work culture.
We conclude by saying, a healthy work environment is about letting people grow personally and professionally regardless of where in the world they might be working from. It is the simple things like communication, collaboration, trust, oneness and appreciation that build great virtual offices. So, try these inexpensive yet, effective tips and let us know if they worked for you.