February 18, 2022

How to Continue Improving Company Culture in a Remote Work Environment

With the latest pandemic surge in cases, many companies find themselves shifting their in-person employees back to working remotely, again. A recent survey indicated that remote employees miss certain aspects of being physically present in the office, including small talk and interacting with their colleagues, in-person collaboration on a team, and the separation between work and home. Company culture will continue to play a key role in keeping their employees happy and healthy. Surprisingly, a strong, healthy company culture matters a lot to employees, as much as or even more than pay. 

What the Current Surge Means For Remote Workers

Despite advances in public health measures and teleworking, the pandemic continues to disrupt work and people’s daily lives. For many workers who had finally returned to the office, the latest pandemic surge caused many of them to return to working remotely. In January 2022, the percentage of remote workers rose to 15.4%, an increase from about 11% in December 2021. Nearly 9 million people were not able to work due to being sick or caring for someone who was ill. 

Companies once again found themselves shifting to remote work. Working remotely helps staff, their peers, and their families stay healthy and prevent spread of the contagion, especially with the increase of breakthrough cases. Additionally, staff who are working remotely have had to care for their sick loved ones as well as maintain their productivity—no easy task.

Many companies have adjusted to operating remotely, but the recent surge has impacted the morale of staff, limited resources, and adjusted client expectations. In order to promote company culture, companies will need to consider providing resources to support health (such as giving testing kits to each employee), provide self-care resources, and implement one-on-one well-being check-ins with each employee. 

Company Culture Can Be Improved for Remote Employees

Companies who have made the shift to remote workers and in-person (“hybrid”) or 100% teleworking employees can always work on improving company culture, especially if they recently made the shift to remote due to the pandemic. Here are some ideas to get started. 

  • Shift to a remote-first mentality. With a company that has a centralized HQ with some in-person workers and remote employees scattered across the country (or even planet), these remote workers can often feel like they are missing out on company culture and often do not benefit from ad hoc conversations and in-person meetings. They may even feel like second-class citizens. For companies with a fully remote workforce, however, no conversations are happening at the office so a company culture may seem lacking. By focusing on bringing the remote team together somehow, such as for an in-person event, a company can build its workplace culture more effectively. Additionally, both hybrid offices and completely remote companies need to focus on pushing the pulse of the company online, such as moving from chats to video and voice calls. 
  • Survey employees for their opinion. Another important way to build company culture is to find out how employees view their company culture. The survey can ask questions about what works and what doesn’t work and responses may highlight how the remote work environment is lacking for teleworking employees. Also, a survey can help with a hybrid work environment, to answer the question about how in-person employees and remote employees view and experience company culture. In some cases, remote employees overall may be happier than their in-person colleagues due to a better work-life balance.
  • Increase communication with employees. Remote or teleworking employees will need additional communications to feel included. Employees who are used to working in person at the office will need to substitute that face time. Send weekly emails to the team to provide project updates, share company news and customer feedback, ask employees questions, and provide information on any training sessions, webinars, or events of interest. Importantly, leadership should take the initiative to strengthen their communications with their employees about what is going on with the company, which will help lift morale during these uncertain times. The leadership team can recognize and address their employees’ feelings of grief, loss, and anxiety to improve their company’s workplace culture as well as provide outlets for their well-being and to build trust. 
  • Invest in employee well-being. Companies can build a better culture for their remote employees by offering well-being benefits, which in turn can help recruit and retain top talent. With the added flexibility and an improved balance between home and work life, employers can offer their remote employees opportunities that would help them improve their wellness, personal relationships, home lives, and health. Companies can offer subscriptions to online classes, such for yoga, meditation, Pilates, weight loss, or for the popular stationary bike exercises. They can provide incentives for remote employees to do exercise or volunteer for charity with competitions and incentives. Also, companies can contribute toward their company culture by offering healthy snack and delivery services, which would normally be costs associated with in-person offices for the break room. Further, companies can offer PTO for remote employees wanting to volunteer or participate in fundraising events. They can even offer to match their contributions. Companies may also want to invest in their remote workers’ well-being by providing ergonomic chairs and workstations. Offering benefits such as virtual services can improve company culture. Remote employees will need help with legal, tax, health, or finance issues, so companies who can provide assistance to access these services will improve their remote workers’ quality of life, save them money, and get them access to services they may not be able to afford otherwise.

How Cetrom Can Help Improve Company Culture

Cetrom has several long-term solutions through their services for companies to help employees work remotely more effectively and feel more included. Many companies want to upgrade to a cloud-based system to enable easier and more effective teleworking—a secure and user-friendly service Cetrom can provide. 

Cetrom’s cloud-based system enables remote workers the flexible schedule and telework from anywhere model that many companies need in today’s world. Combined with the added security measures necessary to do this highly sensitive work securely, Cetrom’s cloud-based platform helps companies save money on overhead costs, create a more secure business operation, and enable happier employees with a commute-free and flexible work schedule. Your company’s culture can focus on having loyal, happy employees because they can telework without fear for their health and safety as well as have the flexibility to care for loved ones. 

Contact Cetrom today for more information on how to get started upgrading to our cloud-based platform.

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