The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to adopt remote work, and it is now becoming the new normal for many businesses. As remote work is here to stay, it is important for companies to find ways to maintain a strong company culture while their employees are working from home. In this article, we share the company culture that we have built from the ground out for Local Wiz; and also how this has helped our company, our employees, as well as our clients.
Why Remote Work Has Become So Important
Remote work has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many companies embracing this flexible work arrangement. While remote work offers many benefits, it also presents some challenges, including maintaining a positive company culture. A strong company culture is crucial for employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention. For Local Wiz, the way we see this all work out in full circle is: Happy employees help sustain company growth and profitability, which is a direct result of being able to deliver outstanding results to our clients. Great results = Happy, satisfied clients.
So, how do we do it? Here’s how…
1. Create a Virtual Community
A virtual community is a place where remote workers can connect, collaborate, and communicate. This can be created through social media platforms, instant messaging apps, or company-specific platforms. This platform should allow employees to share updates, ask questions, and participate in discussions. Creating a virtual community can help to build relationships and foster a sense of belonging among remote workers.
Our team currently communicates within and around tools such as Slack, Discord, and WhatsApp. For our clients, we have developed a communication platform (which is ever-growing and constantly improving), which we call “The Wiz Portal“.
2. Encourage Collaboration
Collaboration is critical for building a positive company culture, and it is even more important for remote workers. This also helps encourage remote workers to collaborate on projects and share their ideas. This can be done through virtual team-building activities or online collaboration tools. By encouraging collaboration, remote workers will feel valued and connected to their colleagues, even if they are not in the same location.
3. Foster Open Communication
Open communication is key to building a strong company culture, and this is particularly true for remote workers. Encourage remote workers to communicate openly and frequently with their colleagues. This helps build trust and keep remote workers informed about company news and updates.
As a digital marketing agency handling tons of projects for our clients, open communication among our team members has proven to be extremely important and helpful. Having openness and clarity in our internal communication helps us come up with more holistic strategies to better help our clients, and also helps us in communicating with our clients what we feel will work best for their campaigns.
4. Recognize and Reward Employee Contributions
Remote workers may feel isolated and disconnected from the rest of the company, and it is important to acknowledge and reward their contributions. Recognizing and rewarding employee contributions can be done through virtual awards ceremonies, bonuses, or simply by sending a heartfelt thank you note. This will help to boost morale and keep remote workers motivated.
Even simple words such as “Please” and “Thank You” go a long way whenever working with teams, remote or not.
5. Lead by Example
Leadership is critical for building and maintaining a positive company culture, and this is particularly true for remote workers. The term “leading by example” refers to a leadership style where the leader demonstrates and encourages positive behaviors, values, and attitudes among team members. This type of leadership is not only effective, but it also helps create a positive and productive workplace culture. By doing so, leaders can set the tone for their organization and inspire others to follow their lead.
Our Local Wiz leaders consistently get mentorship and training to help not only develop them as great leaders for the teams they manage but also to shape them into becoming the best examples for the entire organization to follow.
6. Organize Virtual Team-Building Activities
Virtual team-building activities can help to build relationships and foster a sense of community among remote workers. These activities can be organized through video conferencing platforms (such as Google Meet / Zoom / etc) or virtual games. By participating in virtual team-building activities, remote workers will feel connected to their colleagues and will be more likely to collaborate and communicate effectively.
At the start of 2023, we announced a contest among the Local Wiz Designers, where they are to create unique logo concepts for popular brands (with a cash prize at stake!). ~ we’ll share these once everyone has submitted their entries. 🙂
7. Encourage Personal Connections
Encouraging personal connections among remote workers can help to build a strong company culture. This can be done by setting aside time for virtual coffee breaks or encouraging remote workers to share personal stories and updates. Personal connections can help to build trust and create a sense of community among remote workers.
Local Wiz Managers make sure to set aside time to check in with every member of the team on a regular basis. This helps us better understand each individual’s challenges, as well as discover where they are able to perform best. This allows making sure that each and every team member is not only being utilized and assigned to work where they feel most fulfilled and supported, but also, allows us to open up doors of opportunity for those who wish to navigate other types of work as well as improve more upon their existing sets of skills.
Having a deeper personal connection with each and every team member also helps us get better alignment in terms of goals. While communicating and helping understand what the company’s goals are, we also encourage each one to share their own personal goals so that we can all work in achieving those together.
8. Provide Opportunities for Professional Development
Remote workers may feel left behind in terms of professional development opportunities, especially if they are working from a remote location. Providing opportunities for professional development can help to keep remote workers motivated and engaged. This can be done through virtual training sessions, online courses, or mentorship programs. By providing opportunities for professional development, remote workers will feel valued and supported by their company.
Local Wiz is an advocate for developing its own talent. For us, what always matters more is Character over Talent. The way we see it, talent is something that can be acquired (may not always be as easy), yet having the proper mindset and good character provides a sense of direction and purpose; alongside having the ability to build trust and credibility. Having Character over Talent helps us have a clear set of values and principles. We are also more likely to make decisions that align with our goals and to stay true to our beliefs even in the face of adversity.
9. Bringing a sense of humor to the workplace
Humor is a core part of our culture at Local Wiz. It’s one of the best ways we found that brings remote workers into the fold.
When you’re the only person in the office, it can be hard to know who’s out of the loop on what’s going on with everyone else. But when you have humor as part of your company culture, it’s easy to connect with other employees even though they’re not physically there with you. When someone sends a funny email or messages you with a funny video, it makes you feel like they’re part of the team—even if they’re working from home that day.
We find that injecting humor into our day-to-day work helps foster creativity and innovation by encouraging our employees to think outside of the box and get creative with their ideas. If an employee has been struggling with an idea for a project or product, bringing some funny banter into the mix, helps them loosen up enough to come up with something truly unique and special.
10. Getting involved in charity or volunteer activities with your colleagues
If you’re looking for ways to boost company culture with remote workers, try getting involved in charity or volunteer activities with your colleagues.
It’s no secret that having fun together is a huge part of creating a positive workplace environment—and it’s even more important when you’re working remotely. If you can’t hang out and grab lunch together, then having fun in other ways is the next best thing.
Charity work is a great way to do that!
Whether it’s gathering up pre-loved personal items to share with the less fortunate or organizing an office fundraiser for our favorite charity (or sometimes one of our teammates in need), there are tons of ways we get involved in charitable efforts that help strengthen our team and make the workplace feel like a home away from home.
We encourage you to do more of this if you aren’t already!
At Local Wiz, we understand the importance of having a positive workplace environment for remote workers. That’s why we prioritize creating an atmosphere that is open and supportive to all employees regardless of their location or job title. We believe in fostering relationships through meaningful conversations, providing professional development opportunities, bringing humor into our day-to-day work, and getting involved in charity or volunteer activities together. These initiatives have proven successful at helping us create strong bonds between our team members even when they are working remotely from different parts of the world. If you’re looking for ways to build better connections with your remote workers, consider implementing some of these ideas today – it could make all the difference!