Company culture isn’t a place, it is a mindset.

If a recent change to your company has your employees working remotely, now is the most important time to focus on company culture. A study by Glassdoor revealed that most people believe a good company culture will make them happier at work than a higher salary. Thanks to modern technology, there are very successful companies that have no office at all, with an entirely remote workforce. By finding creative ways to carry on company culture, your company can thrive too.

Here are some tips for how to continue to grow a positive company culture with a remote team.

TRANSPARENCY

Now, more than ever, it’s important to keep your employees in the loop about how the company is doing. No one likes to be kept in the dark, and this is especially true when your team members are scattered. Let employees know what is happening business-wise and make sure everyone is aware of any big decisions. This helps employees feel important, connected and informed.

Example: Have a weekly all-company call in which the CEO takes 5 minutes to let team members know the state of the business and allows employees to ask questions.

CAMARADERIE

In a physical office environment, coworkers develop relationships through inside jokes, spending time together, and unofficial chatter around the “watercooler.” This is an integral part of a company culture that encourages employees bonding and creating trust with each other. A remote team needs to develop something similar virtually. Create a separate channel in your company-wide text chat tool (like Slack) just for this purpose. Remote employees can then share gifs, post photos, and chat throughout the day to mimic the shared office experience.

Example: Encourage no official talk on this channel by asking fun questions like what’s your favorite cereal? Designate a day to have everyone share pictures of their pets or children.

COMMUNICATION

Effective communication will determine whether your remote team culture will flourish or fail. Without it, not only will your culture fall apart, but so will productivity and motivation. In order to grow a positive company culture with a remote team, you need to continually remind them of your culture and values. Document what you hope your culture becomes and put an emphasis on positivity and inspiration in your written communication.

Example: Create an online document that clearly states the company mission, vision, and values, and encourage employees to read it daily.

FEEDBACK

Providing consistent positive feedback will help keep morale up and productivity high. Check in with your team members individually. For some, working from home can be stressful, and they might have trouble adjusting.  Pay attention to the behavior your team is exhibiting and if an employee’s productivity and potential is lower than in the office, reach out individually to provide support.

Example: Send one personal email (not a group message) per day checking in on an employee and let them know you appreciate their hard work during this trying time.

Remember that your company values, culture, and positive working relationships aren’t spatially-bound. The transition to a remote team is challenging, but that doesn’t mean the cultural values you’ve worked so hard instilling will go away. Have faith in your team and use these tips to become an even stronger organization in the end.