Let’s face it, working remotely is how many of us are doing business. With time, we may have more employees returning to the workplace, but for now, we must do all that we can to ensure that workplace culture is maintained. And for that, we need to ensure that remote managers are not unwittingly eroding workplace culture.
We have all probably heard the term Zoomed-out, indicating that regardless of the online virtual platform, many are getting fed up with the increasing number of online meetings. However, since this situation does not appear to be decreasing soon, there is additional responsibility placed on remote managers to successfully sustain workplace culture.
To maintain a healthy workplace culture, there are three immediate actions that remote managers can take.
Be Tolerant of “at-home” Conditions
For many remote workers, they are now co-located with their children, spouse, and pets. I have been on many virtual meetings where management has shown signs of annoyance with employees that have household interruptions during the meeting. Practice patience! Just because we are conducting more virtual meetings, does not mean that it is easier.
Show Your Face
With the increase of virtual meetings, it is becoming more imperative that employees feel as if they belong. Attending online meetings, where only a few have their video displayed can cause employees to feel isolated from the team. The tone is set by the remote manager. Be a good example and turn your video on.
Remember meeting colleagues in the breakroom, at the coffee machine or grabbing a bite to eat? With remote working conditions, many of those organic opportunities no longer exist. As a remote manager, it is now necessary to build into your routine regular check-ins with your team. And no, those extra few minutes on either end of a virtual meeting does not count as a meaningful check-in.
In order to maintain a healthy corporate culture, it may take a little more effort. This responsibility often falls on the remote manager, who may also be facing many of the challenges of their colleagues. However, for workplace culture to be upheld, effort must be made to strengthen the connection with employees.