The pandemic has completely disrupted most of the world’s work culture. From a face-to-face office environment, everyone was encouraged to work from home. Those who are already in the remote work setup often fail to touch on the subject of workplace culture just because they think virtual connection is enough.

Without fostering culture in a remote workplace, there is a risk of team members feeling disconnected and losing human touch. It might seem that it’s all work and no play compared to an office setup where they can have fun and enjoy with workmates. The lack of engagement can sometimes lead to lack of motivation and this is something that most remote-based companies are unaware of. It’s time to end that. Here are some creative ways you can build an awesome remote work culture.

1. Communicate using formal and informal channels

Your current communication tools are strictly for work purposes, right? It is good to have a different communication channel where team members feel free and less restricted. In this way, they can go somewhere they can be themselves without having to disturb the flow of work-related discussions. This also promotes openness in terms of connecting deeper with each other outside of work, exchanging ideas, having fun, and building friendships remotely.

2. Set clear agendas for meetings

The most common mistake of remote teams is setting too many meetings that are not really necessary, if you come to think about it. Since time is precious for remote workers, having organized and well-set video conferences with clear agendas can help lessen the time wasted. As a matter of fact, some discussions can be done via email or chat.

3. Always turn on the camera

Speaking of video conferences, it is important to have the camera turned on during these times. Video calling is the closest thing remote workers can ever have in terms of human connection. Seeing faces on the screen somehow lessens the lack of physical interaction among colleagues. It gives you a general idea about the person you are emailing or chatting with. Although virtually, you get a sense of who your team members really are by just merely looking at their faces, their expressions, their gestures, how they talk, and even the background of their office setup.

4. Regularly check up on each other for burnout

Another common misconception about remote work is that people don’t get tired or they are available 24/7. Since remote teams don’t see each other’s working conditions, it might be easy for managers to assume that their members are not swamped with work. This is why some remote workers feel burdened by tasks that are thrown out to them nonstop and in bulk. Managers should be able to understand and help. If possible, check everyone’s workload and address pain points immediately. Be ready to support or delegate tasks. Know if there are external factors such as personal matters that are affecting their performance.

5. Know your company’s mission-vision by heart

Everyone should at least have an idea about the mission and vision of the company. In this way, you can be sure that the team is working towards a common goal and they know where their efforts go. There is no need to memorize, but take time to understand and have something to believe in. It also brings a sense of passion and encouragement to become ambassadors of the company they are working for.

6. Identify and stick to your core values

After learning about the mission-vision, the core values help as a glue to bind everyone to the common goal of how you want the company to become. It is important for remote workers to have values to live by even in a virtual workplace setup. More than the growth of the company, it also aids in personal development of each team member.

7. Remember and celebrate birthdays

Birthdays are special. Though remote workers won’t be able to celebrate and feast together physically, simple and personalized greetings can go a long way in making a person feel appreciated. Giving the celebrants their much-deserved birthday leaves can also be a way of making sure that they enjoy their day without having to worry about work.

8. Create a fun day to virtually bring people together

This can be a weekly habit where everyone gets together for a time of pure fun and enjoyment. Doing a regular leisure activity with team members not only ensures recreation and a time away from work, but also builds camaraderie, fosters engagement, and acts as a bonding session. A closely-knit team of remote workers will ensure productivity, motivation, and better output.

Final thoughts

Handling a remote team is truly challenging because members come from different countries with different cultures, beliefs, and attitudes. Managers must be able to put them all together and build a unified culture for them to be able to work harmoniously and successfully towards a common goal. Thanks to these tips, you can have an idea on how to engage, motivate, and cultivate an awesome remote culture in your virtual workplace that fosters innovation, productivity, and teamwork.