Remote work is nothing new, but 2020 has kicked remote work culture up to a whole new level. Global pandemic, quarantines, lockdowns, and social unrest have led to tens of millions of people working from home, many of them with no prior experience of having done so! Whether work from home (WFH) culture is here to stay or whether a new hybrid model emerges remains to be seen. One thing the current situation has taught us, however, is that employers must help build and support a healthy remote work culture.
The Challenges of Remote Work
There are definite advantages to remote work. One primary perk is that employees save time, money, and resources on a daily commute. In many cases, they can save even more by cooking all their meals at home throughout the day and requiring less by way of professional equipment and wardrobe.
Naturally, there are also some challenges.
- Less oversight
- Weak work/life boundaries
- Increased sense of isolation
- Decreased bonds with co-workers
- Lack of access to important resources or information
- High risk of either over-working or under-performing
Remote workers face challenges, but they don’t have to struggle alone.
3 Simple Steps to Help Build & Support Remote Culture
Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to help remote workers thrive.
Step 1: Establish routine check-ins.
Depending on the nature of your work and the employees in question, these check-ins could be monthly, weekly, or daily. This regular time to discuss work, projects, and progress, can provide the sort of structure and accountability many people need in order to stay on track.
Don’t just focus on work, though. When employees work remotely, they’re missing out on the sort of little, daily interactions that might otherwise play out in the halls, around the water cooler, or in the elevator. Be sure to connect with them as people, ask what’s been going on in their lives, and develop interpersonal bonds to remind them they’re not alone.
Step 2: Prioritize video when you can.
Though not every interaction need necessarily play out over screens, there’s something powerful about face-to-face communication that just can’t be replicated via e-mail, text, or even phone calls.
There have been a number of studies on the complex topic of nonverbal communication with varying results. However, most experts agree that 70 to 93 percent of all communication is nonverbal. (LifeSize)
Because nonverbal communication brings to much clarity to communication, it’s even more important when you’re working with remote employees to break down as many barriers to clear communication as you possibly can. Conducting the bulk of your communication through screens is a step in the right direction.
Step 3: Constantly Connect to the Big Picture
When remote workers are off on their own, they sometimes fail to recognize that whatever aspect of the project they’re working on is not an end in itself; instead, it’s merely a small part of the whole. By helping them stay constantly connected to the big picture, you’re infusing their tasks with a greater sense of meaning and purpose, adding an extra layer of motivation to all they do.
This is an especially critical piece for those working with remote developers. Giving them a sense that their work serves a greater purpose can lead to greater satisfaction and pride in a job well done.
And that would make anyone happy!
We Can Help
Here at DevReady, we really do have it all together. Not only do we have connections to the developers you’re looking for, but we’re also helping them grow and thrive as remote workers. To hear more about what we have to offer, schedule a call today!