By our partner, Trainual — the modern training manual that helps fast-growing businesses automate their onboarding and training by documenting every process, policy, and procedure in one place.
Any opinions expressed within this blog post are those of the author and not necessarily held by Workplaceless itself.
Remote work is quickly becoming the norm for many companies around the world, but staying in sync while at a distance can be challenging for everyone. Fortunately, there are countless tools that help enable remote work culture and make for a happier, healthier employee. Here are some of our favorites.
The pinnacle of any company culture — the almighty Slack. The beauty of Slack is that it’s not just for remote employees, it’s for everyone. By using a platform that allows for seamless communication between your in-office employees and your remote employees, you’ll keep everyone on the same page and avoid any feelings of isolation from your remote staff.
Slack is a great place to shoutout teammates for their hard work or big accomplishments, but it can be used for highlighting personal wins, too—like birthdays, work anniversaries, you name it.
It can be hard to keep a pulse on how your remote employees are feeling when you aren’t surrounded by them on a daily basis. Tools like Officevibe allow you to craft questions on a variety of topics and send them to all your employees to answer with anonymity. Without fear of retribution, you can ensure your employees are giving you honest, genuine feedback about their current work/life balance, level of satisfaction with their manager, or overall happiness. It also provides a place to give written feedback and allows management to answer them directly — all while maintaining anonymity.
For remote teams, having the ability and flexibility to meet in person isn’t always an option—especially when you’re 3,000 miles away. There’s a simple solution to combat this, and that’s by using video platforms that can connect people from all over the world. We like to use Zoom to do this. Through Zoom, we host meetings with our remote employees so we can all be “together,” or at least as together as we can be.
We already talked about Slack, but the messaging platform also has a ton of bots and integrations that make other aspects of remote work culture simple and easy to manage. Spacetime.am is a bot that lets each employee set their location and work hours so you know when they are and aren’t available. It localizes time zones automatically, so everyone’s calendar reflects the correct meeting time. You’ll save yourself from ever having to use a time zone converter again and avoid sending the awkward “sorry it’s past my work hours” message.
If you don’t have Slack, there are other tools that can do similar things, like Every Time Zone. This app makes it simple to visualize what time it is anywhere in the world, but isn’t necessarily unique to each employee.
Working remotely or in different time zones can take a toll on personal lives and it can be a real drag to get urgent messages while you’re on PTO or sleeping. While tools like Spacetime.am can let your team know what other employees’ working hours are, having a shared calendar where everyone can document their PTO, out of office, or sick days will help curb those messages from coming through while you’re enjoying your time away from work.
While online tools provide easy ways to keep in touch 24/7, there’s something to be said for in-person meetups. At many companies, like Trainual, there are team members we’ve never met in person before. Sure, we chat via Slack and email, but coordinating quarterly or even a yearly event where everyone comes together under one roof to strategize about the business and just get to know each other is invaluable when it comes to company culture.
Consistency in culture
Staying in sync online, hosting meetings over video, and meeting up every now and again is certainly valuable to maintaining a healthy and positive remote work culture, but there are other ways you can help make your remote employees feel like part of the team and like they aren’t being short-changed on your company’s offerings.
As a good rule of thumb, offer remote employees the same benefits as in-office employees. Do you host monthly catered lunches? Let your remote employees expense a meal. Supply your in-office employees with all the equipment they need to be successful? Build out a remote employee kit with monitors, a mouse, keyboard, laptop, anything they’d get if they were in office. Help make the transition from in-office to remote as seamless as possible and set your employees up for success, regardless of their geographic location.