Jason Azocar August 24 5 min read

Continuing Your Team Culture In and Out of the Office

When you welcome someone new to your team, you’re also welcoming them into the culture that lives in your organization. Creating and maintaining a good company culture also helps you attract and keep top talent. 

It can be difficult in a remote world to cultivate a positive, supportive culture for new team members and for those who have been with you from the beginning.

Send New Hires a Welcome Box

Many top companies send new hires a welcome box full of company swag like coffee mugs, t-shirts, water bottles, and more. Welcome boxes say “You’re one of us now” and show pride in your organization.

Welcome boxes show how excited you are to have them joining the team. If your new employee doesn’t feel that excitement or eagerness from you, they won’t feel that way either about the job itself. Job satisfaction depends — in part — on your team members feeling valued and not like faceless names on an org chart.

This can be helpful for teams that are working remotely, whether it’s permanently or temporary. Send this welcome box along with any materials they’ll need for their first day.

Find Ways to Grow Closer as a team

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be hard to feel connected to your team. You’ve worked remotely, it’s a stressful time for everyone in and outside of work, and your team can feel isolated. You need to keep your team engaged and connected. Despite the difficulties posed by working remotely in the middle of a pandemic, it’s still possible to implement team-building events.

Try that standby, a team lunch once a month or more often. While working remotely, set it up so your team can order delivery and reimburse them for the costs. Then set up a video conference during your lunchtime to talk about anything but work to catch up and relax with your team.

If your team is close enough location-wise, try walk-and-talks! They can socially distance outside, get some exercise, and safely spend time together. Even if in-person walk-and-talks aren’t possible, schedule virtual ones — whether team members are taking a lap around a park or in their neighborhood. 

All it takes is scheduling 30 minutes into your day, and instead of having a meeting at your desk, you can do it from your phone while getting some fresh air or walking a dog. 

Communicate Constantly, but Respect Boundaries

Keeping everyone informed while working remotely is paramount. But be careful of too much, too often, at all hours of the day. 

When working remotely, many people get swept up in their projects and will work outside of normal hours. Be mindful that your team keeps a good work/life balance. Everyone has to be respectful of working hours and recognize that having the ability to reach each other at any time of day doesn’t mean you should. Encourage keeping work communication during what would be your normal office hours, so there’s a definite start and finish to the day. 

Trust is a big component in respecting boundaries in the office and remote working. Managers need to trust work is getting done and done well. We’ve seen many organizations make the mistake of micromanaging their teams, giving the impression of mistrust. 

While we just advised you to keep work to work hours, also understand that if an employee doesn’t respond immediately to communications, they may be handling something else at home — helping their kids with their remote schooling, tending to babies or toddlers, or anything else that may need attention now. That’s part of the trust and support your team needs to feel.

Give Credit Where it’s Due

The members of your team work hard, and it’s important to recognize that. Any in-work accomplishments are worth recognizing, but it doesn’t have to be in a big way. Something as simple as sending a message in your organization’s Slack channel congratulating them on a job well done helps boost morale. Show your team members that good work is recognized, and it will encourage them to continue working hard. 

Recognition doesn’t always have to be work-related, though. If there was an important moment in a team member’s life, you should communicate with them about that too. This demonstrates that you’re invested in your team’s well-being, that you care about them as people, not just as workers.