Organizations often have trouble creating a positive company culture, and the addition of remote offices may complicate things. Therefore, it is imperative for companies to learn how to nurture a healthy culture regardless of distance between employees.
Bieke Claes, U.S. General Manager of Culture Trip, a global startup operating in travel, media and entertainment, explains the strategies she has found to work for her remote employees.
Making video conferences mandatory can help employees feel connected, while also providing time to recognize the accomplishments of their hard work each week.
Distance can often create a divide between teams, so it is important to avoid an “us vs. them” mentality.
“Something as simple as being cognizant of how your team references their remote counterparts can be key,” said Claes. “Whenever possible, we use inclusive pronouns such as ‘we’ and ‘our’. The subtle, but powerful, shift will help to foster cohesive thinking across offices.”
Many workplaces have employee networks or affinity groups, so companies with remote teams should consider how to replicate this sense of community across all of its offices.
Creating global initiatives can also play a role in connecting all of a company’s locations. For example, Culture Trip recently ran a sustainability hackathon where it gathered its 300 employees for one day to brainstorm on how to make travel more green. Teams across the company’s various locations were selected through global presentations and judges.
“Rallying around a worthwhile cause ignited creativity and fostered a healthy sense of local pride and competition,” said Claes.