Remote working, company culture & navigating the new normal

June 18, 2021
We’ve all heard about it by now: since the Coronavirus pandemic outbreak, we are now living a “[new normal](https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/leadership/from-thinking-about-the-next-normal-to-making-it-work-what-to-stop-start-and-accelerate#).” This implies, among many other significant changes, that most of the population is on some level of lockdown and doing most of their daily activities from home. For companies, this has meant rapidly reorganizing work structures so that all employees, or a considerable number of them, work from the safety of their homes. To make this transition easier, organizations that weren’t entirely onboard the digital transformation train have chosen to move forward to a tech-savvy distributed team environment. They have incorporated remote collaboration tools like Google Suite, Jira, Slack, Zoom, Skype, and many others. Of course, this is not the only change that has occurred. There are many other factors that businesses can consider to make the most out of this remote working situation and protect company culture and stability, and this article will explore some of them. To begin with, processes and practices should be standardized to offer employees an enjoyable experience outside of the office. Cybersecurity compliance should be kept at the top of everyone’s’ agenda to avoid any fatal issues down the line, and adequate protocols should be arranged to guarantee this. Also, companies should pay attention to providing their employees with the necessary infrastructure to perform their jobs. This may include offering headphones, an ergonomic chair, or a new monitor, for example. Most importantly, a clear and effective communication strategy is critical to support this uncertain situation for all. Employees need to know how often and through which channels they should communicate with their leaders and peers and how to reach out if they have questions, concerns, or issues. They should also know when to expect feedback, which should ideally be frequently and continuously, and when they will receive recognition for their skills and accomplishments. More than ever, company values and culture should be made explicit, to ensure everyone is aligned with the same vision. Are collaboration and productivity at the core of your business structure? Your employees need to know this clearly. Don’t forget about team building. These events should be encouraged to maintain team morale, the interaction between peers, and engagement. Events like virtual after office meetings and informal coffee chats can go a long way in maintaining a sense of normalcy. Overall, the focus here should be on implementing an action plan to sustain strong relationships between coworkers while keeping the company’s essence alive. Remember that tech can be an ally here to build tools and platforms that cultivate personal bonds, promote further engagement, educate on values, and freshen up organizational dynamics. It’s up to you to decide which suggestions suit your organizational structure better, but make sure to read through them carefully to avoid unexpected problems among your teams as we continue navigating these unexpected times.