According to an Upwork study, the number of professionals working remotely is expected to reach 22% – or 36.2 million Americans – by the end of 2025.
The reason for this growth is simple: advances in technology have made it easier for employees to stay connected with their colleagues and bosses no matter where they are in the world.
This flexibility is one of the key benefits of working in a virtual office.
It’s more important than ever for organizations and remote team managers to cultivate a sense of community in their remote teams.
And the best way to do so is by making sure that everyone in the team feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas with their colleagues. It also means creating an environment where people feel free to ask questions and give and receive feedback.
Table of contents
- 11 ways to cultivate a welcoming culture in a remote team
- Provide hybrid work options
- Focus on employee mental health and well-being
- Evaluate if “bossware” is needed for your remote team
- Send an organization starter kit
- Schedule regular online meetings
- Hold debriefing sessions after projects
- Empower self-paced working habits
- Assign a mentor or peer relationships
- Engage your team via social media platforms
- Enable quality work with the necessary tools and equipment
- Nurture your remote team starting from day one
- Making your remote employees feel welcome doesn’t have to be stressful
Whether you’re an enterprise executive, small business owner, or remote team manager, you need to maintain a welcoming culture within your virtual work environment in order to keep your team(s) happy and productive.
Now, let’s find out what are the best ways to achieve this.
Basically, what this means is that you give your employees the option to work from home or come into the office, depending on their preference.
This way, they can still feel like they are part of the team even if they’re not in the same physical space.
If your organization already operates a physical office in the same state (or city) where most of your employees are located, it’ll be relatively easy to set up a hybrid work schedule.
In case your organization is fully remote, make sure you often schedule in-person or virtual team-building.
Co-working spaces are also an option to consider if you want to give your team a place to work together outside of their homes.
When you manage a hybrid or remote team, it can be difficult to tell when an employee is struggling.
Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you’re focusing on their mental health and well-being.
Make sure that you check in with them regularly and offer resources that can help them if they’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
It’s also important to create a safe space for employees to talk about their mental health.
There has been an increase in the number of organizations that are focused on employee mental health and well-being, primarily driven by the increasing awareness of its importance.
As a result, there are now more resources available to help employers create a mentally healthy workplace as they continue to work from home.
“Bossware” is a term used to describe software that allows employers to track their employees’ work on their computers.
While this might be helpful for some organizations, it can also create an environment of mistrust and make employees feel like they are being monitored all the time.
If you’re considering using bossware, take the time to evaluate if it’s really necessary and if it’s something that will benefit your team.
Furthermore, make sure to communicate the reasons why you’re doing it and what the benefits are for your team. This way, your employees will be more likely to accept it.
When an employee starts at a new organization, they usually receive a welcome kit that has all the information they need to know about the company.
However, when you have a remote team, it can be difficult to send out these kits.
Being difficult doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t send them. On the contrary, sending an organization starter kit to every new employee can make them feel like they’re a part of the team from the very beginning.
Your organization starter kit should include:
- An introduction to the company and its culture
- A list of the company’s values
- A welcome note from the CEO or another senior leader
- A list of relevant resources (e.g., the company website, intranet, etc.)
- A list of contacts (e.g., HR, IT, etc.)
- A small welcome gift (e.g. T-shirt, notepad, mug, etc.)
Mailing out an organization starter kit is a great way to make every new remote employee feel welcome, so make it count.
When you have a remote team, it can be difficult to stay in touch with everyone.
But remember that it’s important to schedule regular online meetings. This way, employees can still feel connected to the team and stay up to date on what they need to be aware of (deliverables, project scopes, and meeting resolutions).
When scheduling online meetings, make sure to:
- Schedule online meetings during office hours so that everyone can attend
- Send out a meeting agenda in advance so that everyone knows what will be discussed
- Make sure that the meetings are focused and relevant to everyone who is attending
💡 Pro tip
Use flexible online workspace tools. 3veta offers a modern meeting experience and helps organizations create an engaging and productive meeting for everyone.
When a project comes to an end, it’s important to hold debriefing sessions.
Debriefing sessions offer an opportunity for employees to give feedback and suggestions on how the team can work more effectively together in the future.
When holding debriefing sessions, make sure to:
- Schedule them soon after the project has ended
- Invite all employees who worked on the project
- Lead the session with questions that encourage reflection and feedback
- Encourage employees to be honest and open with their feedback
Also consider how remote debriefing sessions can also be accompanied by virtual drinks, some snacks, and socializing to build team morale.
When you have a remote team, it’s important to empower self-paced working habits. This way, employees can work at their own pace and still be productive.
There are a few things you can do to empower self-paced working habits:
- Offer flexible working hours
- Encourage employees to take breaks
- Allow employees to work from home
- Provide opportunities for continuous learning and development
Allowing employees to work at their own pace is a great way to promote productivity.
It also shows that you trust your employees to get the job done.
What this does to your office culture is that it builds a more trusting environment for employees to feel like they can openly communicate with their team and not feel micromanaged.
Having a mentor or peer relationship allows remote employees to feel connected to the team and have someone to turn to when they need help or advice.
Mentor relationships are helpful for newer employees as they can learn from more experienced colleagues. Meanwhile, peer relationships are helpful for employees who are at the same level and can freely offer support and advice to each other.
When assigning a mentor or peer relationships, make sure to pair people who have complementary skillsets and personalities. This way, they can help each other grow and develop professionally.
Here are some easy ways to gauge if an employee can benefit from a remote mentorship or peer-to-peer working relationship:
- Do they seem to be struggling with the transition to a remote work environment?
- Do they seem isolated from the rest of the team?
- Do they have difficulty communicating or collaborating with others?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then assigning a mentor or peer relationship can help the employee feel more connected to the team and improve their overall work experience.
When you have a remote team, it’s important to engage them via social media platforms. This helps most remote employees feel like they’re a real part of the team.
When engaging your team via social media, make sure to:
- Post updates often
- Encourage employees to like, comment, and share
- Make sure the content is relevant and engaging
- Use hashtags to promote team morale
- Don’t make it just about work
Let me emphasize that last point – it’s imperative for your organization to completely distance work matters from your social media engagement initiatives.
Social media should be a fun platform for team members to connect with each other on a personal level.
This will help build team morale and make everyone feel like they’re part of a workplace community that is more than just transactional.
As an organization, you can hold social media contests and challenges, or even have weekly themes to make things more interesting.
There are various social media management strategies that can help you keep your remote team enthusiastic about being part of the organization.
Here’s an example of how to do this via Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform with nearly three billion users:
1. Create a Facebook group for your team and have everyone join and be a member.
2. Each week, post a question or topic related to the theme of the week.
3. For example, if the theme is “Movies,” you can post a question like, “What’s your favorite movie and why?”
4. Encourage employees to answer the question and engage in discussion with each other.
5. Make sure to Like and comment on each employee’s answer.
6. Provide a prize for the employee with the most likes on their answer.
This is just one example of how you can use social media to engage your team. There are endless possibilities and it’s up to you to get creative!
If you want your remote team to be productive, you need to give them the right remote tools for the job. This assures you that your employees are equipped to do their best work, and feel like they have what they need to be successful.
There are a few things you can do to enable quality remote work at home:
- Make sure each employee has the necessary tools and equipment
- Encourage employees to use the best tools and equipment
- Make sure the tools and equipment are top quality
- Provide a budget for employees to purchase the necessary tools and equipment
Ensuring that each employee has the necessary tools and equipment not only promotes productivity but also shows them that they are supported and trusted by the organization.
When you have a remote team, it’s important to nurture your team starting from day one.
Here are a few things you can do to nurture your team:
- Make sure each employee feels welcomed
- Get to know each employee on a personal level
- Encourage employees to get to know each other on a personal level
- Make sure everyone feels like they belong
Wanting to uplift team morale for remote teams begins at the very start – even before new employees are onboarded.
It all starts with the culture of the organization; the desire to nurture, cultivate, and grow a team designed for success should already be there the first day remote employees step inside your digital workplace.
Building a remote team is no easy feat.
It takes time, effort, and a lot of patience.
But it’s worth it when you see your team come together and work towards a common goal.
Now that you’ve read our tips on how to create a culture of openness and welcome in a virtual workplace, it’s time to start putting them into action.
3veta provides the perfect platform for companies who want to embrace remote work and cultivate strong company culture. With our free trial, you can get started right away and see the benefits for yourself.
So, what are you waiting for? Start your free trial today!
Bernard San Juan
Bernard San Juan III is the Managing Partner of Truelogic who comes from a successful career in online companies, where he played a critical role in building & managing workforce groups. He has redesigned the organization’s IT infrastructure to improve order processing and logistics. His skills include managing performance, managing costs, and training. He also manages overall sales, customer satisfaction, graphic design, copywriting, and training with first-line supervisors.