10 Essential Tips for Building a Remote Work Culture

Oren Todoros
Oren Todoros

Guest Contributor | Head of Content at Spike

Reviewed by Chris Leitch

Remote Work Culture

As we stand in the midst of 2024, it’s hard to argue that our work culture in the digital age has changed quite a bit. With over 16% of the world’s companies going absolutely remote, and 74% of employees feeling happier working in a remote setting, the remote work statistics clearly dictate that the world is turning into a virtual office, and with that comes the responsibility to build a strong remote work culture.

While effective remote management may seem tough to organizations who haven’t adopted this model yet, the need for remote work culture is ever increasing, and those who won’t accept it will likely be left behind. But to create an effective remote working environment, it’s important to understand what remote work culture is all about.

In this guide, we’ll explore what remote work culture is and why it’s important, and share tips on building and maintaining a strong remote work culture.

What is remote work culture?

In simple terms, the culture of an organization is defined by its values. When a certain set of values are accepted, rejected, appreciated or shunned in an organization, it sets the tone for how employees and employers are expected to behave in the company.

Just like an in-office work environment offers opportunities for connection, growth and shared experiences to its employees, a remote team should also have these features to be considered a healthy work environment.

For a strong work culture, remote employees must feel appreciated and included through digital mediums, and they should be treated with respect and fairness in the workplace. This helps retain talented remote employees, and it builds the foundation for an efficacious remote-friendly work culture.

Why is remote work culture important?

A strong and healthy remote work culture is the foundation of a successful business in 2024.

According to a report on recruitment statistics, 77% of employees apply to a job based on the company’s culture, instead of the monetary factors.

This means that while a remote-friendly company with a positive work culture is likely to be bombarded with applications from the best candidates all over the world, a bad company culture with politics and unfair business practices can cost your business many amazing remote employees.

10 tips to build a strong remote work culture

A sturdy work environment is the only way a business can become successful in this modern world, so here are 10 tips that will help you build a strong remote work culture in 2024:

1. Make professional development a priority

The strongest indicator of a positive company culture is the opportunity to grow and develop your professional skills. When you offer your employees the consistent latitude for growth and invest in their professional development, remote talent is more likely to stay with you, because they’re getting to learn new skills.

Apart from the monetary benefits, everyone looks for the chance to grow in a company. With the right tools and resources by your side, you can offer your employees this opportunity so that they don’t feel like they’re stuck in a monotonous work environment.

2. Help the team bond

As fun as working remotely is, it comes with its own set of challenges in the form of isolation and the inability to get to know team members in person. For a healthy team bonding, you can create employee engagement and team building activities on a frequent basis.

Hold fun activity sessions for different departments, and let them take the charge. You can play games, hold Q&A sessions, and encourage regular video calls for celebrations, birthdays and work anniversaries. This creates a sense of belonging and trust in the remote teams, and helps them work together in a more cohesive manner, which helps create a strong remote work culture.

3. Strive for a healthy work–life balance

The most important pillar of a strong remote work culture is its ability to offer a healthy work–life balance to employees.

Start by encouraging your employees to take their paid time off and not overwork themselves. This creates a sense of respect in the workplace for everyone’s time, and employees are more likely to find a healthy work–life balance.

If your remote employees are working in different time zones, you could offer them the flexibility to work according to their preferred time zone. For better communication when working in different time zones, you can make use of asynchronous communication tools so that all your employees can work in the hours when they’re most productive.

4. Appreciate hard work

No one wants to stay in an organization that doesn’t appreciate their hard work. Since the opportunities for acknowledgement are between far and few in a remote setting, it’s important to take out some time to appreciate your employees. The best way to do this is through a team chat app with everyone present in it or over a team video call.

Alternatively, criticism of all kinds should be offered in a one-on-one meeting instead of in front of everyone. As a manager or team leader, it’s your responsibility to keep your team motivated through appreciation and on track through regular check-ins.

5. Give your meetings a purpose

Too many unnecessary meetings can derail the purpose of working remotely and can quickly devolve into micromanagement if not taken notice of. Instead of checking in every few hours about what your employees are doing, you can streamline the reporting process where the employees are encouraged to let their progress be known at the end of the day.

If you treat your employees like adults and let them handle things on their own, they’re more likely to feel responsible for their work. Instead of pestering them, offer them support. They should know that you’re available to help them if needed but that you trust them to finish the tasks on their own.

6. Create a remote-friendly onboarding process

The first impression is the last impression, especially when it comes to joining a new job.

Just like the employers are monitoring the remote employee in their first few days in the new job, the employee is similarly also observing the remote team culture.

For a good impression, begin by streamlining your onboarding process. For all the new hires, you can offer an introduction session and a one-on-one with their manager and team members, followed by at least a one-week training period. This will help the new recruit settle into their role more easily, especially in a remote setting.

7. Ask for feedback

The best way to improve an organization’s work culture is to learn from constructive criticism. By regularly conducting surveys, and asking for feedback, you can help yourself and your employees enjoy their work. The key here is to know what to ask.

Remember to keep your questions open-ended for more ideas on what can be improved, and how. However, it may be possible that some remote employees won’t be truthful in their review due to the fear of being punished. For transparent feedback, create an opportunity to share feedback anonymously.

8. Offer a globally inclusive benefits package

If you’re hiring remote talent from around the world, it’s important to take into consideration the living costs and benefits that your employees may need. Someone who doesn’t reside in the US, for example, has no use for a 401k contribution.

To offer equal benefits to all your employees, learn about similar benefits in their area, and create an offer package accordingly. You can start by redefining the expectations of the role that you’re hiring for and offering compensation and other perks and benefits according to the country that your potential employees reside in.

9. Make use of remote-friendly tools

Collaboration and communication are two of the most essential features of remote cultures that value real-time collaboration. When employees work remotely, they require various communication tools to complete their projects as a part of a team.

Video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Google Meet are great options for video calls in real time. Other collaboration tools such as Notion, Asana, Time Doctor, Spike and Trello, among others, have been found useful in both big and small teams for project management, note taking, team chats and time management.

10. Offer burnout prevention resources

Whether someone is working in an in-office environment or remotely, everyone faces burnout at one time or another in their professional career.

An organization with a strong work culture, however, has the skills to deal with burnouts like this. A good culture starts with giving your employees the opportunity to unplug and disconnect from work.

This not only enables employees to disconnect from their work but also learn to manage their work time and pressure in a healthy manner, which results in enhanced productivity and happier employees.

How to maintain a remote work culture

The most efficient way to maintain a remote work culture is to adapt and consistently improve upon your values as an organization based on the needs of the business and employees.

If you’re a part of an organization that has shifted from an on-site business model to a remote setting, consistently adapting to the changes and sustaining them over time is the only way to build a successful remote work culture.

To reinforce the qualities of a positive work environment, aim to be empathetic, dedicate time towards team building activities, encourage inclusion and diversity, and offer a listening ear.

Don’t shy away if you face a few hiccups in the beginning; maintaining a remote work culture is all about learning from your mistakes for better employee engagement.

Final thoughts

As the world is progressing towards a remote work environment, it’s essential for organizations, whether big or small, to focus on effective management in order to build a strong remote work culture.

By understanding the importance of remote work and focusing on ways to prosper in the new work model, companies can build the foundation for successful work ethics, efficient employee engagement and overall success in the modern workplace.

What do you do to ensure a strong remote work culture? Let us know in the comments section below.