News Article

4/5/2017

Maintaining company culture with the expansion of remote workers

Most everyone prefers to hire a local, skilled person to work in the office.  But it can be very hard to find all the types of skills you need that way.  Sometimes you find a great candidate but they live 2 hours away.  So you hire them as a remote worker.  Often you find that this new remote worker produces more output than your in office staff.  Everything is great.  Now when that next job opening comes up you don’t hesitate at all to hire another remote worker.  Pretty soon you may find yourself with a significant remote workforce.  Which is great, except for one thing.  How do you extend your great company culture to these remote workers?  How do you make them truly feel like a part of your company and not just hired guns working on their own?

Remote workers are here to stay and will increase every year for the foreseeable future.  So what you need to do is formulate a plan that will maximize the upside of remote workers while minimizing any potential downside.  Today we want to focus on the potential downside of having two corporate cultures slowly emerge in your business.  One that all the office workers experience and the other that all the remote workers experience.  The goal is to incorporate remote workers in such a way that they don’t feel different or detached, rather are simply working from another location.  Out of sight, out of mind can be one hurdle to overcome.  No one means to treat people like that, it just happens.  There are strategies to deal with this type of issue, such as:

  • Face Time – Use communication tools that include video for company meetings as well as one on one conversations.
  • Encourage Instant Messaging – “Water Cooler” chats are an important part of any office environment. Use technology to create a virtual water cooler for your staff.
  • Bring remote workers in on a regular basis. Quarterly visits to work at the home office for a week will make everyone feel like they are part of the team.

Another issue that often crops up is not being in the loop on the internal personal celebrations, company lunches and the like. While remote workers do have benefits that those in the office don’t it is important to include them in some of the office perks on occasion. Have a pizza delivered to their home, send them a Starbucks Gift card or just encourage them to go grab their lunch before logging into a company lunch and learn so they feel like they are truly joining in. Lastly, it can be a great idea to pair up an office worker with a remote worker to work on an internal project together.  This fosters teamwork between both so they each get to learn about the other person.  As remote workers make genuine friendships this will allow the culture of the company to extent outward.

Contact MSP-Ignite today to find out more about how you can start to fuel growth by tapping the resources of other IT leaders. Visit us at www.msp-ignite.com or call us at 888.972.0236 or email us at msp@MSP-Ignite.com to get started today.

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