Ways To Preserve Culture During Virtual Working Environment
Since this pandemic has hit, every organization has shifted to work from home to ensure their employee’s safety. And his virtual working environment has continued from last year till now and doesn’t seem to end early.
Even though organizations had opted for this option as a short term and in obligation at first, but now companies have found this way to be more effective and beneficial for both organization and employees.
But with benefits come a lot of shortcomings in which maintaining an organization’s culture is a major one. Organizations are working for years to build a particular culture that suits their brand, perspective, and office environment.
Office environment helps develop a good workspace, helps support employees, enhances efforts, they stay productive, and offers fulfilment in job. A positive company culture helps gain a competitive advantage, it gives organization a reason to come into work each day and give their all.
But to maintain this positive culture has become difficult during a virtual work environment. For this a few changes are important and extra steps will be required for keeping up with the good working environment.
1) Clear your Cultural Goals
Clearly stating your organization’s cultural goals is important for your employees to keep them working towards a common mission and also to keep them engaged. In times of virtual work environment, the remote employees cannot enjoy a cup of coffee with their co-workers. The remote employees only know what they have been told about the organization through inductions or HR sessions. This is the reason that new employees are unaware and cannot function according to the office culture. Making it more important for the new employees and existing employees to clearly understand cultural goals, mission, and vision of the organization.
Employees need to trust the organization and this can be achieved only if there is transparency in communication and work processes. In a survey conducted by some companies the employees have agreed that transparency gives them a strong sense of job security. They also said that they also wanted to get in touch with their leaders more and interact with the CEOs, management, and others and learn how the company is performing, how the management is taking things ahead, and upcoming events.This clearly states that, even though companies are communicating with their employees some of them still feel that the management can do better.
3) Work life balance
In a virtual working environment, maintaining your employees’ work-life balance can help state your company’s way of caring for their workforce. Organizations can simply do this by acknowledging the challenges that they are facing in the pandemic and still continue to work without fail. This can be done by scheduling meetings and conducting interaction timely and also respecting their family’s contribution and their.
Carrying out regular recognition programs shows employees that their sacrifices and hard work are truly appreciated.
Viz. One can also plan a complete engagement through many sportsapps where the employees can better connect with each other and also engage. Such apps are Run Keeper and Strava in which you can challenge peers and keep track of the individual scores about their health activity.
4) Mental Health Programs
A survey conducted by Mercer found that nearly 37% of companies employees were experiencing mental health issues due to social isolation and economic anxiety.
In addition to keeping in track work life balance it is important to keep track of your employees mental health. It has been recognized that people are facing loneliness, concerns regarding their job security, anxiety related to the pandemic and their family’s health, and ongoing situations in the world.
Employers can help overcome these mental health issues by having empathy, consideration and a feeling of gratitude towards their resources. They can also set up employee assistance programs, have a regular check in on their employees on how they are doing, and allow them to take days off for their mental health whenever they feel the need.
The team can also engage themselves in online yoga sessions which can be a good opportunity for enhancing mental balance and binding of the team mates together.
5) Encourage Participation
Organization’s culture can only be communicated to new employees with the help of existing employees or the leadership team. New resources identify their company’s culture by participating in programs and social occasions, interacting with co-workers, and working on projects. For virtual resources it is important to socialize between your employees via virtual communication tools.
Participating using virtual communication tools helps in employee engagement at vast. When employees feel that they are part of the organization and are welcomed correctly, they work more enthusiastically and tend to deliver quality work.
Because of the pandemic and the internet now there are several online platforms that are making collaboration easier for a global workforce. Organizations are starting to create different chat rooms to fulfil their socializing needs.
Viz. The virtual chef competition and virtual gamification using online games can be another way to boost one to one or team engagement. Many such online poker and online chess games can help people rejuvenate themselves after a week long time of hard work.
6) Weekly Meeting with Manager/Team Lead to discuss any issues
As text based communications are done on a regular day, video calls or audio calls get in a personal touch. This is especially important in a virtual work environment. When you use audio calls or video calls, they can hear each other’s voices making it easy to understand their expression of words or if it is a video call people can easily read the body language, and communicate more openly.
Conference calls and one-on-one calls help virtual resources feel part of a team and also get the attention that employees get in an onsite work environment. Even though at times it won’t be possible for everyone to interact one-on-one, online platforms have made it possible to some extent. A proper one-on-one is important to keep morale up and allow everyone to stay on the same page.
7) Team Building Activities
Sometimes the virtual environment gives a feeling of disengagement. So it becomes important to keep the team engaged with the corresponding team members. For this team building activities can help to some extent and can increase your efficiency and productivity. This kind of participation can help in working towards the common goals, and also making them respect and trust each other. Incorporating games and regular meetups can increase team building. Organizations can also conduct contests, such as taking photos during Mothers Day, Diwali, Holi, and major occasions and share with the organization and the team members.
At our organisation we care a lot about sustainability and therefore we also try and encourage people to use electric bikes or bicycles to diminish carbon emission and this also gives an opportunity to get into group activity.
These are some foolproof ways that can help keep up with your organization’s culture. Identify your organization’s vision beliefs, and transmit them to your employees through patterns of activities, events, and artifacts. Keep time to reflect and understand what makes your current culture successful and try to recreate your onsite environment virtually.