How to Build a Great Team Culture When Working Remotely

By Ali + Julie on 6 Apr 2023

Working remotely has become a global trend in recent years, completely transforming the way we work. Whilst this offers numerous advantages, such as flexibility and increased productivity, it also presents unique challenges, especially when it comes to establishing a cohesive team culture. That's why we thought we'd help out and give you some tips to create a strong team culture within your own remote work team.

Tip #1: Organise informal catchups to promote connection and belonging

In a traditional office setting, team culture often develops organically through face-to-face interactions and shared physical spaces. However, in remote teams, it requires deliberate effort to foster a sense of connection and belonging. This makes it important to utilise messaging platforms, video conferencing tools, and to organise team building activities that can help bridge the physical gap. Here are just a few of the many team building activities that you can try:

  • Create a virtual break room - using a video conferencing tool like Zoom, you can create a recurring meeting that your team members can join during their lunch break so they can catch up just as they would if they were in the office. Whilst awkward at first, this is a great way of helping team members get to know each other.
  • Start a 'good news' group chat - using a messaging platform like WhatsApp, create a group chat where your team members can share good things that happened to them during the week. For example, a co-worker could share that they ran their first marathon over the weekend or that they tried a great restaurant. By sharing good news, it becomes a great conversation starter and lets the team feel closer as they celebrate each other's small successes.
  • Organise a games night - there is an abundance of online games on the internet that are great for team building and are completely free for everyone to join. From online trivia, to sudoku and poker, there is something for everyone. We recommend creating a poll beforehand so your co-workers can vote on the games they most want to play.

Tip #2: Encourage clear and frequent communication

Effective communication lies at the heart of any successful team, particularly in remote settings where face-to-face interactions are limited. In addition to the usual email and slack channels, setting up a group chat on a messaging platform like WhatsApp is a great way of encouraging frequent collaboration between co-workers without the perceived formality of a video conferencing call. Make sure to provide opportunity for non-work related discussion as well. This could include general check-ins so that everyone feels included and involved.

Managing multiple timezones is another challenge that can disrupt communication channels for remote teams. Effectively addressing this challenge is crucial to avoiding inconvenient and untimely Zoom calls. One solution is establishing clear guidelines that indicate each team member's online availability. By establishing a shared understanding of each other's working hours, you can prevent unnecessary disruptions and ensure that collaboration occurs when everyone is present.

Tip #3: Build trust and autonomy

Trust is the foundation of any successful team culture, and in remote teams, it becomes even more crucial. Delegating responsibilities and giving team members the opportunity to work autonomously as and when they see fit helps to build trust. When team members feel empowered to make decisions and work in a way that suits them, they are more likely to take ownership of their work and collaborate effectively.

So that all sounds great but how do you actually make it happen? Recognising individual and team achievements is a simple way to showcase great work and provide a sense of accomplishment for all involved. Make sure to tailor recognition in a way that personally resonates with each team member. For example, some team members will appreciate public praise whilst others will prefer private acknowledgement of their achievements.

Tip #4: Show appreciation through gifts and cards

Small acts of kindness can have a significant impact, especially when you're working remotely. One powerful way to demonstrate your gratitude and make your co-workers feel valued is by sending them meaningful gifts and heartfelt cards throughout the year. By taking the time to select a thoughtful gift or write a personalised message, you can show that you genuinely appreciate their contributions and recognise them as essential members of the team. These gestures of appreciation not only bring joy and positivity but also foster a sense of connection and camaraderie, despite the physical distance that separates you. Whether it's a surprise package arriving at their doorstep or a beautifully crafted card delivered to their inbox, these tokens of appreciation can truly brighten their day and strengthen the bonds within your remote team.

Organise fantastic group gifts and cards with GroupTogether

Want to organise a group card that everyone can sign online and organise a great gift all in the one place? Use GroupTogether to take the hassle out of organising a group card and gift for your co-worker(s). Set up a gift collection in less than two minutes and then instantly be able to share it with the rest of your remote team. What's more, everyone can write a personal message on the group card regardless of whether they choose to contribute for a gift.

Want to send a gift or card to a co-worker?

Use GroupTogether to take all the hassle out of organising a group gift and card. Easily share with your whole team so everyone can sign the card and chip in for a gift.

Ali Julie Square

Ali + Julie

Co-Founders, GroupTogether

Life’s busy. That’s why we’re here to make it easy for you to collect money from a group. Less wasted time, less packaging waste, and spending a little less but giving a lot better!

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