“Another meeting?”, “yeah, talk to you later, bye!” This is a common hang-up dialogue that most friends or even work besties share as they work virtually.  Replacing in-person connections in a virtual workplace is tricky but companies are learning to ace it, especially after the pandemic. Have you wondered why are some companies better at it than the rest? If you work your way backwards, you will find that the answers lie in the company’s culture.

As per the report companies with higher employee engagement are 22% more profitable. Their team members are happy to log in at the right time and contribute to their and the company’s growth, with a smile. It’s about their work culture that invisible connection that binds team members together.

Technically work culture is the environment that you and your company’s policies set. With virtual work, the boundaries might blur but brands’ cultures show that maintaining the right systems and processes can hold everyone as a team. Interactions can be light and conversations besides work too can happen. Team members know each other personally and share a strong bond.

From the team member’s point of view too, even the new workforce is looking forward to such companies that have a positive and progressive work culture. A well-informed and fearless generation of employees understands the difference between urgent and important. They speak to their manager in case of any dissatisfaction at work. While a firm with good culture will understand and try to resolve if there’s anything wrong, a firm with a poor one will turn defensive or turn a deaf ear to the issues. Here’s more to the work culture in a virtual setup. 

Do your team members sign off with a smile?

Typically, you would just knock at the door of your manager to gauge your progress and deal with issues at work. Or your banter at the water cooler/gossip at the coffee machine might shed off your stress. However, in a virtual setup, either you end up with a day full of meetings or give too much space with fewer calls.

From a team member’s POV working from home can mean many things. He may think it is not necessary to be groomed or may feel less guilty about scrolling Instagram. He might blur the accountability and responsibilities. Learn to let go but draw a line on what will not be negotiable. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Ensure to clear out expectations at the start with timelines. Make it a point that the team member does not take it for granted and keeps the manager well informed.
  • Keep up with your reward and recognition scheme intact. Acknowledgement is helpful for the workforce at the bottom and the newbies.
  • Show your support while your team member’s family members are not keeping well.
  • Take care of their mental health & have each other’s back

Communication & feedback

It could have been a mail- is a common thought, suggesting people are tired of zoom calls. In a virtual setup, too much or too little interaction can play with the team member’s minds. While managers need to make them feel comfortable, they should create a balance between modern ways of communication. So instead of blocking calendars for multiple meetings, team leads can set up a no-meeting day to ensure instructions absorption and gather oneself. Have set timings every day. (the founding team of WB meets every day at 10 am to set the tone of the day)

Timely communication and feedback can help team members stay responsible & accountable to the company.

Moving forward together

Ultimately business growth is what drives every unit of the company forward. Initially, with the shift in systems, it may experience a bit of friction. But when team members feel that sense of belonging, even in a virtual work setting, they can contribute at par or even be more productive. Your firm needs to design those experience journeys carefully to ensure the best for both worlds.  At the end of the day, it’s how you make your team members feel while they strike off your company’s targets. It’s about the environment that you set for your team members to grow personally and professionally.

Terms and policies can make or break the work culture. Modern-day firms are seeking leadership that ensures progressive terms. For example, one who takes care of their team members instead of employees. This shows that everyone is an active part of the company’s growth than just assigned work. They are expected to bring out the best in their team members and set a clear and right framework for working. When the team members feel valued and have a sense of belonging to the organisation, it is a testament to the company’s good work culture.

At WordBerries, while we all work in the comfort of our homes, we have activities that continue to make our ‘berries’ as we’d like to call them connected to the organisation.

A happy and content berry together can carve a ‘berry’ different path for the organisation and their lives as well.