What do you do if your company mostly consists of remote employees strewn across the country or even around the world? You might be well reaping the benefits of cheaper workforce and lack of geographical limitations on talent, but it is also very likely that your business does not hold together the same way traditional firms do. They can take advantage of the fact that people work together, spend time in the same working space, see each other every day and share a very convergent set of perceptions about your company. These are conditions in which developing the corporate culture and identity is not a fool's errand. It takes careful consideration and skillful management efforts to pull these pieces together, but if everything clicks you should be able to enjoy a well-integrated team, gathered around the philosophy and the image you had intended to establish. Firms or teams which consist of mostly remote employees need a different approach to this issue, natural conditions missing from the equation.
Corporate training experts who specialize in consulting this type of businesses offer a recipe of sorts. Following their tips does not necessarily guarantee success in creating a corporate culture with remote workers, but they can certainly facilitate and contribute to the process. Five key areas should be addressed to become successful in this respect.
First off, companies based on remote workforce need a crisp mission statement. In some corporations, they are derided as nothing but corporate newspeak that means very little in practice, but summing up your philosophy in a single document that is compelling and your workers can go back to for inspiration and guidance can boost the company's morale. You should make it clear that this is not some hot air no one pays attention to, but a set of principles that define who you are and what you do.
Second, it is while hiring remote coworkers when companies largely determine their fate. Awareness of what it means to work separately but contribute to a common project, goal or vision is essential and including questions that check whether candidates fit in this respect should help make the right choice.
The third area to work on, according to corporate training specialists, is connected with keeping the team integrated so that its members do not have to struggle with the impression of loneliness and isolation. What can help, in practice, is holding regular web conferences or letting people make presentations of themselves for colleagues to have a better idea who they are working with. These are very easy to implement, but can make a world of difference when it comes to creating cohesion and companionship.
Two last tips have to do with autonomy and recognition. Rigorous supervision might be tempting when working with people away from the headquarters, but a much more effective philosophy is to bank on freedom and then assessment on the basis of productivity. For great work, clear recognition and generous, meaningful rewards should be included.