5 Remote Work Tools to Support Company Culture

Can you create company culture in a company without a physical office?

Business leaders who still believe that “culture” comes from casual work attire on Fridays and a pool table in the break room might not think so. However, as many managers are starting to discover, there’s more to culture than meets the eye.

Company culture is about creating a sense of belonging, accountability, and ownership for every individual in your company.

77% of job seekers say they look at culture when searching for new job opportunities, and the right strategy could even help to improve engagement and productivity. [source]

So, how do you maintain company culture in a world when one-third of workforces are working remotely now (36%), with an increase to 44% set for 2025? [source]

The Tools for Building & Maintaining Company Culture

Just like the people in your office should love coming in every day, the remote employees you work with online should have the same sense of commitment to your brand and your business.

“If you’re working for a good company and you’re happy there, and you’re being compensated accordingly, and your work satisfies you, you should stay there.”

– Robert Kiyosaki

Since it’s hard to create a specific atmosphere for employees when they’re distributed across the town/city, country, or even globe, you’re going to need a few tools to help you.

Consider these tools.

Project Management Tools.

Productive and satisfying company cultures are built on trust. If you’re constantly messaging remote staff members to see what progress they’re making on a project, it’s just as ineffective as hanging over their shoulder in the office.

Having a project management tool helps to keep everything on track.

Services like Trello and Asana show you how projects are progressing in your business without micromanagement. You can see who’s completing which tasks and who might be falling behind in their schedule.

There’s even options to tag people on specific task boards so they get alerts when they need to check some new information.

Communication Tools.

Communication is still essential in a remote environment. Probably even moreso.

Face-to-face conversations will help your employees to feel like they’re connecting with real human beings, rather than just someone on the other end of a screen. A regular video call can be a great way to offer support and web conferences can bring people together.

There are plenty of other ways for your team to communicate frequently outside of video too. Group chat services like Slack and Microsoft Teams keep the conversation going throughout the day.

You could even create a separate social group where your team members can discuss things other than work. (Remember, water cooler chat (the stuff not about the workplace), helps to build relationships between your employees.)

Calendars and Scheduling Tools.

People in a remote work environment often use more flexible schedules than their in-office counterparts. However, there will be times when you need to ensure that everyone is available.

For group meetings and announcements, a shared calendar can be a great tool to get everyone on the same page.

Shared calendar and scheduling tools set expectations for your team members about when they need to be active and available for conversations.

These solutions also come in handy when your employees need to arrange meetings with other team members who may not be in the same time zone.

To further boost your company culture, give your employees the opportunity to set their status on collaboration tools to “away” or “busy” when they can’t talk.

Collaboration Tools.

Video conferencing and team audio meetings are forms of collaboration, but you’ll also need tools that help people work on projects together wherever they are. For a company culture to thrive, information needs to be shared freely throughout your organization.

“Camaraderie doesn’t happen by accident; developing a strong sense of trust, accountability, and togetherness around team goals requires intentional effort.”

– Don Yaeger

With that in mind, ensure that you have a system in place for sharing content over the cloud or working together on documents in real-time. All staff members on your team, including in-office and remote workers, should be using the same collaborative tools.

Whether it’s Microsoft Office or Google Docs, keeping everything in the same place reduces the risk of information silos and confusion for your teams.

Recognition Tools.

What’s important to your business?

Company values, such as fairness, trustworthiness, and accountability, should be evident in every interaction you have with your staff.

Letting your employees know what matters most to your organization will help them to see what they need to do to excel in their role.

“Employees are a company’s greatest asset – they’re your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best; provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission.”

– Anne M. Mulcahy

Giving rewards and recognition whenever someone personifies one of the values that’s important to your company will encourage everyone to exemplify these values.

Reward the team members that act according to your ethos and talk to people who go in the other direction to give them guidance. Be careful not to chastise anyone though. Instead, try and figure out what went wrong via feedback/appraisals.

Consider using 360 Appraisals, which includes anonymous feedback from a group of employees who are quizzed on the behaviours and understanding of their colleagues. It can look at areas such as: customer focus, teamwork, communications, leadership, technical know-how, ethics etc. [Get in touch to ask us about this]

Long Distance Relationships Take Work

In the professional and the personal world, relationships from a distance can take more effort to work. It’s important to keep your finger on the pulse of your employees’ needs with regular feedback and surveys.

Watch out for anything that might indicate issues with company culture.

Over time, you’ll learn what your employees need to feel like part of the team.