Working remotely is an amazing perk that many companies offer to their employees. The perks of remote work include increased productivity, decreased costs, environmental benefits due to reduced travel, and increased health and wellness. Whether you telework from home, a coffee shop, or another office, it’s extremely helpful for many employees to design their perfect working environment.
However, everything worth having has some downsides. Staying engaged with your company culture as a remote employee does have its challenges — but it’s not impossible. By making some changes in your communication and scheduling, you can gain the benefits of being a remote employee while engaging in your company culture.
Be a presence in your chat community
If your company offers telework opportunities, chances are they take part in some sort of chat platform in order to keep communication flowing through their employees. Being a presence in your chat communities is a great way to stay engaged in your company culture. You should always be present and available for communication and brainstorming with your managers, team members, and employees — but it’s also important to be present for the regular chat as well. Take part in industry conversations, help those with questions, and join in on fun discussions that have little to do with work.
It can be difficult to feel connected to your company when you start working remotely, but staying connected to your team in a remote setting can be done through your chat community. It’s important to be patient in the transition period and communicate any struggles with your managers. The key here is to be present and to participate. This type of engagement goes two ways and requires your participation.
Utilize the tools available to you
In addition to utilizing the chat tools that are available, don’t be afraid to utilize the other tools available to you in order to maintain your engagement with your company culture. Engaging in terms of productivity and connection to culture tends to overlap, and there are plenty of tools that accomplish both. Calling into a brainstorming session, for instance, can accomplish productivity engagement as well as cultural engagement. Remote work doesn’t have to segregate you from your team’s collaborative environment, but your collaboration might be done a bit differently while you’re teleworking.
If you would benefit from certain remote working tools such as call in capabilities, community chat platforms, task management programs, or visual aids in meetings like screen shares or video chat, discuss those needs with your company. Telecommuting offers many perks for both employees and businesses, and financial gain is one of them. Some of the tools might come with a price point, but the money saved by having employees work remotely might even out the cost. Not only that, but many tools have free versions.
Attend work events outside of the office
Not all company culture activities occur during regular work hours while everyone is being productive. Some companies have a lot of cultural opportunities outside of the office. Depending on how remote you are, you may have the opportunity to stay engaged in your company culture by attending those events outside of work.
Christmas parties, company picnics, fundraisers, and group outings are all great cultural activities that will enable you to take part in company culture while maintaining your work-from-home status. These outings will enable you to make connections, network, and be a face behind your chat name for those in your company that might not interact with you a lot. Not only that, but feeling a connection with your company will help you to feel more connected to your work overall.
Mimic your office schedule
In some cases, telework opportunities carry with them the ability to work whenever you want and however you want. One of the major benefits to working from home is that you’re able to design your perfect working environment. If you work best in the morning or late at night, some telework opportunities allow you to work during your peak production times.
However, there’s something to be said for working when the rest of your office is working. Doing so will help you to be present for chat opportunities, brainstorming sessions, and getting a hold of team members and management. If you can, try to spend some time working when others are in order to take advantage of those conveniences.
On the same note, there are other aspects of office schedules that you can mimic that can help your engagement with company culture. If everyone else is watching a webinar at a certain time, join in. If your teammates usually go on a walk at 10 a.m., do the same. Company culture isn’t just about your connection with others, it’s also about the nuts and bolts of your workflow. Find the aspects of your company’s culture that benefit you — from walks to clear your head to a daily scroll through industry news — and mimic that in your daily work schedule as a telework employee.
Remote employees don’t have to fade from culture activities in exchange for the benefits of working from home. Though culture might be different for teleworkers, it doesn’t have to be nonexistent. It won’t be effortless, but the benefits of being engaged in company culture can help you feel more connected to your company and your work overall.