Edited on 12/5/22
Created on December 5, 2022 at 5:57 pm
Edited on December 5, 2022 at 5:59 pm
How to build culture and foster team relationships in a digital-first world
The notion of culture in a digital-first workplace can feel elusive. When we think about company culture, our minds jump to tangible, interpersonal variables: the vibe and atmosphere of an environment, gathering around the water cooler (or in most cases, the espresso machine), sharing lunches and happy hours, petting office dogs...
These can all be parts of a positive culture and experience, but what happens when your team is digital-first? Can you still build culture and foster team relationships through little video squares, when separated by state lines, or even an ocean?
The answer is an unequivocal, resounding
In fact, we'd wager in some cases you can build an even stronger culture because everyone's individual needs are being met by having the flexibility to work from wherever they feel their most productive.
We may have overcorrected in the beginning with excessive zoom happy hours, but the pandemic taught us a lot about not only how important it is to build and maintain culture. And how it's very possible to build something better than any in-person office experience.
Any positive relationship starts with communication. Establishing company culture is no different.
Mix up your 1:1s
Building individual relationships with your colleagues, teammates, managers, reports, etc is incredibly important and rewarding.
This is a time when we do think video or audio calls are best, but we also believe in making it fun! Your 1:1s shouldn't feel like a chore (frankly, we don't think meetings should feel like a chore, either!) and we have some tips for building a positive culture around 1:1s.
Build an intentional tool stack
We've talked about tool fatigue, and we are not immune to it either. We tried every tool under the sun during the pandemic to help build connection and culture.
After a few years, and growing our team across timezones, we've developed this stack for staying connected:
We have our water cooler banter with Threads lightweight chat (and voice chat), we hang out face-to-face on Zoom (and throw down in Trivia). That's it. Say goodbye to tool fatigue.
Dedicate time for team building
We mentioned the overdone Zoom happy hours earlier, but there is a time and place for dedicated team building.
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