For many, this year has been a lot of dress shirts on the top, sweatpants on the bottom and the proverbial “Can you see my screen?” on repeat.
For employers and managers, remote work has meant both work from home jokes as well as some very serious challenges. One of the biggest considerations with a remote workforce is how to build a strong remote work culture.
This year, expanding our remote work policy and, at one point, transitioning our employees to working remotely full-time was no small feat for Liquid. But the continued team and successful project launches of this year are a testament to that we’ve maintained our strong culture through it all. Below are 6 tips we’d share with others who are trying to do the same!
1. Find the Right Tools
Finding the right communication tool or tools is important to keeping everyone connected and on the same page around work – and non-work – topics.
Slack is one of the Liquid team’s tools of choice. It’s great for quick back and forth on project details, sharing large files, and posting daily polls or brain teasers. We have Slack channels dedicated to clients, projects, and departments as well as for pet pictures, winter sports lovers, and video and board game fans.
2. Get Face Time
Sometimes the only way to communicate about a topic is through a face-to-face meeting – or as close as you can get to it while working remotely!
Whether meeting as a team or showing off our planned Halloween costumes, video calls are Liquid’s standard. The addition of video to most of our virtual meetings makes for more productive and meaningful conversations and conclusions. Some project teams are even “seeing” clients more regularly than when both Liquid and our clients were working out of our companies’ offices vs. our home offices!
3. Stay Social
Coffee breaks, lunchtime walks, and post-work happy hours are all opportunities to get to know your coworkers on a personal level and talk about your lives outside of the office. Finding time for this type of banter and bonding can be more difficult while remote – but not impossible!
Liquid continues to think of new ways to engage employees by considering lots of different interests and ways to be involved. Masters of random facts can take a turn hosting virtual trivia for our employees and their families once or twice a month. Those trying to stay fit can compete in the week-long steps challenges we’ve held. Sports fans can play in our annual fantasy football league that talks smack virtually on Fridays over lunch. And so much more!
4. Share Wins and Give Kudos
When everyone’s working in central office, it’s easier to see and hear about and accomplishments for clients or on projects you’re not necessarily involved with or working on. Regularly sharing these types of updates while working remotely helps make visible the successes, big and small, that could otherwise easily go unnoticed while everyone’s at home.
Some of the main ways we accomplish this at Liquid include:
A monthly internal newsletter goes out that acknowledges birthdays, work anniversaries, project launches, and more
Virtual “Cake Days”, giving us an opportunity to get together as a company to celebrate many of these same occasions every month
Giving kudos to a coworker who’s been working especially hard by sending info about their hard work to a dedicated email address to get repurposed for social media posts and more
5. Ask for Feedback and Ideas
The only way to know what will interest or resonate most with employees while they’re working remotely is to ask them!
Nothing on this list would be possible without the hard work from Liquid’s Culture Club. Made up of 1-2 members of each team at Liquid, the Culture Club meets regularly to come up with new and different ways to keep everyone excited and engaged while working remotely. There’s representation, suggestions, and ideas spanning not only each department but also different ages, hobbies, and more. This diversity, along with results from surveys the Club sends out regularly, this group come with so many of our best, most well-attended ideas!
6. Order SWAG
Give employees an opportunity to show off their company pride with some new “stuff we all get.” Especially when remote work dress codes allow for more casual wear, a new T-shirt, baseball hat, or pair of socks can be a great surprise. help employees decorate their home offices with stickers or new notepads and pens.
Making Digital Work has truly been Liquid’s anthem this year. It’s no longer just our commitment to clients and the results we deliver! It's now reflective of how we collaborate and connect with each other as coworkers and friends.
While we’ve certainly found some creative ways to keep everyone engaged, we’re still operating a lot of principles, like working hard and having fun! Keep an eye on our blog for the latest happenings at Liquid.