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Best Practices for Maintaining Company Culture in a Remote Work Environment

The pandemic has presented several challenges for companies worldwide. One of the most notable challenges has been maintaining company culture in a remote work environment. As companies transitioned to remote work primarily in 2020, employees suddenly found themselves separated from their colleagues and familiar spaces in the office. Building valuable social connections and fostering a feeling of belonging in a remote work environment is a daunting task, but it is necessary to maintain company culture.

The Importance of Company Culture

Company culture is a vital aspect of any organization. It defines the company’s values, vision, and purpose and governs the interactions between employees and the organization. A strong company culture creates a sense of belonging and kinship among employees, promoting job satisfaction, retention, and higher levels of productivity, among other benefits.

Company culture provides a critical foundation for the success of the organization. It guides decision making, shapes employee behavior and choice, and forms the basis for attracting and retaining top talent critical to business success.

Challenges of Maintaining Company Culture in a Remote Work Environment

Maintaining a strong culture is challenging for companies transitioning to remote work primarily. Remote work poses several challenges, such as communication barriers, decreased team cohesion, and a reduced sense of belonging, making maintaining a company culture more challenging.

A remote work environment creates physical and social distances among employees, impacting communication, trust, and engagement. Furthermore, the lack of personal interactions in a remote work environment can cause employees to feel isolated and disconnected from colleagues.

Best Practices for Maintaining Company Culture in a Remote Work Environment

To maintain strong company culture in a remote work environment, companies must implement specific strategies that overcome communication barriers and encourage employee engagement and interaction.

a. Embrace Communication

Ensuring clear and effective communication is important when working remotely. Establishing regular communication channels helps to keep everyone connected, promotes engagement, and encourages collaboration. Companies should encourage their employees to use messaging platforms such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, or WhatsApp to keep in touch with their colleagues.

Regular video conferencing via Zoom, Google Meet, or Skype can also help employees feel connected and build relationships. Teams could also use these platforms to collaborate on projects or provide updates on ongoing work, and teams could also create channels around hobbies or interests to create bonds outside work.

b. Set Clear Expectations

In a remote work environment, it is crucial to set clear expectations around work schedules and deadlines. This helps employees plan their workday and ensures they have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. To avoid burnout or fatigue, companies can set up clear policies around working hours, work allocation, and vacation.

Companies could provide templates for employees to schedule their time, allocate time for deep work, and block out time for breaks. Setting realistic targets and deadlines with frequent feedback from managers can promote healthy competition and accountability in a remote work setting.

c. Foster a Sense of Belonging

A sense of belonging is integral to maintaining company culture in a remote work environment. Managers can facilitate team-building activities and organize virtual social events such as online quizzes, happy hours, or game sessions to bring employees together. Encouraging employees to share their personal stories and hosting virtual coffee breaks can also help create a sense of connection and belonging.

It can help if managers create a virtual “water cooler” where employees can connect with others, share experiences, and take interest in others’ lives. Teams should also focus on creating rituals such as virtual birthday celebrations or anniversary lunches, which would have happened in the office.

d. Promote Employee Wellness

Working from home has reduced the separation between personal and work life, making it more challenging for employees to switch off after work hours. Companies should encourage their employees to take breaks, prioritize mental and physical health, and disconnect when necessary, to avoid burnout.

It would be helpful to provide resources for employees to have mindfulness sessions, breathing exercises or meditation or participate in virtual workout groups like running or yoga clubs. Team bonding could happen over wellness sessions or healthy cooking demos, where a health coach could deliver a virtual class and teach the team new healthy habits.

e. Celebrate Achievements

Celebrating team achievements and recognizing individual contributions is essential in maintaining company culture in a remote work environment. Companies can use virtual platforms to congratulate employees on their achievements, distribute certificates, or organize virtual recognition ceremonies.

Managers could have one-on-one conversations with employees to celebrate success stories or share significant wins with the organization. They can also create engaging videos or virtual cards to recognize employee achievements, promote acts of kindness or employee appreciation.

f. Rethink Performance Evaluation

Traditional performance evaluation methods may not be relevant in a remote work environment, where work schedules can be flexible, and workloads can vary. Companies should consider rethinking performance evaluation by introducing more flexible criteria and reviewing performance based on project outcomes, contributions to team objectives, and individual growth.

It is essential to set clear goals and objectives with realistic metrics that align with individual roles and responsibilities. Managers could shift their evaluation methodology to be more focused on results and outcomes rather than hours worked or attendance, providing motivation and an opportunity to improve morale.

g. Emphasize Onboarding

Onboarding is a crucial part of any company culture, and it is even more important in a remote work environment. Companies should ensure their onboarding process includes regular check-ins, training sessions, and mentoring to help new employees integrate into the company’s culture seamlessly.

Managers could focus on virtual icebreakers, interactive training sessions, orientation materials that highlight work culture and values, and speed-friending sessions to ensure new hires have opportunities to connect to colleagues outside of work. It is also essential for the manager to have periodic check-ins with new hires to track their progress, provide feedback and evaluate the effectiveness of the onboarding program.

h. Provide Growth Opportunities

Providing career growth opportunities is an essential element of maintaining company culture. Remote work can create new opportunities for employees to develop new skills, and companies should leverage this opportunity by offering learning and development programs or promoting job rotations across teams.

Team leaders could identify training needs based on specific job roles and create action plans to develop individual skills or competencies aligned with their career goals. Providing mentoring or coaching that promotes learning and development can foster personal and professional growth opportunities for employees.


Maintaining a strong company culture in a remote work environment is challenging, but not impossible. Companies must focus on strategies that promote communication, belonging, recognition, and employee growth opportunities. Building trust with employees, promoting transparency in communication while creating an inclusive work culture that fosters continuous growth, and development is a successful way to maintain and promote company culture in a remote work environment.

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