Team Culture in The Office: How to Build it & Has Remote Work Changed Workplace Culture?
By Varun Bodhi
When most people think of workplace culture, they imagine employees working together in an office, water cooler chats, drinks after work and a strong dynamic which enables teamwork. Building positive team culture is crucial for a business's success and the ideal team culture will create a motivated team.
But what happens when teams are spread out different cities or even all over the world, working remotely? Team culture can be drastically different in a remote work setting.
What is Team Culture?
Team culture can be defined as the shared values, attitudes and behaviours that characterise a team. A positive team culture is one where employees feel like they are part of a community, with a common goal. They feel supported by their colleagues and management, and have trust in the team. Team culture is important as it leads to a motivated workforce, which is essential for any business.
Benefits of Team Culture in the Office
There are some benefits of team culture in the office that can't be replicated in a remote setting. One of the biggest benefits is the face-to-face interaction. This is essential for building relationships and trust with colleagues.
There are also more opportunities for employees to get to know each other on a personal level, which can lead to a stronger sense of team spirit.
Statistics from Team Stage indicate that employees which are part of a strong and positive team dynamic versus the opposite end of the spectrum are likely to have 202% improvement in performance.
This is because you have more control over the physical space and can create an environment that is conducive to teamwork.
How Has Remote Working Changed Team Culture?
The rise of remote working has had a significant impact on team culture.
With employees working from home or in different cities, the traditional office setting has witnessed a large change. This means that the general interactions between colleagues are minimised, and is usually only via emails or Microsoft Teams messaging.
Team culture can suffer in a remote setting as it is harder to build relationships and trust with colleagues. There are also less opportunities for employees to get to know each other on a personal level, which can lead to a feeling of isolation and create lesser opportunities for career progression by reducing employee connection with managers.
The Dangers of Weak Team Culture in the Workplace
A weak team culture can lead to a number of problems in the workplace. One of the biggest problems is that it can lead to a lack of motivation among employees. This is because they may not feel like they are part of a community or have a common goal.
They may also feel like they are not supported by their colleagues or management. A weak team culture can also lead to a lack of trust between employees, which can impact productivity and creativity. The most dangerous aspect of weak team culture is that it can create an environment that is conducive to conflict.
According to Team Stage, 15% of job seekers declined a job due to negative team culture reputation and 86% of seekers completely avoid businesses with poor team culture reputation. This problem becomes even more serious when any negative team culture news or conversation on social media about the firm results in 65% of workers considering to leave.
How to Build a Positive Team Culture in the Workplace
There are a few things that you can do to build a positive team culture in the workplace.
Here is a checklist to go through when building the ideal team culture:
Encourage transparency and communication among employees
Transparency and communication are essential for a positive team culture. This means that employees should feel comfortable sharing their ideas and thoughts with their colleagues. They should also feel like they can approach their manager with any concerns they have.
This can be achieved by creating an environment where employees are encouraged to speak up, and by having regular team meetings where everyone can share their thoughts and ideas.
Encourage collaboration among employees
Collaboration is key for a positive team culture. This means that employees should work together to achieve common goals. It also means that they should be willing to help each other out when needed.
Employees may be more productive when they collaborate on tasks and foster a team atmosphere.
Encourage respect among employees
Respect is another important element of a positive team culture. This means that employees should respect each other’s ideas and opinions. They should also feel like they are valued members of the team.
This may be done by ensuring that everyone is treated equally and that employees have the opportunity to express their ideas and thoughts.
Encourage social interaction among employees
Social interaction is important for a positive team culture. This means that employees should interact with each other on a personal level. They should also feel like they are part of a community.
Encouraging workers to socialise outside of work, as well as holding casual events on a regular basis is one method to do this.
Encourage a sense of ownership among employees
A sense of ownership is another important element of a positive team culture. This means that employees should feel like they are part of the company, and that they have a stake in its success.
This can be achieved by giving employees the opportunity to share their ideas and opinions, and by involving them in decision-making.
Encourage a positive work/life balance among employees
A positive work/life balance is important for a positive team culture. This means that employees should feel like they have a life outside of work. They should also feel like they are able to balance their work and personal commitments.
Providing employees with flexible working arrangements and by encouraging them to take breaks when needed is an example of this.
Make sure that everyone feels like they are part of the team by including them in decision making processes.
Build a positive team identity by creating traditions and rituals
One way to build a team identity is to create traditions and rituals. This could involve celebrating team successes together, or simply taking the time to get to know each other better. It could also involve having regular team meetings where everyone can share their thoughts and ideas.
Encourage employees to be themselves
A positive team culture should encourage employees to be themselves. This means that they should feel like they can be themselves at work, and that they will be accepted for who they are.
This can be done by creating an inclusive environment and making the team realise that they don't always have to be serious or switched on.
Encourage employees to have fun
A positive team culture should encourage employees to have fun. This means that they should enjoy coming to work, and that they should feel like they are part of a community.
Having regular social events and by encouraging employees to interact with each other outside of work is a good approach.
A positive team culture should encourage employees to be supportive of each other. This means that they should feel like they can rely on their teammates, and that they will be there for them when needed.
This can only be accomplished if there is a foundation of trust and respect among employees.
Team Culture Wrap Up
There are many benefits to having a positive team culture in the workplace. These include increased productivity, improved morale, and increased retention rates. However, this won't be possible if employees are working remotely. Team culture takes time to build, and it is best done in person.
If remote working is damaging your team culture, then consider coworking as a solution. Finding out what coworking is and how it can help your employees stay connected will be beneficial.