8 Ways a Remote Manager Can Kill Your Workplace Culture

8 Ways a Remote Manager Can Kill Your Workplace Culture

Organizational work culture is changing from onsite working to remote working. As many people know the benefits and advantages of remote, people’s preference is changing from working from the office to working remotely. 

With the change in employees’ preferences and advancement of technology, organizations are providing remote working opportunities. It also has changed workplace culture to remote working. 

Just providing a remote working option is not enough. You should know who to manage and work with remote employees. If you fail to manage your remote employees, you might kill the workplace culture. 

Handling a remote team is not a big deal; however, you need to keep in mind certain things while handling your team. If you are not used to handling a remote team, you may fail at it. 

Ways a Remote Manager Can Kill Your Workplace Culture

Here I have mentioned some of the activities you might be doing that can harm and kill your workplace culture.

Unclear Expectation and Goal

Every organization is established for specific goals and expectations. Employees perform their daily activities to achieve organizational goals. 

Similarly, employees join corporate houses with a reason to fulfill their goals and expectations. In the course of accomplishing the organization’s goal, employees’ goals are fulfilled. 

When employees work remotely, they are not personally in touch with company members. And sometimes, when there is a lack of communication about the organizational goals, employees might not be aware of the goal. 

Remote employees might not be able to stand your expectation when they are unclear goals and expectations. 

Also, when you cannot understand what employees expect from the organization, this can cause employee dissatisfaction.

As a manager, if you cannot clear the expectations and goals of both parties, it can kill your workplace culture. It would help if you frequently communicated about both organizational and employees’ goals. 

While communicating goals and expectations virtually, you should make sure that the goals and expectations of both parties are crystal clear.

You should encourage your employees to ask questions if they have any confusion regarding goals and expectations.  

Reluctant To Adopt New Tools and Technology

Technology is necessary for organizations having onsite employees as well as remote employees. But organizations having remote employees entirely depends upon the Internet and technology. 

From the hiring of the employees to training and performing work, employees depend entirely upon technology. 

As a manager, you should know which tools and technology to employ and how to operate them.

If you fail to choose the correct tools and technology or do not know how to use such technology, you may not teach your employees how to operate them. 

Even if you do not know how to use modern technology, you should be open to learning about such technology. You should select the best technology for your employees. 

For example, you decide to use Microsoft Teams for communication with your remote team, then, first of all, you should be familiar with the app. Only then will you be able to teach your team members how to use the app. Do so you can set a perfect example among your team members. 

As a manager, if you are reluctant to use modern tools and technology, you fail to set an example among your remote employees.

By which employees might not be able to fulfill your expectation. Hence, you might land up killing your workplace culture. 

Not Willing to Communicate or Stay Connected 

Communication is the key to success in the organization. In every step of the organization, you will need communication.

Communication is necessary to increase trust among employees, providing them regular feedback, understanding clients’ demands, and more.

Remote working means working from anywhere but not from the office. Gaining the trust of remote workers ultimately depends upon the effectiveness of communication. 

Communication with remote employees depends upon Internet and communication tools and apps like Skype, Zoom, Slack, Troop Messenger, and more.

For adequate communication and to keep in touch with your remote employees, you should schedule a regular meeting with your remote employees. 

When there is regular communication between you and your employees, they will feel part of the organization. 

But when there is no communication at all, or you are unwilling to communicate with your employees, they will feel isolated.

They will not feel like organization citizens and feel demotivated to work for you.

When this continues, employees’ morale starts to reduce. Also, it can frustrate employees as there is no one to listen to their grievances. 

As remote working means employees work away from their colleagues and most of the time they work alone.

And while working alone, they can feel isolated; therefore, when you as a manager do not communicate with your employees, they might feel demotivated. 

Hence, to maintain an organizational culture for remote employees, you will need to communicate with your employees frequently. 

Video Calls are not Prioritize

One of the reasons to kill remote workplace culture is due to lack of communication. Remote working entirely depends upon the effectiveness of communication.

As a manager, when you do not provide adequate communication opportunities, it can kill remote workplace culture. 

To maintain remote workplace culture, you need to provide communication opportunities. While communicating, you have to give priority to video calls and then audio and text messages. 

Whether you communicate about something very crucial or have some casual talk, first of all, you must give priority to video calls.

Video calls allow you to view employees’ body language and facial expressions. 

When you send some text messages, sometimes your message can get misinterpreted as some messages can have a different meaning when you talk than the same message when you read. 

For example, when hiring some remote employees, you should organize an interview via video conference. When you interview employees via video conference, you can view employees’ body language and expression, which is very important while selecting employees. 

Likewise, you will need to view employees’ facial expressions when communicating something important. It would help if you viewed how employees react to certain news. Are employees able to handle bad news or not? 

Hence video conference is an essential part of remote working, and not giving it a priority can kill the organizational culture.  

Lack of Flexible Work Schedule

When we hear of remote working culture, the first thing that comes to mind is a flexible schedule. Most of remote jobs allow employees to start their work at any hour they want. 

But if there is no flexible schedule option, employees might feel dissatisfied. When employees are working remotely/at home, they may have to perform their home duties and work duties. 

While working remotely, when there is no flexible schedule option, it can be difficult for employees to balance their work and personal life. 

When employees have a fixed work schedule, they might have to receive their children from their school sometimes in between their work. And this can disturb you when performing your official work. 

Hence, when you provide a flexible schedule for your employees, it enables employees to balance their work and personal life.

When people have some personal work during the daytime, they can schedule their work at night. 

Lack of Trust among Team Members

Trust is an essential factor of the organization as it helps to strengthen relationships among employees in the organization. Trust provides a sense of belonging, reduces employee absenteeism and turnover rate. 

When there is a lack of trust among employees, employees lose communication with their team members, due to a lack of trust among employees, people are not open to communicating about their ideas which leads to low creativity and innovation. 

A team can only succeed when there is trust among team members. Trust opens the gate of communication, innovation, creativity and enhances productivity. 

Building trust while working from the office is easy. However, building trust among remote employees can be quite tricky as some team members might not know each other at all. 

As I already mentioned, remote employees are dispersedly located all around the country or the world. Remote employees only communicate with their team members regarding their work.

Most of the time, when there is a lack of communication, employees might not recognize their team members.

When there is a lack of communication or when employees do not know each other, it increases misunderstandings and lack of trust among team members.

And teamwork cannot be completed when there are misunderstandings and a lack of trust. 

Because of these reasons, as a manager to maintain your organizational culture by providing an environment of trust among employees. 

Not Organizing Any Virtual Team Building Events

Remote employees most of the time work alone, due to which they can feel isolated and monotonous. While working from the office, employees are usually surrounded by their colleagues. 

Whenever they feel monotonous with their work, they can have a short chat or go for coffee with them. They can share their work stress and any problem they face while working. 

However, while working remotely, employees mostly communicate about their work. There are very few interactions among employees.

Most of the time, employees might not feel part of the team due to very little or no interaction among team members. 

It is one of the drawbacks of remote working, and due to which employees might not feel a sense of belonging. And this can kill the organizational culture. 

To increase a sense of belonging among team members, you should organize an interaction section among employees.

You can also organize some fun events and games to provide a platform for employees to interact and break the ice. 

Organizing games and events help employees to know each other in a better way. They can know about each other’s likes and dislikes, their interests, and know each other’s personalities. 

When organizing games, you should select those games that can provide some learning opportunities, time management skills, organizing skills, and more.

Likewise, it would help if you organized some events like webinars, training sessions about some new technology and many more.

These kinds of training sessions can help employees in their job and perform their work in a better way.

Maintaining Distance with Your Employees

When you are not communicating frequently and keep your distance from your employees, they start to feel unwanted in the organization.

In the worst scenario, they start to question the reason for their existence in the organization. 

By maintaining distance, you will not be able to know employees’ feelings toward their job. It becomes difficult for you to get to know your employees as you might not have met them in person. 

Also, when you maintain distance with your employees, you might not know what they are best at, their interests, and their preferences. 

To avoid this situation, you should schedule a regular meeting with your employees and provide them with their work feedback.

Regular feedback helps employees to improve their work and be consistent with their work. 

You should organize both groups as well as one-to-one meetings. You can provide feedback in group meetings as well as in one-to-one meetings.

If you are providing some negative feedback, it is better to communicate in a one-to-one meeting.  

Being extremely close with your employees can indeed be dangerous, but maintaining too much distance with your employees can also be equally dangerous. 

But this does not mean you should cut off from your employees. Therefore, you should time and again keep in touch with your employees. 

Conclusion

To conclude, managing remote employees is not difficult if you know the proper technique. Just by keeping in mind some small things, you can easily manage your remote team.

However, if you neglect some essential elements while managing your remote team, it can negatively affect workplace culture. 

If you think some more activities can negatively affect workplace culture, please feel free to mention them. I hope this article will help you to maintain your remote workplace culture.

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