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Building an office for the digital nomads

November 13, 2017

Remote Working

The digital nomads are out there, working away. They’re happy and settled in the routine of telecommuting. Safe in the knowledge that they are trusted to get the job done without being cajoled, reminded, poked or pestered into submission by the boss. They feel empowered and engaged, and providing they can avoid distraction - every remote worker’s demon - the job gets done. Things move forward, and projects get completed. Its a good thing.

But.….Yep, there’s a but. These nomads are part of a team. Ok, they might not see each other every day, they could be in different cities or countries, they might not have even met. They may be out there, striding through the digital landscape alone, strong and determined. But they’re still part of a team. And every team needs to feel like a team.

They need to feel part of something. Welcome, supported….needed, even.

While its good to harness the many benefits of remote working, its always a good idea to do that within the context of an office. Or at least, within the culture of an office. Remote workers need communication, collaboration and the support of colleagues and management. We all do. Its what helps drive us forward.

Building an office culture for telecommuters isn’t difficult. It’s a simple ongoing process which revolves around one key component. Communication.

Clear, concise, open and transparent communication is the foundation we’re after here.

We start at the beginning. Where else? Onboarding new team members well is always important. Maybe even more so in a remote team. Ensuring that new hires have everything they need from the start is essential. Accounts, log-in details, detailed instructions on how the team operates, and introductions to the team all go towards successfully assimilating employees into the team. They’ll feel welcomed and supported from the off. New hires are less likely to report that they’re having problems, so maintaining close communication links is all important. Remember, their recruitment was probably handled remotely, they may have never met their manager. Onboarding is everything.

Once fully onboard, the communication begins. Again, this is even more important with teams of remote workers. There’s no water cooler for them to stand at to get advice from the rest of the team, they can’t just lean over the desk to ask something of a colleague. Online conversations and collaboration will provide the level of support needed. Giving new employees ample opportunity to ask questions is just as important as checking that they’re settling into their new role and performing well.

Training helps build the office culture. Its even more important with our telecommuting friends that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet. This too can be done remotely, through a whole raft of eLearning solutions. At the end of the day, though, it all comes down to one thing.

Communicate, communicate, communicate….

Adding a socialised element to all this communication helps the team build the office culture around themselves. Games, challenges, an element of competition, the odd terrible joke now and then, it all helps the atmosphere and working environment enjoyable and…dare I say it…fun, even? Building the culture means building the team. Its an ongoing process, not a one off event. It needs nurturing and development. That doesn’t mean it can’t be interesting, though. Its good to know what the rest of the team are up to, where they’re up to with their project. Its always good for managers and leaders to get regular updates on progress, and for the whole team to be able to offer support.

Keep in touch. Keep smiling. But keep it simple. Wundamail offers that simplicity. A single email at the end of each day gives everyone the opportunity to let the whole team know how they’re doing, and where they’re up to. It lives in your inbox. No need for logging in, no stress about forgetting passwords. No endless rabbit warrens of needless conversation. The next morning, every member of the team receives a compilation of answers from colleagues’ answers. Its just simple, clean, open and most of all, easy communication. And to build a strong working culture for remote workers, its the perfect team management tool for the job.

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