3 Ways To Foster Company Culture In A Distributed Team

Working with remote teams has become a hot topic in online business forums, and for good reason. While remote working was being viewed as a temporary solution just a few months ago, organisation leaders and their employees are both realising that the remote working model is here to stay.

Even when social distancing and countrywide lockdowns are not a necessity, the benefits of remote working that many organisations have experienced in the last few months will make the approach a big part of how things will get done in the future.

Even if your business is not taking a radical step of letting your employees work from home indefinitely (like Twitter and Shopify), chances are good that your business will have to work with at least a few remote resources in the future.

While you may have figured out efficient ways to collaborate and get things done with a distributed team, there are other aspects of your business that will need special attention when you are operating in a virtual environment.

One such aspect is building the company culture. With your employees working from different locations and not coming to the office, it is easy for them to feel disconnected from their workplace and its culture.

While this may not have many serious repercussions in the beginning months, such a disconnect will eventually lead to lack of communication, lower productivity, and increased employee turnover.

To help you avoid such a situation, here are a few tips to build and foster company culture within remotely working employees:

Provide Training

Providing employee training gives your business a variety of benefits. For starters, it makes your employees feel like you are investing in their future, their career, making it more likely that they will feel a sense of thankfulness and belongingness towards their employer.

These effects will in turn contribute towards improved productivity and high retention rates. Not to forget, training your employees will also eventually give your business access to better resources at a relatively lower cost than hiring new and more qualified resources.

The best part is that providing training to remote employees is incredibly affordable. All you need is a content authoring tool (to create training content) and a learning management system (to publish, share, and manage training content). 

Let’s take the example of Adobe Connect, one of the leading learning management systems out there. The Adobe Connect pricing charges clients (you) on the basis of the number of users they are training. This means, if you are training a small team, you will not have to pay a fortune for the same.

Make Introductions Mandatory

Every now and then, you may have to replace one of your existing team members or simply add a new individual to your team. These instances present a great opportunity for the team to get together and for the new joinee to get assimilated in your office’s (virtual) environment.

To seize this opportunity, all you need to do is schedule a team-wide virtual meeting to introduce the new team member to the rest of the team. 

Hold a short and simple ice breaking session where the new joinee and their immediate team members introduce themselves to each other.

Create A Virtual Watercooler

The ‘watercooler effect’ is often referred to the phenomenon where all team members in all organisations find a single spot where they gather for breaks and engage in casual, usually non-work-related banter. In many organisations this spot is near the watercooler, hence the name of the ‘effect’.

Now, this might seem like an unproductive waste of time for employers that are paying their employees to be productive, its importance in fostering company culture and a sense of belongingness within the employees is indispensable.

This is where your employees forge personal relationships with their team members, become friends from being just people who work together. 

That’s why, you must create a similar virtual watercooler where your employees can engage in casual interactions with each other. Don’t worry, this won’t take a lot of extra work. You can do this by simply assigning a dedicated group chat room to this purpose in your team chat software.


When you really think about it, building company culture in remote teams is not too different from doing the same thing inside a physical office. All it takes is a little bit of innovation to let your employees know that they are a part of something bigger, something amazing.

How are you fostering company culture within your remote resources? Share with us and everyone in the comment section below. 

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