While there are several positive aspects of working from home, it can prove difficult to maintain a strong company culture. It can be challenging to promote bonding and development among team members, but especially so when everyone is sitting behind a screen. However, Rich Egloff, Executive Director on the Green Key Architecture, Engineering, & Construction team, has crafted a handful of ways for his team to maintain culture in the last couple years.
Rich’s team at Green Key works fully remotely, so they try as hard as possible to connect when they can. For instance, they have an established a “question of the week” game, where they pull a thought-provoking question from an automated list and discuss their answers for about twenty minutes. The question is generally fun and light-hearted, allowing them to briefly take their minds off work and spark conversation among each other.
Utilizing the right tech tools
Additionally, Rich mentions that his team “always keeps their cameras on.” Through football fantasy drafts and “pajama days,” their team is always able to see each other’s faces and feed off those reactions. Using the right tech tools, such as Microsoft Teams, allows everyone to stay in communication throughout the day.
“It’s important that we all have a game plan each and every morning,” Rich emphasized, regarding their daily calls through Teams. “We’re able to put together a strategy every day. On Fridays, we have our wrap-up calls, where we celebrate our wins from the week, take care of housekeeping initiatives, and what we’re seeing in the market or could be doing better.”
Staying flexible, yet productive
Rich reiterated that working remotely requires a sense of flexibility, as long as it results in productivity. Some people might go to the gym in the middle of the day, or work from a coffee shop, but as long as they’re performing and practicing discipline, it works for their team. “You have to be really self-aware,” Rich said. “You can’t wait until the end of the week to realize you should’ve been on top of your work.”
He also mentioned that everyone on the Architecture, Engineering, & Construction team is willing to reach out if they need help. While this can be challenging in a remote world, because you’re not simply able to walk into someone’s office, their trusting relationships have allowed them to feel comfortable asking each other questions.
“We have digital footprints to compete with each other,” Rich added. “For example, our Excel documents, which are public and updated live throughout the day, let us each other’s traction.” Though it might not be the same as sitting in an open floor plan, seeing each other work through virtual platforms can be just as supportive and encouraging to team members.
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