How to build culture in a remote team

04.06.20 09:14 AM By Caitlin

From Wade Foster at Zapier

When it comes to remote teams, culture is a huge topic. Common knowledge suggests that co-located teams have an easier time building culture compared to remote teams.


In fact, I've even had co-located teams tell me their culture problems were solved by simply buying a foosball table. Though I challenge the truthiness of that statement, I don't think there's a quick path to building company culture, and remote teams certainly aren't an exception.


With co-located teams, it's easy to ignore culture building with the expectation that it will naturally happen. In 99% of situations (made up number), this is simply not true, but by the time a co-located team realises it, it might be too late to repair their culture.


With a distributed team you know going in that culture will be hard to build. When you are team building online, you don't delude yourself thinking that culture will magically happen. You go in eyes wide open. If a strong culture doesn't develop it's not because you didn't try, it's usually due to another reason.


With that in mind, how can you go about building culture when there are thousands of miles between teammates? 

Here are seven online team building principles that work for Zapier.

1. Culture is about more than ping pong tables
2. Culture is about how you work
3. Tools allow for collaboration and fun
4. In-person meet-ups are still important
5. Local community sponsorship shows presence
6. Trust is the foundation
7. Get things done

Pointer Remote - remote work capacity for people, business and communities


Pointer Remote are focused on supporting businesses to operate remote teams.  We have an extensive collection of resources for you in our resources 'hub' and a great way to check if your business is remote for remote staff is to take our remote ready assessment.

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Professional wanting to know more or get started with remote work? Sign up for our FREE Remote Work 101 Series or register to look for remote work.


Business owner or manager wanting to know more or get started with hiring or transitioning to remote? Sign up for our FREE Distributed Teams 101 Series or register to list a remote role.

Pointer Remote is focused on building capacity in people, businesses and communities to leverage remote work through training and recruitment services. 

If you are not sure if this approach will suit, why not schedule a FREE 15 minute chat with Jo or complete our remote readiness assessment as a starting point.

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