In a traditional office the company culture tends to naturally evolve and build over time. In a virtual office, however, the lack of a physical space is detrimental to this culture building. But despite the physical barrier, virtual offices can also cultivate a company culture with a little creative thinking.
Create a Mission Statement With Specific Goals
In a virtual office the company mission statement is an invaluable resource. Every few weeks, upper management should take some time to evaluate how their staff and the company as a whole is adhering to the goals laid out by the mission statement. In a virtual environment any changes or discrepancies of how the company maintains its commitment to its collective goals can be difficult to gauge in a timely fashion. Making an active effort to evaluate the company's trajectory can help you avoid any damaging deviations from these goals. This, of course, may also involve making changes to the goals themselves, but again, this ensures that the office culture and the purpose of the company remain in sync with each other.
Schedule Regular Meeting Times Through Video Chat
The importance of attaching a name to a face is critical in order for employees to feel accountable and engaged in the team effort. Hosting meetings via video chat brings the members of the virtual office that much closer to feeling as though the company is a living, breathing organism of which they are an important part.
Invest in Face-to-Face Events
, no matter how little, should still be incorporated in a virtual office. Annual gatherings to celebrate milestones or the company's anniversary are a great way to foster team building and bonding. These events also give employees, who otherwise might not have the chance to interact with one another, the opportunity to network and build new relationships within the company.
Hire People With Similar Interests and Creative Processes
Interviewers often use personality tests to judge whether or not a prospective employee would fit well with the company culture. In a physical office, hiring managers can afford to be a little more lenient as far as personality types are concerned because there is a constantly present, physical space surrounding new workers giving them an immediate, immersive experience of how the office culture operates and what their role is in it. In a virtual space, these social parameters are less obvious. When filling positions in a virtual office, screening for individuals who are like-minded in how they approach the creative process, their organizations skills and their interests will save time overall and minimize the opportunity for rifts between employees as a result of creative differences.
Create a Virtual "Water Cooler"
By far, the biggest advantage of running a company via a predominantly virtual office is the ability to tap into talent from around the world. The absence of the physical office space, however, does create a major barrier for cultivating bonding between employees. In a traditional office space, employees are easily able to chat and bond with one another because they are physically in the same location. Therefore, virtual offices must find a way of facilitating this aspect of office culture through virtual means. Group message boards and virtual bulletin boards are one way of doing this.
Office culture is a reflection of the relationships employees have built with each other. To facilitate the development of a culture that is consistent with the values of the company it's important to create opportunities for employees to engage with other workers beyond exchanging emails about current projects. Even in a virtual office, there must be room for friendship. To learn more about building your own virtual office visit us at: http://www.yourcityoffice.com