How to sustain the company culture while working remotely
Remote work has gone from being an option to a trend. Every year, more and more companies are choosing the fully-remote modality for their workers, and every year more and more workers deny to work in other way but remotely -for instance, in this article Forbes relates how Facebook workers denied a big perk for not giving up remote work-. It offers a wide range of benefits, to both the company and the worker: access to a larger amount of professionals, fewer expenses in logistics and office supplies, an easier way to conciliate personal and professional life, the ability to choose the best work environment…
However, working remotely has handicaps. One of them is our main concern in today’s post: ‘How to sustain the company culture while working remotely?’.
We’ve asked some main Spanish companies in terms of having a strong remote culture how they manage to keep going while working remotely. Here are their answers:
Nailted: empowering communication
Nailted is a software company that helps companies keep their teams motivated and commited. That's it, that's why they fit perfectly in this post! Thanks to their own software, Nailted, they can check on their team and confirm if their members are motivated, compromised, and satisfied, or not.
At Nailted, despite the aspects missed from on-site work, they are proud to have a motivated and committed team. What is the main key to their success? Work conciliation. They strongly believe that the conciliation that comes after working remotely is a big thing: «Workers can enjoy living and working in other cities or make household chores easier». With this advantage, that teams working in person cannot have, they can ensure us with certainty that it improves the quality of life of their team members, favoring their motivation and satisfaction.
Culture at Nailted can be defined as the culture of feedback. It helps them feel recognized as a well-being team, where everyone is close to each other and there is full trust between all members. During the hiring process, the values are kept alive and the colleague who best fits them is selected to ensure a strong culture. These values are based on responsibility, entrepreneurship, and autonomy of each team member, always taking into account data and results. In addition, for Nailted it is essential to have empathy as a value, always having each person at the center.
The way they preserve their culture every day is through their own software. The 1:1 allow them to listen to proposals for improvement. Also, internal communication is strengthened through come initiatives: la tortilla, a global daily meeting where random topics are discussed, so they’re able to get to know each other better; the applause method, created by their own software, allows them to acknowledge the team efforts.
Mendesaltaren: to ideate, to build and to grow from the distance
«One of the reasons why I like working at mendesaltaren is because we take culture very seriously». With this sentence from Jacobo García, Research & Culture at mendesaltaren, the presence of the digital product and service creation studio in this post is perfectly justified.
At mendesaltaren they are very clear that a deep experience is the best way to generate learning in people, and that is why they put a lot of care into designing each summit: a one-day event where they meet face-to-face at the Madrid office. They also have the habit of dedicating the first 2-3 minutes of the video calls to a little bit of cheap talk. It fosters companionship from the remote.
Fridays are an important day: everyone, except the first of each month, does demos to share knowledge. Sometimes someone organizes a design critique or a review of a project, other times they review theoretical aspects of product design, or simply make dynamics or fun games to face the end of the week well. On the first Friday of the month they organize a retro, to take the pulse and do exercises of self-perception and reflection as a team on different aspects: remote work, time management, projects, career plans...
In mendesaltaren they have established the 'Project Accompaniment', so that periodic calls are organized in which the responsible person acquires the ability to present and synthesize the content of their project, while the 'companions' learn and provide other points of view.
Another initiative they have recently launched are one-hour workshops (half theory and half practice), in which they deepen particular technical areas: from how to do a qualitative interview to client relations. They are also running Radio Button, a monthly radio program on Radio Relativa recorded in a distributed way, playing with the constraints of the remote and using imagination to overcome them, devising collaborative programs.
Finally, at mendesaltaren they work with donut, a bot that organizes video calls between 2 or 3 people in the team at random to chat and get to know each other.
If you want to be part of the mendesaltaren community, where you share knowledge, references and inspiration, not only with people from the team, but also with people from the ecosystem, here is the waiting list.
Packlink: the simultaneous growth of the team and the project
Packlink is a shipping comparator that collaborates with the best courier companies. They believe that is important to understand that culture is a part of their DNA. They describe themselves as a young and eminently technological company that, from the outset, has been committed to attracting talent and potential to contribute to the growth of the project, regardless of where they can contribute.
In this line, they declare that, in order to protect their culture, they strongly encourage communication. Packlink is a very cross-cutting company where all teams are connected and interdependent. That is why they believe that the feeling of belonging flows very naturally.
It is essential, from their point of view, to grow simultaneously both, the project and all the people that are part of it. The journey for that final growth starts from the bottom: in the hiring process. They are not just interested in a specific professional profile, but also in the person that is behind that profile. «To know their values, concerns and aspirations, and to be able to contribute and accompany them in achieving their objectives. Only in this way will we be able to consolidate the project and continue to move forward
in the direction we propose», they say.
OpenWebinars: chit chats and internal podcasts
OpenWebinars is a company that defines itself as “the leading eLearning technology platform in the Spanish-speaking market”. They are a team of 48 people, who offer hundreds of courses for these companies that take care of their IT Talent. Internally, they do have a strong culture, although they work fully remotely. How do they manage to keep their culture?
Firstly, they work with external software to help them keep their team motivated. Nailted is their choice. Fridays from 2 PM to 3 PM is their “team-care time”. From 2 PM to 2:30 PM they organize random ZOOM meetings between groups of 5 teammates, in which talking about work is forbidden. From 2:30 PM to 3 PM a person from the team organizes a meeting. There, he/she shares a dynamic activity or whatever that helps make team relations stronger.
Their main initiative is an internal podcast 😮. Each week, their culture team organizes an interview to a member of their team. Then, the conversation is shared with the rest of the company, so they finally get to know each other pretty well.
If you want to read more about what they do to keep their culture, you can do it here.