All organizations and their people are figuring out how to live with this new digital-first world, which was accelerated by the Pandemic.
Many wonder how they can prepare their business and themselves for this new environment.
But in retrospect, we believe that this digital-first climate emerged far before the Pandemic ever hit. Over the past few years, technology has driven and enhanced every business and personal interaction.
The signs of a digital-first world couldn’t be more obvious
Everyone is online … every age group, country, city, and community worldwide are connected.
When you decide to check out a new restaurant, where do you look first? Do you look in a newspaper, or how about the Yellow Pages … and do you even know what those are?
Your first search begins with Google and most often from your phone.
How many times an hour do you check your phone or look at emails, texts, and messages?
It is estimated that the average person spends 8-10 hours a day on some type of device.
The digital world isn’t coming; it’s already here!
So yes, we are all living in the middle of a digital-first world!
But what does that mean to you and your organization?
It means your entire organization needs to embrace a digital-first mentality. They need to accept and excel with every element of the digital experience.
Especially when it comes to your customers.
Assessing your organization
For a long time now, companies have allowed a small portion of their personnel to work remotely or from home. And they invested in digital tools enabling these remote workers to collaborate with the entire team.
These investments and tools seemed to represent the limits of what was feasible and sensible for managing remote workers.
And then the Pandemic hit, and everything changed. The Pandemic forced businesses to transition their entire operation to remote working at a never seen before pace.
At the same time, your customers’ digital expectations have demanded that you stay ahead of the digital and technology curve.
Building a digital culture remotely
Culture is defined as the social order within an organization. It forms the behavior, attitude, and people of the company.
The cultural rules of any organization define what is acceptable, encouraged, and discouraged within the company. When properly aligned with personal needs and values, culture can attain the companies objectives.
Remote work culture is defined as the digital culture within an organization that enables your team to stay connected through shared experiences and interests. A strong remote work culture gives employees a sense of belonging that goes beyond just physical boundaries.
Organizations that don’t have a defined culture still have a culture. Employees know intuitively what actions are rewarded, what is expected, and where they need permission.
With an expanding remote workforce, it has now become essential for businesses to create a remote work culture and establish the right structures and practices to implement it.
The Main Elements of a Remote Work Culture includes;
- Technology – It is technology that allows remote workers to stay connected.
- Growth Mindset – No matter where they are located, employees must have the opportunity to grow and feel appreciated.
- Flexibility – Like at the office, remote workers expect flexibility, space, and the freedom to make decisions. They do not want to be micromanaged.
Why is remote culture so important? Because it curtails remote isolation, builds relationships, and prepares them for future success.
What can leadership do?
Here are some quick ideas on how to build a remote work culture:
1. Building trust
To Create a healthy remote work culture, it’s vital to communicate all the high-level decisions to show employees that you trust them completely to handle their work, even when working remotely. Trust is a two-way street. Your employees will only trust you when you trust them.
Try to focus more on your employee’s results and output and not on the total number of hours they spend online. Avoid micromanaging and checking on them too much. Instead, give them the freedom and flexibility to get their work accomplished.
2. Share your organization’s mission
It becomes much easier to create a high-performing remote team when everyone in your company has a clear understanding of your mission and goals. You want to find a clear way of expressing the company’s short and long-term mission and mission, so employees feel like an active part of your success.
3. Using the right technology tools
The long-term success of remote work is dependent on using the right technology tools. A good choice for remote software is Microsoft 365 (Office 365), which offers a digital workplace platform where teams can collaborate, communicate, and accomplish work within a unified virtual space.
Having a digital-first plan is essential no matter what changes, adjustments, or pivots you are putting into place going forward. And it’s important to take a step back to evaluate what works best for your team.
Whether you end up going remote, hybrid, in-office, or digital-first, you need to adapt to the digital-first world around you.
Regardless of your organization’s position, the world has changed dramatically over the past year, and there’s no going back.
The organizations that embrace this digital-first strategy will lead in the eyes of their customers, employees, vendors, and stakeholders.