Company culture is a vital part of a successful workplace environment. Having multiple office locations emphasizes that importance, where creating community is not just about your workplace, but about your company as a whole. In today’s corporate environment, remote offices and small teams in various locations making up a big company have become more and more common. We, 6AM City, are just one example.
Since we believe that there’s no replacement for the spirit, synergy, and collaboration of co-workers physically working side-by-side, we’ve done our best to instill that in every remote office.
Here are a few tips we learned about having remote offices beyond our main headquarters and what we truly believe is non-negotiable in order to thrive.
1. Each remote office has an infrastructure and setup like our headquarters.
It’s a simple concept, but one that impacts every employee’s day with abundant productivity. In fact, it shows appreciation for your employees. With that being said, it is important to communicate their value to the company and that they play a key part in their role.
Appreciation also comes in the form of tools and resources. It is vital to equip your employees with what they need in order to be more successful and productive, thus bringing a sense of fulfillment.
We provide every employee with a laptop, work phone, external monitor, keyboard, mouse, and other products that create a prepared work environment for effective collaboration. After all, atmosphere sets the tone, does it not?
Our remote offices are all located in co-working spaces or similar office spaces that cultivate a working environment. We provide desks, chairs, whiteboards, rugs, plants, and anything else that allows our teams to enjoy the space they work in.
2. Collaboration is key. Each office needs the other in order to operate and grow.
Synergy is a part of our company values — woven throughout our day-to-day workflow and experienced in our community through the product we deliver. This level of open internal communication cuts through the reality of us having remote offices when our Growth Manager in Greenville, SC can video chat with an Editor in Lakeland, FL on tips for SEO optimization and a Branded Content Creator in Columbia, SC can call a Digital Media Sales Rep in Raleigh, NC for information on a new advertiser.
Through Google Hangouts, we have a monthly company call where each office fills in the rest on local happenings, making everyone feel connected, included, and “in the know.” We have a monthly call for all editors and a bi-monthly call for all managers.
We also utilize a network called Slack. This instant messaging platform allows for daily collaboration across all offices in an efficient and easy manner — from direct messages to group threads and party channels to company-wide announcements. Most importantly, company achievements, awards, nominations, and mentions are shared with every office so that every team is aware of and excited about company happenings.
The goal is that a remote office never feels remote. We do our best to slack gifs on birthdays, review customer feedback, take team photos, celebrate hard work, provide best practices, and share industry news all within our daily communication platforms.
If steps are not taken to include remote offices, your team won’t know if their work is actually making a difference, and they won’t understand how it impacts the customer. If you can make every individual in your company feel included and appreciated, it won’t matter where in the world you set up remote offices.
3. Plan office visits and annual retreats.
Every year, each office travels to one location for an annual retreat. During this time, we work to instill our company culture by introducing new employees to the entire team, retracing our company values, and brainstorming new growth initiatives for the coming year.
Every few months, our Editorial Manager will visit an office to bond with editors, a Digital Media Sales Rep will visit another office to meet with potential advertisers, our COO will visit an office to onboard a new employee, and so on.
This allows us to go a step further than Google Hangouts, conference calls, and Slack, and create face-to-face interactions that are truly valued.
4. Build on what is proven and improve on what can be done better next time.
As we’re expanding and opening more remote offices each year, we build on what we know is working. The launch of every new office involves the setup of a space that will allow productivity to flourish. We hire people that are team players, equipping them with tools and resources that allow them to effectively collaborate. A structure of workflow that we embody at other locations is mimicked at the new one, creating a bigger thriving environment.
Recreating the wheel is not necessary when what you did before worked. If improvement is needed, retrace your steps to a solid foundation and start brainstorming. You’ll never know what sticks until you execute it over and over again to perfection.