Running a remote company and maintaining a culture can be a challenge. It requires more than a weekly meeting to keep your employees happy and morale high. We aren't saying we've perfected this thing, but we have come up with a few tips and tricks that you can use in your own company to bring everyone together!
Google Hangouts is our favorite meeting software because it's easy to use, and simple to integrate with Google Calendar. When you schedule a meeting through Google Calendar, a Hangout link is added automatically to the invite. During our meetings, we always strongly encourage people to share their camera so we can talk face-to-face. When we first made the push to start sharing our camera's, people were uncomfortable with it. Overtime, they started sharing their cameras, and we got to know the individuals behind the profile pictures. The best part? You get to meet their pets too! Like Penny sporting her APM Help gear:
Travel can get expensive, so try to integrate a conference or some other way to interact with potential and current clients at least once. Generally, we travel in small groups (2-4 people) to NARPM conferences around the U.S. If the destination is something more exciting, like Napa Valley, CA, or Phoenix, AZ, we usually include more people and extend the trip through the weekend.
Weekend trips give you more time to do non-work related activities like playing games, and visiting local museums, breweries and restaurants. If your company is a bit larger, switch up the groups each time so that everyone gets a chance to participate in a fun company weekend!
Games don't have to be saved for company meet-ups! One online option is QuizBreaker - a website that creates weekly quizzes for you and your team to get to know each other better. If you're more competitive, you can try a Type Speed test! It sounds like an odd idea, but we had a ton of fun seeing who could type the fastest (Taylor won by a long shot).
Not only do we turn to the internet for fun game ideas, but we also create our own! This Holiday season, we are having our first ever virtual White Elephant. How is that going to work, you ask? We've created a Google Spreadsheet where we are going to track everyone and their "gift" via an Amazon Prime link. Only one person will have access to this spreadsheet, and reveals each item as it's "unwrapped" on the day-of. If you're not too sure what a White Elephant party is, or you want to have one of your own, check out the directions on this template we created! If your company has created any games of your own, feel free to share it with us! We are always up for new ways to get our team connected and have a good time.
Most of the time, you can send out eCards at little-to-no cost and it's a great way to make your co-workers feel appreciated. Paperless Post is one of our favorite options - they have stunning designs for nearly all occasions, and the process to design and send the eCards is painless. If you're looking for a funnier alternative, JibJab has a wide variety of customizable videos that are sure to cause a laugh or two!
Have I mentioned we are competitive? Because we are! There is nothing wrong with a bit of friendly competition that motivates and challenges everyone involved. One of the competitions we've done is a step challenge with the FitBit app. It allowed everyone to share their steps with each other and compete to have the most. Each week, we would put everyone's total steps in a Google spreadsheet and announce the winner at our company meeting. You can also throw some prizes in there to make it that much more competitive (and exciting)!
Some other ideas that you could use in your company is metric competitions for each department. Then the winner for each team gets something small like a $10 Starbucks gift card or a $15 Amazon gift card. It will increase productivity and be an exciting end to each week! If your company gets reviews, or has some sort of service feedback system, then you can do weekly or monthly rewards to the person with the highest score to boost the quality of customer support. Needless to say, there are a ton of options out there!
If you're a remote company, or if you enjoyed this article, let us know! We'd love to hear how you incorporate office-like involvement and culture into your work place. If you would like to learn more about APM Help and what we do, check us out on our website or reach out to us via email or phone!