Technology as the magic key for a remote team culture

remote team culture
© Simona Pilolla

Mark Seemann, CEO, StaffCircle, investigates how technology will drive a remote team culture in a post-pandemic economy

Nearly a year and a half ago the pandemic forced companies to work remotely and, for most, it could be here to stay. This isn’t to say that employees will never see each other face to face ever again, just that the 9 to 5 Monday to Friday business model could now become a thing of the past. Despite this, the world is gradually beginning to reopen. And what this means is that companies are making new decisions on what the post-Covid workplace may look like. While some are itching to bring their employees back into the office, others are opting for hybrid models or sticking with full-time remote work.

Whatever shape taken, organisations separated by location can often feel fragmented and disjointed. So what can leaders do to glue our workforce back together? As a first point of call, they need to use this opportunity to create a team culture that is built on communication and complete visibility, regardless of where their employees are based. This can be made possible with the advancements of technology. A few short years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine that so many of us could transition so smoothly to a remote workplace. However, rapidly evolving technology is what has protected employee productivity and kept us together as the pandemic pulled us apart.

So, as we look ahead at what this post-pandemic world may look like, how can technology drive a remote team culture?

Feedback, recognition and reward

Building an ethos of continuous feedback within a company can have a profound impact on company culture. For instance, feedback fosters professional progress, allowing employees to develop new skills in alignment with the company’s core values. Likewise, it allows for transparency and trust, ensuring employees and leaders can speak their minds freely and offer constructive criticism and innovative solutions.

However, with the advent of mass remote working, and less face-to-face check-ins, providing feedback now has to take on a new face. That’s where performance management tools play a larger role than ever before. Using a system that can automatically book online check-ins ensures that a culture of continuous feedback is understood throughout the workforce with clarity.

Not only that, but a performance management system can offer leaders a wealth of real-time feedback data, at the touch of a button. This data can give them a clear overview of employee progression, as well as how they can adapt to boost motivation, allowing for fair recognition of the A-players, and a greater sense of trust from employees. Technology, therefore, has the opportunity to drive a culture of openness and honesty from behind a digital wall.

Communication tools mean culture 

For wholly remote workforces, effective internal communications tools are essential for keeping these employees alert to their responsibilities and motivated to perform at the top of their game. In fact, Salesforce research found that employees who feel their voice is heard at work are 4.6 times more likely to be empowered to do their best work. On top of that, workforces facing geographical fragmentation also require consistent communication methods to ensure alignment.

Without doubt, technology has drastically improved the mediums that we have to communicate across a workplace, and this has been driven by the upsurge in demand for online communication. For example, Microsoft Teams reached 145 million users in April 2020 as businesses flocked to video calls. However, workplace communication is much more than just conversations – it is about the exchange of information through multiple different mediums. This can be achieved via news feeds, team chats, social channels, phone calls, emails, pulse surveys, to name a few. All can provide an opportunity for employees to feedback their thoughts and have a voice, building a positive culture, regardless of location.

Blending technology with human capabilities

Covid-19 has changed how we work, that’s true. But it has also turbocharged the capabilities of advanced technology – and this has been facilitated largely by AI and data. While the mention of AI may conjure up dark predictions about it taking over our jobs, in reality, AI should be seen to heighten human capability, not replace it altogether. When Deloitte did a survey on this in 2020, they found that only 12% of those surveyed said their organizations are primarily using AI to replace workers, while 60% said their organization was using AI to assist their employees. So no, it’s not coming for your job anytime soon.

Instead, AI-driven systems can take massive amounts of data and examine it for patterns in real-time. The more data you ‘feed’ the system with, the more information it has to ingest, thus identifying patterns and predicting trends. This can then be deployed to assist leaders, providing detailed intelligence about who to hire, how much to pay them, the direction of their career paths, who to promote, and even how people feel about the company culture. For example, chatbots could assist HR with managing employees calling out sick, recording the absence and reason, and then automatically update the employee’s records and payroll system. In turn, no employee is overlooked.

Post-pandemic doesn’t mean post-culture

Effective leaders have always sought to build a team culture through communication and complete visibility, regardless of where their employees are based. No doubt, new technologies have made remote work more practical and popular than ever before and leaders no longer need to fear the post-Covid workplace, but welcome it with open arms. Afterall, technology has, and will continue to evolve, to keep up with the pace of change.


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