Can a Corporate Culture Be Built With Digital Tools?

“As telecommuting becomes the norm and tools from Lua to LinkedIn become commonplace in the workplace, perhaps it’s inevitable that companies are going to have to start considering corporate culture in the digital world.”

Can a Corporate Culture Be Built With Digital Tools? – Fast Company, August 24 2012

Fast Company

An article today published by Fast Company speaks about the ways businesses today can foster a community between their workers, when the majority of  work is done in front of a computer, with little need for face-to-face interaction.  When incorporating remote teleworkers into an organization, maintaining communication lines and relationships becomes even more tricky, but no less essential. Here are some tips from Lori Larson, HR Manager at Tursa Group, on how she fosters good communication between her staff:

“Communication  is vital when managing any staff, however when doing it remotely, you have to spend extra care and attention in doing so. Many managers will have limited or no access to actually seeing their staff in person unless they are located fairly close together or telecommute part days. Other managers utilize web cams to visually see their staff. So using  other company approved forms of communication is important. Telephone conversations are always best when important discussions are required (disciplinary, praise, training, task clarification) then following it up with a well documented email for record keeping.
When using chat messaging programs, be clear and concise with your words, and incorporate smiley faces and other pictures within text. This can lighten any mood and turn a direct statement into a cheery one, which will enable you to ensure that proper ‘online personalities’ are kept in check, and things do not get misconstrued. In addition, limit joking within chat programs – try and keep things professional in nature as much as possible and omit the standard topics that can cause debate and bitterness amongst staff – religion, politics etc. Also, using a group chat feature is great for getting instant messages to an entire team, but remember to use private windows for private conversations with staff.”