The Fletcher Group was founded more than a decade ago as a new kind of agency that is both self-managed and entirely remote. According to Gallup, nearly half of U.S. workers spend at least some time working remotely — and for good reason, as doing so has been shown to increase productivity, lower stress levels (at Fletcher Group, this is possibly due to every day being ‘Bring Your Pet to Work Day’) and increase employee morale.
Our company culture is of the utmost importance to us. According to research from Harvard Business Review, remote workers report being even more engaged with their teams than in-office workers. But we all know building relationships (and a company culture) across two countries and several states isn’t always easy. Here’s how we’ve done it successfully —
- Embrace the power of video. At one point or another, we’ve all accidentally bumped the FaceTime button when attempting to call a client, supervisor or colleague. Though this scenario has been known to induce sheer panic, there is a way to leverage video conferencing tools for good. Research shows video conferencing helps nearly all remote workers feel more connected to their teams. At Fletcher Group, we use this tool often to get some virtual “face-to-face” time with our colleagues (or even clients).
- Celebrate together. Like many offices, each year Fletcher Group hosts a ‘Secret Santa’ gift exchange. Only ours comes with a twist — we select names via an online Secret Santa tool (yes, they exist), ship each other gifts across the miles and boot up our video conferencing tool to open the gifts as a team. Not only do we receive spot on gifts from the colleagues we correspond with daily, we also cherish the opportunity to celebrate the holiday season together. As a team, we also celebrate each other’s birthdays, weddings, new babies and more.
- And, finally, get together. Sometimes. Despite the numerous benefits remote work brings, we know a little face-to-face time goes a long way. Which is why we invest the time and resources each year to bring The Fletcher Group team together for a one-day retreat. It’s an invaluable opportunity for us to grow our personal and professional relationships with each other.
Our Fletcher Group team members appreciate the opportunity to do challenging, interesting work from the comfort of our own homes (or anywhere in the world). We’ve also built one-of-a-kind company culture. If you’re thinking about giving remote work a try, we’d highly recommend these tactics for building relationships with your colleagues across the miles.