How to build great culture in a distributed remote team

Struggling to connect on your remote team? We’ve built a 68 person remote team that’s driving $29 million in annual revenue. Here are 10 ideas for building great culture in a distributed team: 💻🌐
2. Build a culture of written, asynchronous communication This will save so many meetings, avoid people feeling left out if they weren’t in the meeting, and protect focused work. Your team will also be forced to clearly articulate and refine their ideas.
a) What does this person do that you find remarkable? What do you brag about them to other people? b) If they were up for the promotion of their career in 6 mo, what would you tell them now to give them the best chance of getting it?
c) Assume you’re working with this person for the next 10 years. What behavior isn’t a big deal now, but will get really annoying or frustrating over that time? This results in the best compliments, the most constructive feedback, and a culture of direct, candid conversations.
7. Mandatory fun days With teams feeling burnt out force everyone to take the same day off. That means you don’t have to come back to a mountain of slack messages and emails. Come back & share a photo. We did a 3-day weekend for the last 3 months of the year.
9. Host retreats 2x a year Regularly gathering your team in person is one of the most important things you can do. 2x a year ended up being the perfect cadence for us. We split our time: 33% work & strategy, 33% personal connection, and 33% downtime & fun.
10. Donate money together At a team retreat we divided our team into groups of 4 with one goal: give away $10,000 in $100 at a time. With 50 people on the team that meant each group had to find about 12 charities to support. Then we regrouped to share who we donated to & why.
What followed were the best stories that made for connection points: Someone donated to education grants because they were first in their family to go to college. Cancer research because they’d lost a loved one. Pet rescue because that’s where they’d found a best friend.
…and so many more. $100 isn’t that much, so it would be fair to argue the money would be better donated to a single charity, but our main goal was life stories and points of connection. Give it a try with your team. You’ll all get a peek into what your coworkers value & why.
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