Remote work can be key to employee well-being. It gives people the freedom to get work done wherever and whenever, freeing up precious time for family, friends, and other priorities. Yet organizations with remote employees face unique challenges. Without a physical home, a dispersed workforce may struggle to form strong connections with colleagues and the company itself posing a challenge to build a thriving company culture.
A leading provider of online continuing education and student simulation learning, Allied Health Media, has had a 100 percent virtual workforce since its founding in 1999. To avoid the potential drawbacks of being a virtual company, the leadership team made culture a priority from day one. When they began to outgrow their original communications tools, they choose a solution from Igloo Software, that could not only sustain – but enhance – their strong culture.
The drawbacks of a remote workforce
Being a fully virtual company reduces corporate overhead and increases employee flexibility, but can make communication, collaboration, and onboarding more difficult. There’s no boardroom or water cooler where people can gather to share advice, stories, or resources. In the beginning, Allied Health Media used email and Skype along with G-Suite apps. As the organization grew to over 60 people, however, the shortcomings of these separate tools became more obvious, and they began looking for a company-wide intranet.
Email, Skype and G-Suite couldn’t help with these key challenges:
- Giving remote employees a digital home
With multiple communication and collaboration tools in use, there was no central place where people could meet, work, and see their brand reflected.
- Providing a space to connect on a personal level
When somebody had a birthday or special occasion at Allied Health Media, the email announcement would inevitably fill inboxes with “Reply All” good wishes. Employees had nowhere to build relationships outside the workflow.
- Engaging new hires early and getting them up-to-speed quickly
The original HR onboarding system was cumbersome and left new employees with a lot of questions for the one-person HR department.
How a digital workplace platform enables culture
Email and consumer-grade apps aren’t enough to cultivate a healthy corporate culture at a virtual company. A unified digital hub gets people talking, sharing and learning together in spaces that represent a company’s unique brand.
Building on the foundation of their existing culture, Allied Health Media created a digital destination that has allowed them to:
- Bring people, resources, and processes together in a single place
Today, Allied Health Media employees have a virtual home that looks and feels like their company. Everything they need to communicate, collaborate, and stay informed is in one location. There’s a main hub for accessing and sharing company-wide information along with team hubs customized for all types of collaboration.
- Foster personal and professional connections
Instead of sending mass emails, employees have a Social Zone where they can share informal news, photos, and videos as well as work-related updates. It’s a space to congregate, chat and feel a sense of belonging across any divide.
- Accelerate and enrich onboarding
Allied Health Media streamlined onboarding by creating a New Hire Zone within their digital destination. A self-service area that contains everything new employees need to know and do, it speeds up the process and leaves people feeling empowered, connected, and ready to get going.
With digital workplace solutions tailored to the company’s distinct strengths and needs, Allied Health Media has enabled remote employees to feel closer and more connected than ever. They’ve retained their small-company culture while deploying tools that will keep people engaged no matter how big they grow.
Read the Case Study: Allied Health Media
Read the full story of how Allied Health Media worked with Igloo to build and launch their online destination. Read it here