Startup culture is something of a hot trend at the moment when it comes to making the most of your workforce. And quite apart from getting in ping pong tables and space hoppers, how can you foster that entrepreneurial spirit of innovative disruption in team meetings, brainstorming sessions and company life? How can office-based staff, remote workers and non-traditional employees contribute to the creative processes that shape your company’s future? Here are our top tips for involving remote workers in your company’s hack culture.

Startup culture is something of a hot trend at the moment when it comes to making the most of your workforce. And quite apart from getting in ping pong tables and space hoppers, how can you foster that entrepreneurial spirit of innovative disruption in team meetings, brainstorming sessions and company life? How can office-based staff, remote workers and non-traditional employees contribute to the creative processes that shape your company’s future?
 
By making the most of existing and new technology and embracing ‘hack’ culture – a way of working that web developers have been practicing for a while now – you'll be able to get the most out of both office and remote workers. Here are our top tips for introducing hack culture to your workforce:

 
1. Organize frequent hacks
 
Do lots of creative hacking. Use virtual corkboards (Pinterest is just one of the options) so that both office-based and remote workers can participate in the creative process by bouncing ideas off each other.
 
Is scheduling creative hacks the best way forward? Maybe not – often good ideas arise spontaneously. Encourage your workforce to be flexible and call impromptu hacks.
 
Create a Twitter hashtag and a closed group for when a good idea happens to come at night or in the middle of a baseball game.
 
2. Share, share, share
 
Encourage both remote and office-based employees to post frequent project updates on shareable software, such as Google Docs.
 
It’s important to foster a culture of constructive criticism where all employees, no matter their seniority, feel confident to give and receive real-time feedback to hacks.
 
As KPIs change, so might the brief. It’s good to be in the know and able to react to any changes on the spot.  Don’t wait for a project’s end to hear summaries. Make sure you can see and share what’s going on all the time. You all need to be on the same page if you are to deliver your goals.
 
3. Make the most of Google hangouts
 
Arrange Google hangouts to talk through project ideas and updates. But rather than treating this like a traditional staid office meeting, make it fun. Use the Pomodoro technique – put the timer on and spend 10 minutes expanding and summarising your creative ideas.
 
4. Get out of the physical and virtual office
 
Plan away-days so that the entire team can attend (presuming this is feasible). A neutral and informal setting (not in the workplace and not in the remote workers’ home) will allow everyone to relate as co-workers, and eliminate the impression they may have of being divided into camps.

So what we’re suggesting is a hack of the way hacks seem to be carried out in most workplaces at the moment. What’s needed is more collaboration, more spontaneity and flatter hierarchies. More hacking basically!

By David Mentiply - Follow him on Twitter @Curate24