All of us have worked with people we’ve never met before. Whether it was a coworker on the far side of the office that you emailed but never saw or an IT expert who you would just keep missing, sometimes coworkers are just a familiar name and a recognizable work style. This is becoming more and more common. Growing corporations have offices all over the world with coworkers that still work together. Offices have increasingly lenient telecommuting policies that let more employees stay home and work without a commute.

Lack of face-to-face communication has almost always been considered a bad thing, even as companies switch to policies that make it more likely. If you want your corporate culture to be more tight-knit even though your employees are scattered around, you can still achieve it. Just branch out into different technologies.

Hold occasional video meetings.

Phone calls aren’t a substitute for being able to read somebody’s expression, but video certainly is. You can keep your departments and teams connected with visual meetings. It really does help to match a name to a face, and Skype or a growing array of video tools mean you can do it. Install the programs on your business technology so employees can even talk to each other through web cameras or hold smaller, more informal meetings.

Use alternatives to email.

Email is the default communication tool for one-on-one communication and for larger groups. But it’s a bit stiff. Everyone carries a bit of a suspicion that what they say in an email might eventually be held against them. Inboxes with long sections of unread emails can also make authentic conversation stagnate. So make sure secure alternatives are at your employees’ disposal. They can use tools like Slack for group chats, Chatter on Salesforce for more direct, task-oriented queries, and Microsoft 365 and workflow tools to communicate through the work directly.

Employees don’t always go to the office, and in-person communication is fading away, no matter what industry you’re in. So make sure you actively create the culture you want with that in mind instead of having to fix the culture that is accidentally created. Go to Tangram Studios for more corporate culture trends and how to keep your company positive.