It’s no secret that telecommuting offers a myriad of benefits to a business. From reduced operations expenses to added convenience for the employees, working remotely is perhaps the next big change for workplaces. In fact, a lot of companies around the world were forced to quickly adapt to telecommuting because of Coronavirus. What started as a measure to keep employees safe and contain the outbreak was eventually embraced as a permanent policy by some. Companies like Twitter and Square decided to offer employees an option to work from home forever.
That being said, working remotely comes with its own set of risks and challenges. Keeping employees motivated is one of the main things that companies struggle with. Are you leading a remote team with plummeting productivity? Take a look at some ways you can keep your remote workforce motivated.
- Ensure Effective Communication
Communication is key when it comes to working from home. The close physical proximity in an office set up is one thing that remote working doesn’t offer. As a leader, you must implement tools and practices to ensure effective communication. Employees should be clear about their goals and also feel free to discuss any obstacles. Better communication implies fewer mistakes and greater job satisfaction.
- Conduct Virtual Team Building
Team building activities help various employees connect with each other by breaking the ice. If you want to engage employees while also fostering company culture, offer virtual team building experiences. Such experiences and activities do wonders for boosting employee morale and productivity.
- Offer Flexibility
Some people feel the most productive in the morning while some may be able to perform their best at night. If the projects don’t necessarily need to be completed in the morning, then give your employees the freedom to work when they can. For instance, some employees may have a demanding home life. You can help them out by giving them the option to work whenever they can.
- Assist with Scheduling
Without your constant supervision, employees may not be able to establish the priority of various tasks. This can become even more difficult when employees have to juggle personal commitments along with work. You can provide your team with project management tools and help them manage their time better.
- Talk One-on-One
It’s expected that some people will speak up in meetings while others may feel shy. It’s a good idea to check in with your employees on a one-on-one basis. Ask them about any struggles they are facing and provide your guidance. This will make the employees feel seen and cared for.
- Give Credit
Just like in a conventional work environment, giving credit where credit is due is important to motivate remote employees. Send out congratulatory emails or recognize their efforts in meetings.
- Encourage Breaks
Work is work. Whether it’s done from home or office, it requires the same amount of time, energy, and mental space. That’s why you cannot dismiss a remote worker's need for taking breaks. Using work from home as a reason to justify overworking employees isn’t a beneficial or ethical practice. An office birthday is another way for everyone to take a break and talk with each other.
You should encourage teams to take necessary breaks during the day as well as take vacation days.
Socialization is an underrated aspect of workplace culture. By interacting with others on a personal level, employees feel a sense of belongingness. Also, this helps develop trust among employees, which is necessary for collaboration and teamwork.
You should ask your team about any personal updates they are comfortable sharing, wish them on birthdays, and host virtual get-togethers.
The Bottom Line
Managing a remote team may be something outside of your expertise, but it’s certainly achievable. By taking proactive measures to engage employees, you can lead a highly motivated team.