- Prioritise communication with regular feedback and support sessions
- Set clear expectations and help employees manage their workloads
- Introduce recognition, rewards and opportunities to socialise with colleagues
When working remotely, it can sometimes be difficult to stay motivated, often working from home where distractions are rife and environments aren’t necessarily optimised for work. This has been particularly challenging throughout the global coronavirus pandemic, forcing many to work from home where possible, while also bringing up serious health and employment concerns.
Despite its difficulties, many still hope to see their work remain at least somewhat remote, seeing the benefits as outweighing the challenges.
With this in mind, how can you help to bring the best of both worlds to your team? How can you keep your staff motivated while operating remotely?
Stay Connected and Communicate
Communication is key when remote working – now is not the time to go quiet on your team. Regularly checking in with your staff reassures them that they are important and valued and that the work they are doing is relevant. It shows that you care about their professional development, even during a time where you cannot be physically together.
Collaboration and team-work is an important part of working life, often overlooked when staff are working from separate homes. Thus, regular virtual meetings and video calls are a way of facilitating these collaborations and inter-colleague conversations to flourish.
So many important work breakthroughs or creative ideas are fostered by people getting together in the workplace. While we are working from home, there is no reason for these collaborations to stop.
Give the Right Type of Feedback
Prioritise regular feedback for your staff. When working from home, there has to be an element of trust involved, giving your staff the flexibility to manage their own workload and deliver the work at a high standard. Regular feedback sessions can keep team members motivated and constantly striving to be better.
It also helps you align company needs with staff expectations and objectives. That way, if there are any discrepancies between expectations and the work being delivered, there are regular opportunities to address these issues. This approach is favourable to micromanaging.
Constantly checking in with your staff creates an atmosphere of distrust and can be extremely demotivating. A way to stay on the ball, without suffocating your employees, is to regularly check in with feedback at designated times so that you are keeping track of the work which is being produced. Manage and acknowledge accomplishments rather than arbitrarily tracking activity.
In addition to work-related feedback, setting up regular meetings to check in on your team and their well-being can be just as important.
Remote work is an adjustment for everyone but going the extra mile to check in on them shows that you care and can be very motivating. Mental health has taken a dip for many over the last year with anxiety, depression and burnout on the rise.
Many staff members will be juggling multiple responsibilities at home, including strained relationships, home-schooling, or struggling to find a quiet place to focus and concentrate. Taking the time to ask how people are doing shows that you care about your staff beyond the work that they are producing.
Additionally, emotional wellbeing is crucial for a happy and productive workforce and reduces the need for sick days and time off work. It is a way of motivating your staff and retaining talent as your employees will feel that they are being well cared for.
Set Clear Expectations
Managing expectations is absolutely crucial when remote working: both the expectations of the employer and the staff.
One of the difficulties that comes with remote working is a lack of clarity. This can be improved with clear communication, explicit instructions and concrete deadlines. To manage this, there needs to be an ongoing dialogue between managers and staff to make sure that staff are engaged, workload is manageable and deadlines are being met. You can also encourage employees to allocate particular times in which they are available to speak. This helps them manage their other responsibilities when working from home.
It is nothing new that reward schemes are a great way of motivating staff. However, in these times of remote working, reward looks different from before. For staff working from home, it can feel like their working life is very stagnant with little to work towards. By creating a culture of recognition and reward, your employees feel more engaged and more encouraged to perform.
You can implement this virtually by recognising positive behaviours, determining rewards for certain goals, and publicly commending team members’ work in virtual meetings or via a group email.
The social aspect of a workplace should not be overlooked now that there is not a physical hub where people are coming together. For many, the social aspect of work is as important as the work itself, and company culture is something many take into account when applying for a position.
Employers should do their best to transmit their company values and foster a remote company culture. Look for ways to replace the proverbial “water-cooler” chat. These seemingly insignificant interactions have been proven to make work more enjoyable and meaningful and foster a collaborative and supportive work environment.
Set up virtual team building events including video presentations or web hangouts or go the extra mile and arrange online social activities for your staff – including those offered by us here at Steamed Egg.