Adjusting to remote work has been quite hard on many teams. Highly romanticized before the pandemic, many employees actually found that their performance took a hit during the recent work-from-home rules. A Havard Business Review study reported that employees who worked remotely by choice or with no choice experienced reduced motivation.
As a team leader, you must lookout for the welfare of your remote staff. Low morale contributes to poor performance. Tasks will remain undone, resulting in unfinished projects. Slow progress consequently impacts the bottom line. So, how do you motivate remote staff?
You don't need to offer higher salaries to get your employees motivated. That’s extrinsic motivation, and it's not quite effective as intrinsic motivation.
Communicate to your remote employees that their work matters and align them to a common mission. While motivating remote staff using this method, conduct weekly meetings where you discuss the company objectives and goals.
Don’t have your remote staff perform tactical tasks only. Make their work more meaningful by orienting them towards unsolved business challenges, both known and unknown.
Find ways of showing your remote staff the value of their contribution. For instance, you can share the latest customer reviews praising a certain feature.
Consider motivating remote employees by offering extra perks. One popular benefit to offer is health insurance. It’s a huge motivating factor as many people are currently worried about costs associated with health care due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It’s been long established that job packages with healthcare benefits tend to attract more applicants.
You may similarly introduce a performance-based merit system with extra perks such as bonuses for high-performing team members.
A study by Blind featuring anonymous professionals drawn from organizations such as Facebook, Amazon, and LinkedIn revealed that 56.4 percent of respondents felt lonely and anxious in light of working from home and social distancing.
Humans need a human connection despite working remotely. Sending text messages through messaging platforms such as Slack won’t simply cut it. Consider having more video chats. Face-to-face meetings are up to 34 times more successful than emails.
Find time for off-work virtual hangouts between your team members. The sessions may seem awkward and cheezy, but they promote human interactions.
You can similarly show your staff that you care by sending personalized gifts, nothing too fancy. A well-thought-out office plant can go a long way.
Nothing can motivate your remote staff more than knowing that they have a clear deadline that they must meet. Good old-fashioned accountability can do wonders.
When assigning tasks, discuss the time it may take to complete them, and set a deadline. Sure, you may need to adjust it, but the virtue of having it in the first place gives your staff an extra reason to keep working hard. Don’t just set deadlines; keep asking about the progress of the work. You can even create a digital checklist to track the completion of task milestones.
Transitioning from a workplace where there is pressure to perform to a home environment that’s comfortable and familiar may lead to a productivity decline. Employees may develop issues with focus and time management. Consider using tools that support your remote work activities, such as WorkPilot. It helps organize tasks, map progress, and facilitates collaboration on projects.
Don’t solely think of tools. Motivating a remote team may be done by providing enough training and educational resources. Think of coming up with training modules that teach employees how to work from home successfully or best practices for setting up a home office. You can similarly create and manage these programs with an online training platform such as WorkPilot.