Remote work is a work practice that allows workers to perform their functions outside a traditional work environment. This concept holds that work doesn’t have to be within an office setting for it to be done properly. Advocates of remote work believe that employers can get the best out of their employees even if they work from home with the right training and motivation.
Many employers have turned to remote work with relative success in the last few years. Not only does this practice help them improve productivity if adopted rightly, some employers have even cut down on overhead costs and increased their profit margins. However, the main challenge of remote work is how to motivate employees to remain productive when they are working from home. If done rightly, remote teams can perform better than they would in a conventional workplace, but if the implementation is bad, this practice could spell doom for your organization.
So how do you motivate your team remotely, so they perform up to their potential? Here are a few tips.
Many managers complain that their staff is dissatisfied and disconnected from the job even if they meet their targets. While this is normal in a physical workplace, it is even worse in a remote environment where they hardly interact with anyone except through an app or over the phone. Doing this repeatedly from week to week will eventually take a toll on your team psychologically.
You need to understand that there is a human being behind the job, so take the time to build a relationship with everyone in your team. One way to do that is to send personalized mass messages using a messaging app. Doing this regularly will send a positive message to them and care about their welfare.
In a physical workspace, everyone is always on their toes because of the prying eyes of the big boss, but at home, they are not under such a constant gaze. This can create some level of apprehension on your part which you may then transfer to your employees unjustifiably. And if they feel you don’t trust them, they will give negative feedback in turn. Nothing motivates an employee as much as knowing that their manager trusts them to make the right decisions.
If you have decided to allow them to work remotely, trust them to get the job done and let them know that you do. Expressing confidence is one way to motivate your team remotely.
Another way to motivate your team remotely is to recognize the hard work of those who are doing well. You can do this by creating a leaderboard to celebrate the most successful employees for the week or month. You may also issue a recognition bonus at the end of the period to celebrate their effort.
Help with effective time management
The moment you decide to work with your team remotely, have it at the back of your mind that some will find it hard to manage their time effectively. But you can help them with this by doing the following
- Have them sign an online register at the start of the workday
- Assign time slots for the completion of tasks issued to each member
- Call in to check on members at regular or unpredictable intervals
- Demand regular feedback regarding work progress
- Prepare a work timetable for every member or have them prepare their timetable and sign off on them
There are several other ways to motivate your team remotely, but these are some steps you can take to successfully kick start the process.