How to keep your remote work team motivated in 2021
In the digital era, when more and more people can work outside of a traditional office environment, remote work has become a dream for the many of us who want the flexibility and better work-life balance that it can provide.
Just imagine: 3.9 million people work all over the world from home, and the number of remote employees is predicted to grow due to the outbreak of COVID-19. In fact, the number of those working from home for at least half a day per week doubled during the pandemic.
What’s more, the CEO of Develux, Nick Cooper, claims that many large companies and corporations will leave their offices and move completely to remote work:
"I believe that in the next three years or even sooner, we will all move from conventional offices to homes and apartments to work remotely. This global trend allows companies to give their workforce flexibility and reduce their rental and maintenance costs for offices."
Simply put, remote work is the future of the workforce, so business owners, managers, and team leaders should understand how to keep their remote teams motivated.
Why is it important to motivate your remote team?
Remote work has its advantages and disadvantages. The number of remote workers has grown in recent years, so more employees should be getting used to working from distance. However, one report says that loneliness, unplugging after work, and communication issues are the top obstacles that remote teams face.
This means your remote workforce needs motivation to cope with these obstacles. If your company invests time, effort, and money into motivating your team, you can help your remote employees get the following benefits when working from anywhere:
- Enhanced team productivity: Motivated people know the importance of their jobs, so they are interested in working harder to achieve their personal and career goals. Simply put, employee motivation can improve team productivity and therefore positively affect job performance, which in turn leads to a greater chance of business success.
- Strong team spirit: It's no secret that motivated people are happy and creative, so they can positively affect other team members who seek out support and motivation. As a result, this helps to strengthen team spirit and build cohesion.
- Lower levels of staff turnover: When your remote team is motivated, it's more likely that your employees will be satisfied with their jobs and therefore less likely to quit.
Now that you know the importance of team motivation, it's high time to understand employee motivators that increase employee engagement. Maslow's hierarchy of needs is here to help:
Here are 8 ways to boost your team’s work motivation while working remotely:
1. Provide workers with all necessary office equipment
When people choose remote work from the beginning, they might be ready for it. It's more likely they will have all the necessary equipment to work from anywhere.
But if your employees go remote unexpectedly, it's important to provide them with everything they need to do their jobs properly. In March 2019, many office workers had to start working from home due to the outbreak of COVID-19. This means the number of people who need office equipment for themselves has increased.
By having the right equipment, your employees can work more efficiently and thus be more productive. It's therefore important to know all the basic equipment they may need while working remotely:
- Telecommunication (computer, headphones, webcams, etc.)
- Home office (desks, chairs, lamps, etc.)
Have you heard of a BYOD? It stands for Bring Your Own Device which is a remote work trend in which employees use their own computing equipment (laptops, smartphones, or tablets) for work-related issues. Since remote workers value flexibility, this trend improves employee satisfaction. As such, you should give your employees an opportunity to choose which devices they want to use while working remotely.
2. Help your team organize the perfect workplace
It's harsh but true: most remote workers don't have a home office where they can focus on their duties and work productively. Not only can this lead to work-life imbalance and related stress, but it may also negatively affect work motivation.
Hugh Beaulac, a content strategist behind MC2 Bid4Papers, has been working remotely for the last three years. He believes in the power of motivation, so he recommends providing your team with handy tips on workplace organization to help them find a place for working effectively. When people have a well-organized workplace they pay less attention to distractions and save time, which leads to increased employee productivity and satisfaction.
To help your remote team with workplace organization, send them a step-by-step guide. An informative infographic might be useful as well.
3. Choose the right remote work tools
As working from a distance is becoming increasingly popular each year, it's no wonder that the number of available remote work tools is growing too. With the right tools for your employees, not only can you help your workers become more productive and efficient, but you can also boost their motivation by saving their time and effort spent on routine tasks.
But when choosing the right remote work tools, keep your top management in mind. For instance, if you run a local business or you manage a customer service team that works, it's a great idea to find employee scheduling software for your business that helps to create and manage shifts.
In short, it's important to know the needs of your workforce and provide them with remote work tools that can help them work productively from anywhere.
4. Leverage your team’s work motivation with webinars
For most remote workers, loneliness is the second biggest struggle they face. Since people are social creatures, they crave communication with their co-workers. Luckily, video calling software can help with this.
According to video conferencing statistics, 78% of companies use video calling software for team meetings, 45% of teams use video calling tools weekly, and 89% of remote team members say they feel more connected and involved with co-workers when using video conferencing.
What’s more, the popularity of e-learning is growing because people want to obtain knowledge and improve their skills. It's therefore a great idea to organize webinars during which your employees can share their knowledge with colleagues and see each other in real time.
Make sure that, when choosing a webinar platform for your remote team, you pick an intuitive, yet robust solution. Focus on features like whiteboards, places to share and store your files, plus breakout rooms. It should also be easily accessible for any team member. LiveWebinar, for example, is available straight from your browser, so neither the host nor any attendees have to download an app to use it.
If you're looking for a great webinar solution with advanced features like screen sharing and live streaming, check out the plans we’ve prepared for you.
5. Recognize great work and show your appreciation
It's no secret that practically everyone aims to be valued. When it comes to working remotely, your employees may crave appreciation more than ever while they lack communication with top management.
Recognizing great work has many benefits: it builds trust between an employee and their employer, improves brand reputation, increases productivity levels, and boosts motivation. Simply put, it helps your remote workers feel closer to your company and motivates them to keep on working productively.
The easiest (and the most obvious) way to recognize great work is to give monetary bonuses to employees, but here are several alternative ideas on how to recognize show your appreciation:
- Send a branded gift
- Write a thank-you email
- Give a shout-out in team chats
- Tell the story of your employee's achievements in a newsletter
- Give them extra time off
- Provide training opportunities
- Run a regular video meeting to share your thoughts and appreciate your team’s work
6. Create a remote company culture
Have you ever heard about the sense of belonging?
It's psychologically proven that people want to be a part of a group or community, and that the sense of belonging motivates them. When working in the office, people are more likely to have this feeling, but it can soon disappear when people work remotely. As a result, work motivation might be negatively affected.
However, you can create a remote company culture that reminds workers about the values and goals that they have in common. In fact, a company culture is defined as a set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization. What’s more, it's important to be transparent about remote work policies.
For example, if you're using remote access software for better control, it's important to only monitor selected applications and inform your employees that you're going to use the tools to do so on their work computer. Not only can you manage your remote workers without invading their privacy this way, but you can also earn employees' trust and boost team motivation.
When it comes to a remote work culture, you may also want to think about virtual group activities that will help your remote team keep in touch with other employees. All in all, it's a great idea to create an ebook about your remote work culture, in which you can include all of the relevant information that your employees should know.
7. Listen to your employees' needs and wants
As you know, people want to be a part of something big and important, so they will feel more connected to your organization if you show an interest in their opinions. As a result, doing so can help to keep your remote team motivated and loyal. Thus, not only should you listen to your employees' needs and wants, but you also should act on this information. For example, if your remote employees need a guide about remote work policies, it's important to create and share one with your workforce.
A great way to collect your employees' feedback is to send satisfaction surveys via email. Why? According to at least one piece of research, email is the most preferable communication channel for workers, as 99% of them check their emails daily, people spend 2.5 hours per workday checking emails, and 82% of employees check email outside of normal business hours.
8. Create private social media groups
Managing a remote team in the digital era, when over 3.78 billion people are social media users, having a social media presence for your business isn't an option anymore. More and more companies are creating business profiles on various platforms to communicate with customers, but only a few of them have private social media groups or accounts for their workforce.
Here's the deal: your remote workers are common people who also spend a considerable amount of time on social media. This means your employees are more likely to engage in conversation with co-workers on social media.
No matter which social media platform you choose, be it e.g. Facebook or Linkedin, you can create a private social media group there to share the latest company news, start non-work-related conversations with employees, and improve their work motivation. Some Instagram growth hacks can even help you use this photo-sharing app to communicate with your team during remote work.
In a Word
Remote work isn't going anywhere in the near future. Instead, the popularity of remote work is growing, and companies are leaving their offices to give their employees an opportunity to work from anywhere. But if you want to achieve business success, you should put time and effort into your work motivation so that your remote employees stay productive and loyal to your organization.
So, how do you plan to keep your remote work team motivated in 2021?
Happily combines a love of writing and new technology as a copywriter, and enjoys the puzzle of putting together a good article. In her spare time she likes to catch up on the latest, greatest books, bake chocolate chip cookies and ponder her next travel destination.More posts