The traditional workplace is rapidly changing. More than 70% of people worldwide work from home at least once every week. In the United States alone, nearly 4 million employees work remotely and the number is expected to increase in the following years. Whether it’s for a better work-life balance, flexible hours, or putting an end to long commutes, the benefits of working from home are evident.
But, here’s the other side of the story. One study about how company culture affects employee morale found that remote employees feel less motivated, withstand more emotional pressure, and more likely to experience work inertia. That’s not to say that you should give up remote work altogether, but find solutions to motivate your team members and create a work environment that doesn’t ignore the needs of remote workers.
Communication Is Key
Effective communication is key to keeping remote employees engaged and motivated. It may sound obvious, but you would be surprised to learn how many managers fail to stay connected and regularly communicate with their remote teams.
That doesn’t mean that you should be available on the clock to answer your remote teams’ questions. Establish a fixed time-slot during which you check-in with your remote workers, talk about their projects, check their performance, and so on. These calls will allow you to keep track of your remote employees’ progress but also help them feel included. Try to find a balance between formal and informal communication to create a sense of belonging and make them feel like they are in a real working space.
Develop a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset motivates employees to improve their skill set through dedication and hard work. But, how do you help your remote employees not to get stuck?
Instead of penalising mistakes, help them see failure as the road to success. Turn downfalls into valuable learning lessons and focus on helping them refine and perfect their skills.
You should also foster curiosity by offering both your remote teams and office workers plenty of opportunities to expand and learn new skills.
Focus on Results, Not Seat Time
One of the things most managers worry about is that their remote workers will get distracted and that will affect their work performance. But, instead of obsessing over seat time, focus on the results your remote teams are bringing. They may not spend eight hours straight in front of the computer but that’s because they’ve found ways to efficientise their work, and that’s actually a good thing for your company.
In a way, motivating remote employees is not that different from managing a traditional work environment. You need to communicate efficiently, challenge your employees to grow, and focus on results rather than micromanaging their activity.