Working remotely can be a challenge for employees, employers, and teams alike. Remote work can cause a considerable drop in morale, making it difficult for employees to stay motivated and engaged. Despite the perceived ease and flexibility associated with remote work, employees need to remain motivated to achieve work targets and maintain productivity levels.
People working remotely may feel isolated and disconnected from their team, leading to demotivation and reduced morale levels. Additionally, factors such as family and household distractions, reduced communication, and decreased cross-team engagement can negatively impact remote workers’ motivation levels.
This article aims to provide 30 practical ways that employees and employers alike can use to enhance morale while working remotely, covering factors like communication, recognition, feedback, and community involvement.
Promote Regular Check-Ins
It’s easy to feel disconnected from the team while working remotely, so it’s important to encourage regular check-ins. Regular video conferencing, team calls, and one-on-ones contribute to team members feeling connected and engaged, keeping morale high. By checking in regularly, team members stay abreast of each other’s progress and continue to feel like part of the team.
Share Good News and Achievements
Sharing positive results with the team can increase motivation, especially when people can see that their hard work and efforts made a difference. When employees’ efforts are recognized and celebrated, it serves as a major motivator. A team that celebrates together stays together. Taking a minute or two during virtual team meetings to celebrate individual or team successes can go a long way towards boosting employee morale.
Provide Growth Opportunities
To keep morale high, it’s essential to offer opportunities for employees to develop new skills and acquire new knowledge. Professional development opportunities can serve as excellent motivation boosters, particularly when employees can see how their training will help them accomplish their goals. When employers invest in their employees’ growth, it sends a powerful message about how they’re valued as individuals and members of the team.
Encourage Team Bonding
Team bonding exercises and games can be engaging and fun for teams. Remote teams can still bond over virtual team-building activities, such as online games and group challenges. These activities can help to create a relaxed and engaging relationship with colleagues, which can contribute to a positive atmosphere, even if everyone is miles apart.
Employ Employee Recognition Programs
Recognition programs acknowledge and appreciate an employee’s hard work and contribution to the company’s goals. Such events put a spotlight on the individual’s consistency, develop better connections between functions, and encourage retention of important team members. Incentive programs do not need to be elaborate or high-cost – even something as simple as publicly thanking an employee during a team call can be a powerful motivator.
Emphasize the Company’s Vision and Mission
Reminding employees of why their work is essential and how it contributes to the company’s mission and vision can help individuals feel a sense of purpose and respect towards their role. When employees understand the value of their work, they’re more likely to take pride in it and work harder. It’s essential to align team members around shared values to prevent burnout.
Encourage open channels of communication for teams to have a consistent flow of communication. This will help create a feeling of inclusiveness within the team and enhance employee engagement. Providing a shared communication platform, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, can encourage open communication and real-time feedback.
Offering flexibility in work hours and time off for employees can contribute to morale enhancement. Employees can establish a better balance between work and personal life, which leads to a sense of security in any environment. Permitting flexible working hours, including allowing for a more meaningful work-life balance, can aid in creating a positive culture.
Conduct Virtual Happy Hours and Coffee Breaks
It’s essential to establish a creative remote work environment by promoting virtual happy hours, lunch conversations, and other activities that enable employees to build relationships and a sense of community to ensure work feels fun and enjoyable now and then. You could even take some time before the meeting to have a coffee break with colleagues, just as in a typical office environment.
Encourage Employee Feedback
Encourage regular and critical employee feedback by showing appreciation when team members offer their sentiments. This will encourage inter-team communication, and it can be a source of support and motivation when needed. Consistent feedback provides employees with a path towards growth by highlighting their areas of improvement.
Celebrate Team Members’ Birthdays and Anniversaries
Celebrating employee birthdays and work anniversaries can show genuine appreciation for employees and encourages a positive work culture. It also enables team members to share in the joys of important events in colleagues’ lives, contributing to a greater sense of community and being part of something bigger than just work.
Create a Sense of Belonging
Ensure that employees feel part of the team by providing virtual networking opportunities, the ability to work on a shared mission, and focused company projects. A sense of belonging can positively impact employee productivity, collaboration, and the potential they bring in as individuals. To promote inclusion, team members should be encouraged to share their unique perspectives.
Provide Home Office Support
Providing the necessary software, hardware and equipment needed to work remotely makes them feel supported while working from home. Employers could also show understanding by providing ergonomic office equipment and other home office tools to ensure employee work satisfaction and reduce absenteeism.
Have Clear Expectations
Clear, measurable expectations are a must for productivity and employee satisfaction. Create short-term and long-term objectives and results-based standards to ensure that employees understand what is expected of them. Providing regular feedback, both in real-time or in established performance evaluation periods, can contribute to morale enhancement.
Make Career Pathing Available
Enable employees to understand their potential career path within the organization. Employers should consider putting in place the training and development needed to help employees develop their skills and pursue roles with more responsibility, allowing them to work towards their goals and aspirations. Showing that management is invested in an employee’s future can boost their motivation levels.
Encourage Employee Health and Wellness
Encouraging employees to practice healthy habits like getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and taking breaks can enhance mental and physical wellness, which ultimately contributes to better work performance. It could include employees and managers scheduling time away from work and finding ways to recharge, leading to increased productivity levels.
Provide Learning Resources
A company’s learning resources should be accessible, empowering employees to grow professionally through various methods. Encourage employees to explore their interests and take courses or training sessions every year to reinforce existing skills and pick up new ones. Accessible resources can enhance an employee’s ability to handle higher levels of responsibility and feel fulfilled in their work.
Meet up in Person
Meeting in person with a co-worker, team leader or manager is an excellent way to create a more personal and professional connection. It helps team members form relationships outside of work and demonstrate empathy towards one another’s unique life situations. Where possible and practicable, companies should arrange for in-person interactions.
Establish a Fun Rewards System
Leaving surprises and presents on employees’ doorsteps, issuing gift cards, or dinner vouchers serves as innovative ways to recognize employee accomplishments and show appreciation. Rewards don’t have to be massive, just enough to recognize the individual’s good work. A consistent recognition program can enhance employee morale by empowering team members and showing appreciation for their contributions.
Promote Ergonomic Workplaces
Remote workspaces should be part of ergonomic furniture provision, and provisions for remote employees should be made in the budget. Providing ergonomic office equipment can encourage the setting up of a comfortable remote work environment, which ultimately leads to enhanced employee performance and greater motivation levels.
Encouraging employees to experiment, take risks, and come up with creative solutions can positively impact morale. It allows everyone to think out of the box, find new ways to approach challenging situations, and enhances critical thinking skills. A culture that encourages creativity and innovation also fosters a sense of belonging and purpose.
Offer Collaborative Tools
Providing employees with collaborative tools, such as video conferencing software, collaboration software, or cloud file storage, can enable more efficient group communication and foster collaboration. Collaborative tools can be used to get work done regardless of location, leading to increased employee engagement and stronger team bonding.
Develop a Remote Work Policy
Every company should develop and update a remote work policy. Designing and refining the policy can help ensure maximum efficiency and engagement while setting clear expectations for employees. Every employee should understand the policies in place to ensure everyone is on the same page about how to handle different work-related issues.
Show employees every team’s progress in accomplishing company goals by sharing engaging and informative updates on various company operational aspects. Giving everyone a sneak peek behind the scenes can foster accountability and transparency, which can lead to enhanced employee motivation and connectivity.
Celebrate Holidays and Traditions
Celebrating different occasions and holidays, whether it is a national holiday or a festivity centered around an individual’s beliefs, can promote cultural awareness and show employees that they’re valued. Pick an upcoming holiday or event and connect with the team to learn about people’s traditions and customs, contributing to greater understanding and appreciation in the workplace.
Encourage Community Involvement
Encourage employees to participate in voluntary activities that they are passionate about. Allowing employees to serve their communities can create a sense of purpose and pride, enhancing individual morale. Employees should be allowed to take paid time off to undertake voluntary activities or be encouraged to form their in-house volunteer initiatives.
Create Opportunities for Personal Development
Encourage employees to set personal development goals and help them get the necessary resources to achieve them. Learning a new language, developing professional and personal skills, or travel could be among the potential personal development goals. Employees who perceive that their companies are invested in their development are more likely to have enhanced morale levels.
Push Timely Feedback Mechanisms
Offering proper feedback mechanisms to employees will enable smooth communication between employees and supervisors. It could be weekly, monthly or quarterly, and supervisors should ensure that they can offer guidance and listen to employees’ feedback to identify areas to develop and make adjustments as needed. Continuous feedback mechanisms provide a clearer path for improvement and better team contributions.
Create a Culture of Gratitude
Everyone wants to be appreciated for their work, so it’s essential always to express gratitude for team members. Expressing gratitude can convey appreciation to members, which can positively impact the long-term health and well-being of your organization. Regularly reinforcing gratitude to employees, colleagues, or management can make a significant difference in combating demotivation and burnout.
Remote employees should regularly deliver high-quality work, regardless of whether working hours are flexible. When it comes to morale building, consistency is key. Punishment and rewards should be distributed fairly, and it should be made clear if work isn’t up to par. The clear division of responsibilities and set expectations can help remote workers to maintain high morale levels, leading to greater productivity and job satisfaction.
Maintaining morale levels while working remotely is not an easy task, but it is crucial to ensure that employees stay engaged, motivated, and productive. Employers must proactively implement strategies that promote remote work wellbeing and a sense of community. Remote work is here to stay, and it is essential that we find ways to make it work for everyone involved. By implementing the 30 tips mentioned in this article, employers and employees can create a remote working environment that supports employee wellbeing and ultimately contributes to business success. Finding the right balance to ensure that everyone stays connected is key when working remotely, but it can be achieved. With the right mindset and tools, remote work can be a successful and satisfying experience for everyone involved.