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30 Ways to Motivate Team Working Remotely

The emergence of remote work has shifted the way we manage our teams. With an increasing number of businesses adopting remote work policies, the challenge is to keep the team motivated and engaged when working remotely. Motivating remote workers poses new challenges in terms of communication, supervision, coordination, and maintaining workplace culture. The motivation strategies that worked like a charm in an on-site work environment might not be as effective in a virtual setup.

This article provides 30 ways to motivate teamwork remotely. These strategies can help you create an environment where team members are motivated even when working from home.

Open Communication Channels

Communication is the cornerstone of successful teamwork. When working remotely, it becomes even more important. Provide multiple communication channels to ensure clear communication. Each team member may prefer one communication channel over the other, so keep a flexible approach. Consider using video calls, chats, emails, and in-app messaging to ensure that every team member has access to a communication channel that suits their communication style.

Stay Organized

When working remotely, it’s important to have a system in place to stay organized. Use project management tools to set deadlines, track progress, and assign tasks easily. Tools like Trello, Asana, or Jira can help everyone stay on the same page, and you can easily monitor how each task is progressing. Keep track of deadlines and deliverables, so nothing falls through the cracks.

Set Regular Check-ins

Set up a weekly virtual meeting or video chat to catch up on progress and exchange feedback. Encourage every team member to share their thoughts and contribute to the discussion. During the meeting, you can also discuss the key performance indicators (KPIs) and key results (KR) and assess how each team member is contributing to achieving them.

Encourage Transparency

Foster an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing their struggles and successes. Encourage them to be transparent about their work, communicate what they’re struggling with, and ask for help when needed. Transparent communication helps build trust, and transparency can help the team collaborate and solve issues as a group.

Celebrate Team Wins

Regularly praise the work that is being done and celebrate successes. Recognition and rewards can help keep a team motivated and engaged. Celebrating small successes with a virtual pizza party, a fun trivia night, or a group chat can foster teamwork and encourage high morale.

Set Clear and Specific Goals

Discuss the specific goals and objectives for each project to keep everyone on the same page. Vague goals can lead to confusion, miscommunication, and delays. Take the time to define each goal, discuss it with the team, and make sure that everyone understands the desired outcome. With clearly defined goals, everyone can work towards them with the same vision.

Keep a Shared To-Do List

Use tools like Trello or Asana to track progress and assign tasks. Keep a shared to-do list that everyone can access easily. This helps improve transparency, accountability, and collaboration. Each team member can see how their work is contributing to the team’s goals while keeping an eye on what others are working on.

Provide Feedback

Regularly provide feedback to team members to help them improve. Feedback can help individuals understand what they are doing well and what they can improve on. Feedback should be constructive, specific, and given in a timely manner. It should be delivered in a private setting, but when appropriate, you can also offer public praise for a job well done.

Offer Online Training

Provide online training courses to help employees learn and improve. Online resources are readily available, and with so many offering free courses, there’s no excuse to not invest in your team’s development. Create an ongoing training plan that individuals can work through, and then reassess the team’s skillsets after a few months.

Hold Regular Team-building Sessions

Organize regular virtual team-building sessions to keep the team engaged. A weekly trivia game, a virtual happy hour, or a team Netflix night can help build team morale and keep everyone connected on a more personal level. These sessions can help recreate the water-cooler conversations that create social connections.

Stay Positive

As a leader, keeping a positive and optimistic outlook is essential. Even during difficult times, maintaining a positive attitude can help motivate your team. With mental health in mind, check in with your team regularly and have casual conversations that aren’t related to work. By creating a comfortable and positive work environment, you create a space for team members to open up more and contribute more freely.

Provide Support

Provide support when your team needs it, and create a safe and comfortable work environment. When employees feel supported, they tend to work more efficiently and effectively. During this pandemic, many are going through personal struggles, and providing the right support can help individuals overcome these issues and be more productive.

Embrace Flexibility

Embrace flexibility to help create a healthy work-life balance. One of the benefits of remote work is the improved flexibility this arrangement can offer. Encourage team members to manage their time and take breaks when needed. If possible, allow for flexible schedules so that team members can take care of personal responsibilities when needed.

Offer Incentives

Provide incentives like bonuses or extra time off to motivate your team. The incentives don’t have to be large, but it’s important to recognize a job well done with something enjoyable or beneficial. Over time, your team can work harder toward a particular goal with incentives like a bonus or additional time off to spend with family.

Encourage Collaboration

Facilitate team collaboration to foster teamwork and problem-solving. Encourage team members to share their thoughts, ideas, and perspectives with each other. Host virtual brainstorming sessions where everyone can weigh in with ideas, and then use the shared document to build upon each other’s suggestions.

Have a Regular Virtual Coffee Meetup

Schedule a weekly virtual morning coffee break to catch up with your team. A virtual coffee can help create a personal connection that’s often lost in a remote environment. With a casual setup, team members can bond over coffee and chat informally, even if there’s not specifically work-related to discuss.

Provide Recognition

Give public recognition for a job well done to help motivate and encourage employees. Recognition can come in the form of an announcement during a company-wide meeting or submitting something to an online recognition platform. Public recognition acts as a motivator, and being acknowledged can help improve overall morale.

Encourage Team Bonding

Start a book club, virtual game night, or cooking club to encourage team bonding. Team members who share interests outside of work tend to have stronger communication and a greater bond with each other. By encouraging outside interests, you can help team members feel better connected even when working remotely.

Offer Mentorship

Provide mentorship opportunities to help employees grow in their career. Mentorship can take many forms, from coaching during a project to a group coaching session to develop skills. The goal of mentorship is to encourage career growth while also providing the individualized attention they need to succeed.

Hold Regular Q&A Sessions

Hold regular Q&A sessions to answer questions and provide support to your team. By promoting two-way communication, you build a culture of openness and trust. It helps to hold regular Q&A sessions when a new change is afoot, either in the company or in the team. As a leader or coach, make sure to address concerns and provide answers or support where necessary.

Support Professional Development

Encourage your team to attend online conferences or other professional development opportunities. With remote work, there are no more geographical barriers to learning. Offer incentives or paid continuing education to encourage employees to explore new possibilities and learn from the experiences of others.

Be Understanding

Be understanding and compassionate when life gets hectic, and team members have personal responsibilities to attend to. As mentioned earlier, a healthy work-life balance is imperative in remote work, and you can encourage this by being supportive when life throws curveballs. When someone needs a break, let them take one, and be flexible with deadlines, as unexpected events can throw people off their game.

Encourage Creativity

Encourage creativity and innovation among the team. Remote work can lead to a certain level of isolation for workers. To combat this, you can promote creativity through creative brainstorming, and foster an environment where team members feel encouraged to think outside of the box. This can help promote a culture of innovation which, in turn, can have positive long-term impacts on a business.

Set Achievable Goals

Set achievable goals to help keep everyone on track and motivated. An unattainable goal can lead to demotivation and a sense of failure – both of which can severely impact team members’ productivity. To motivate your team, set small, achievable goals and celebrate at each milestone. This can help create a sense of progress and accomplishment which helps drive productivity.

Encourage Camaraderie

Encourage camaraderie among team members to foster teamwork and cooperation. Remote work can be isolating, so fostering personal relationships among the team can create a more supportive and cooperative work culture. Encourage casual conversations to promote team bonding and keep a watchful eye out for anyone struggling to connect with the group.

Host Virtual Brainstorming Sessions

Host virtual brainstorming sessions to encourage creativity and problem-solving. Brainstorming sessions can be done through chats or virtual meetings. Encourage everyone to give their ideas and share their thoughts. Allow each other to piggyback on each other’s ideas before building upon them. Making these sessions structured can help instill some discipline in the waves of creativity that are sure to follow.

Create a Virtual Water Cooler

Create a virtual “water cooler” where team members can chat and share updates. Virtual water coolers can help recreate the chance conversations that would happen when working on-site. This not only helps build important social bonds, but it can also create opportunities for informal learning, and may even be a source of inspiration for future projects.

Be Appreciative

Regularly express appreciation for the hard work and effort that each team member is putting in. Being appreciated for their work can help support team members’ sense of job satisfaction when working remotely. Look to recognize your team’s hard work and successes wherever possible and encourage team members to support each other when needed.

Create a Virtual “Healthy Habits” Challenge

Create a virtual challenge to promote healthy habits, such as a step challenge or healthy eating challenge. Requirements can include daily or weekly check-ins or incorporating healthy habits into the team’s workday. Even a small challenge can help inspire team members to build healthy habits, and it can create a sense of camaraderie and friendly competition among the team.

Practice Empathy

Practice empathy and understand that each team member may be facing their unique challenges and may require extra support and understanding. With remote work comes a new set of challenges, such as limited social interaction or distractions from home life. Leaders or managers can help by actively practicing empathy by helping team members deal with stress and providing appropriate resources to support them.


Motivating remote teams requires a different approach than motivating an on-site team. By keeping communication channels open, fostering transparency, offering incentives and promoting social bonds, you can encourage virtual team members to stay motivated and productive. It can be challenging at first, but with a little dedication and creativity, building culture and setting team goals can be achieved remotely.

Whether it’s hosting virtual coffee breaks, regular Q&A sessions or brainstorm meetings, always be aware of your team members’ needs and concerns. By being mindful of your remote team’s working environment, you can create an atmosphere of collaboration and trust that can drive both individual and team success.

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