Remote work has become relatively mainstream in most organisations worldwide due to the benefits it provides, such as better work-life balance, cost reduction, and increased productivity. The primary objective of remote work is to enable employees, including those that reside or work far away from the business, to work seamlessly and efficiently as a team. However, managing remote teams has its share of challenges, one of which is keeping remote workers motivate
A study conducted in 2020 by Gartner revealed that 82% of managers struggle to keep remote workers motivated. Another study conducted by Buffer showed that remote workers feel disconnected from their colleagues, and this lack of connection lowers their morale and job satisfaction levels.
Keeping remote workers motivated is one of the most significant challenges facing remote managers. This blog post will discuss success strategies that managers can use to motivate and inspire their remote team members.
Build a Culture of Trust
Employees are more engaged and productive when they trust their managers. Building trust with remote workers requires managers to do the following:
- Communicate regularly: Effective communication is key to building trust in remote work environments. Remote managers should communicate regularly with their team members to foster open communication channels and to ensure that every team member feels heard and valued.
- Set clear goals and expectations: Employees work better when they understand what it is expected of them. Remote managers should set clear expectations and goals that the team member can work towards. This clarity helps team members to be more accountable and committed.
- Make time for one-on-one conversations: Employees benefit from one-on-one conversations with their managers. It shows that the manager is invested in their growth and wellbeing. These conversations provide managers with the opportunity to understand their team members better and help to build stronger relationships.
Build a Positive Work Environment
Remote workers can find it challenging to stay motivated because they are not in a traditional office environment. Remote managers can build a positive work environment by doing the following:
- Promote teamwork: To promote teamwork, remote managers can create virtual team-building activities like Zoom happy hours, virtual team lunches or sharing pictures and videos of their workspaces or pets. Such activities bring team members closer together and help to maintain a positive working environment.
- Encourage feedback: Remote managers should provide regular feedback to their team members, and they should encourage the team members to do the same. Positive feedback encourages an employee to do better and boosts morale.
- Create a sense of belonging: Remote managers need to ensure that their team members feel included and valued. Team members should feel like they are a part of something bigger than them. Remote managers can achieve this by ensuring that every team member is involved in important decisions. Remote managers can schedule regular virtual meetings to keep their team members updated and ensure that every team member has a voice.
Encourage Work-Life Balance
Remote work can blur the line between work and life. Remote managers should encourage their team members to practice good work-life balance. This can be achieved by doing the following:
- Set clear working hours: Remote managers should set clear working hours that each team member should observe. This ensures that team members do not have to work more than necessary and that they have ample time to attend to their personal lives.
- Encourage breaks: Remote managers should encourage their team members to take breaks often. Breaks help team members to remain productive, and they help them avoid burnout.
- Limit after-work communications: In traditional work environments, after-work emails and calls are common. However, in remote work environments, after-work emails and calls can create a disconnect between team members’ personal and work lives.
Provide Professional Development Opportunities
Professional development opportunities are beneficial to employees because they get to learn new skills that can help them to advance their careers. Remote managers should encourage professional development in the following ways:
- Provide Learning Opportunities: Remote managers can provide their team members with online courses, mentorship programs, workshops, and training sessions. Providing these opportunities shows team members that the company is invested in their growth.
- Encourage Collaboration: Team members can learn a lot from their colleagues. Remote managers can encourage collaboration among team members to foster learning and development. Collaboration can be achieved using tools like video conferencing software or project management software.
Provide the Right Tools and Technologies
Remote workers require the right tools and technologies to work efficiently. Remote managers should ensure that their team members have access to the following tools and technologies;
- Good Internet Connection: A team member can only work efficiently when they have a good internet connection. Remote managers should ensure that their team members have access to fast and reliable internet.
- The Right Software Tools: Remote managers need to ensure that their team members have the necessary software tools to work effectively. Software tools can include project management software, video conferencing software or file sharing software.
- Computer and Other Necessary Equipment: Remote managers should ensure that their team members have a reliable computer and other necessary equipment like printers, scanners, and headsets.
Offer Incentives and Rewards
Incentives and rewards can be an excellent way of keeping remote team members motivated. Incentives and rewards should be given when a team member meets or exceeds specific goals or expectations. Examples of incentives and rewards include:
- Bonuses: Remote managers can offer bonuses to team members who go above and beyond their job requirements.
- Paid Time Off: Paid time off can be an excellent reward for team members who achieve specific goals or exceed expectations.
- Gifts: Small gifts like gift cards, electronics, or a company T-shirt can be excellent incentives for remote team members.
In conclusion, remote work has become the new norm, and it is essential for remote managers to adopt strategies that will enable them to manage their remote teams effectively. Remote managers need to understand that remote work environments require a different approach from the traditional on-site work environments. Ensuring good communication, setting clear expectations, encouraging professional development, providing incentives and rewards, building trust, fostering a positive work environment, and encouraging work/life balance are crucial factors that remote managers must adopt to motivate their remote team members.
The success of any remote work environment depends on the relationship between the remote manager and their team members. A supportive manager can make a positive impact on the morale and productivity of their team members. Remote managers should also be open to feedback from their team members as it can help them identify problem areas and improve on their management style.
Implementing the strategies discussed in this blog post will help remote managers to keep their team members motivated, thereby increasing their overall productivity, job satisfaction levels and setting them up for long-term success.