How to keep a team motivated when remotely working.

Not meeting each other face-to-face, unstable Internet connection, no after-work celebration, how to keep your team spirit up and productive? We give you some answers.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its after-effects have unimaginably changed the world, by halting the daily bustling life, be it shopping or going to the office. 

Many businesses have embraced remote working amid this ongoing global health crisis and included it in their policies as well. 

It is a daunting task to round up the number of companies that have adopted remote working during the outbreak. Still, the latest survey by Gartner shows that 88 percent of companies have advised their employees to work from home.

Even after a year since the outbreak was triggered, most organisations have stuck to the working from home setting through their remote teams or resorted to a hybrid format. For employees, the home office is the new hub for professional work.

Amid these developments, employers may find it challenging to keep their employees motivated when working from home. Here are a few practical ways to motivate your staff.

Check with Your Employees Regularly.

A crisis like this is difficult for everyone, including your employees. They may feel pangs of anxiety and have to balance their home and office work. Make sure to keep checking with your staff from time to time and ask if they are facing any challenges. You can do it individually or through group communication. It is more about the humane aspect rather than business. Such an approach will assure to employees. Regular interactions and engagement with your remote workers will make them feel included and help them focus on their work.

Take advantage of technology.

These days, vastly improved technologies have made it easier to communicate virtually. There are several high-quality communication software applications and websites, through which you can schedule meetings and maintain your team culture. Some of these tools are free and some are paid. You have options such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet, which make communications a smooth process at zero or minimal cost. 

To perform their daily work, remote employees require an email, chat option, and a video conferencing tool to download and share official documents. Any of the platforms we just mentioned can do these perfectly. Encourage your team to have a high-speed internet connection for uninterrupted communication.

Trust your team members.

Believe it or not some organisations perceive the concept of remote working with scepticism. Due to the pandemic, these companies may have reluctantly implemented work from home for employees. However, they have kept barging and pushing their remote employees for work status. It is because they were too eager to know whether employees are as productive as they would have been in an office environment. However, asking for the work status too frequently shows a lack of trust in team members and may have deeper implications for team efforts.  

Harvard Business Review shows the percentage of managers who expressed their opinion to the question if the “Performance or remote workers is usually lower than that of people who work in an office setting.” As the result shows, the percentage of managers who agreed/strongly agreed, and who disagreed/strongly disagreed are almost identical. It means a significant number of supervisors find it difficult to trust their team members. Remember the presence of trust or the lack of it can make a huge difference when it comes to fulfilling your team’s true potential. Just think about it.

Set and agree on work responsibilities.

Some employees, especially inexperienced ones may often struggle to complete their tasks without direct supervision. To solve this issue, set clear job responsibilities, along with timelines. Besides, keep the communication channel always open so that team members keep in touch with their managers/supervisors as and when required. Helping employees develop confidence in completing their work will improve overall efficiency, and increase productivity.

Encourage to take breaks.

Similar to working in an office, taking small breaks help employees do their job with renewed energy. Studies show that taking breaks helps staff retain information better and increase productivity. Organisations should realise that working from home office does not mean employees should be working all the time while at home. They can encourage staff to maintain their agreed daily work hours, and take regular breaks to avoid burnout.

A long-lasting trend.

As the fight against the pandemic continues all over the world, the trend of working from home or hybrid work will stay for some time. Until normalcy is restored, organisations need to provide increased flexibility, constant support, and motivation to their employees. It will help streamlining the remote work process, improving stability and performance of remote workers. The tips listed in this post will allow you to provide the much-needed boost of confidence to employees and help perform better in this period of uncertainty.