Thursday 30 March 2023

How to Keep a Remote Workforce Motivated

Since the pandemic, working from home has become the norm for many businesses and employees. However, it does come with its downsides as well as its positives. A study published by Researchgate highlighted four kinds of flexibilities that had a positive effect on remote workers, these included working time, workspace, contractual and functional flexibility.

Advantages of working from home

  • More flexibility in managing home life with busy work schedules
  • Less time commuting frees up more personal time and improves wellbeing
  • Fewer distractions mean increased productivity
  • Financial benefits for business owners due to less spent on office space and bills
  • Fewer staff absences

Disadvantages of working from home

  • Feelings of loneliness and isolation
  • More easily distracted by household tasks
  • Personal costs of working from home
  • Blurred lines between work time and personal time
  • Difficulty for employers to monitor staff performance
  • Reduced team morale

Not everyone thrives when working from home and due to aspects, such as loneliness, distractions or financial costs, you may see levels of employee motivation reduce.

How to motivate a remote team?

Bearing all of the above in mind, it’s important to minimise the negative effects of working from home and maintain a high level of motivation, not just for the sake of productivity but also for mental health reasons.

Effective communication

Communication is key to managing a successful remote workforce. While it’s important to encourage autonomy, it’s equally as important to offer support on a regular basis, whether that’s in the form of a phone call, face-to-face meeting or an online review. Keeping in contact with the members of your team can help them feel valued and providing feedback is a great way to make an individual feel appreciated and maintain their levels of motivation.

Create clear expectations

When you begin working from home, it might feel a little strange working in a different environment and it could alter how you approach your normal working day. This may lead to some employees perhaps doing less work than they would normally or lapsing when it comes to work ethics. Managers should set clear boundaries and expectations from the start so that the team knows what is and isn’t acceptable with regards to the required amount of work and targets that need to be met.

Trust your team

Trusting your employees is vital in any work environment but especially so when it comes to working from home. Although you should still make expectations clear, you should also have a certain level of trust in your team. Micro management often has a negative effect on employees, causing them to feel inadequate or untrustworthy and this can lead to individuals becoming less motivated. Trust can instil self-confidence, meaning they are more likely to want to achieve greater success both for management and themselves.

Make time for social events

One of the biggest disadvantages for many people working from home is the lack of social interaction and this can cause feelings of loneliness and isolation. By organising social events or a team-building event once a month it can help them feel more included. Perhaps arrange a night out bowling, an escape room activity or an outdoor activity.