How to Motivate Remote Employees
Last year, millions of employees across America quickly pivoted from working in an office to working from home. At first, we thought it would be a short-term move, but now, it’s looking like working remotely is here to stay. At least for some of us.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, up to 30% of employees will continue working remotely two or more days a week on a permanent basis, even after the COVID-19 dust settles.
That presents a unique challenge for managers and business owners who want to keep their workforce happy and engaged. At Empire Resume, our entire staff works remotely. We wanted to provide our thoughts on how to motivate remote employees.
Check in Daily
Whether it’s a phone call, video chat, or an impromptu instant message, be sure to check in with each member of your staff at least once a day. This will help them feel valued and a member of the larger team.
Letting days or weeks pass without even a brief interaction can make an employee feel forgotten about or unimportant. That can lead to them disengaging from their work entirely.
Set Up One-on-One Sessions
Set up 30 minutes to an hour every 2 or 3 weeks to speak with your employees one on one. There’s no need for a strict agenda. Use the time to listen to what’s on your employees’ minds.
Ask about what aspects of their job are going well for them right now. Are they feeling any frustration? What can you do to help relieve them of some of that frustration? Remote employees will feel more motivated if they know someone has their back.
Schedule Regular Team Meetings
On top of the daily check-ins and regular one on ones, set up time to have a videoconference with your full team at regular intervals as well. These meetings can have a more focused agenda.
Use them to disseminate information from upper management, discuss team or company goals, and share the work being done on the team. This can help employees continue to connect their work to the large company goals, which is a huge motivator.
Encourage Constant Communication
You may have noticed that the first three tips about how to motivate remote employees are all about communication. That’s not a coincidence. Communication is essential.
But remember, communication isn’t just from boss to staffer. Employees should feel free to contact anyone they need at any time, especially is they’re working remotely. There’s a lot of room for misinterpretation when most of the communications are via instant message or email. Employees should feel comfortable calling their co-workers to clarify and verify anything they don’t understand.
One of the major advantages of working from home for employees is being able to run a quick errand or go to a dentist’s appointment in the middle of the day.
Give employees who are working from home the freedom to take care of what they need to take care of. You don’t want them feeling like they’re chained to their computer all day. There’s no faster way to build resentment and kill motivation.
Encourage Time Off
Working from home isn’t a vacation by any stretch. Remote workers need vacations just as much as commuters. Be sure to encourage your remote employees to use their PTO time, even if it just means they shut their computer for a week or a few days.
In 2020, many vacation days went unused. Granted, there travel was restricted, and holiday celebrations were smaller. But as we move through 2021, you can help make sure your remote staff stays well-rested and motivated to do their best work by reminding them to use their well-deserved time off.
Nothing diminishes an employee’s morale and motivation faster than being micromanaged. It may be tempting as a boss to assume that your employees aren’t working or not making as much progress on a project as you’d like.
However, remote employees are working harder than anyone, at least according to one survey which says remote employees work almost 17 more days per year than office workers.
All that is to say, avoid bombarding employees with instant messages and e-mails asking for progress reports. Instead, focus on larger deadlines and their work output. Are they generating high-quality work on or before deadline? Then there’s really no reason you need to know what they’re doing every second of the day.
Provide the Right Technology
The key to a successful remote work set up is technology. Make sure that you or your company invests in top-of-the-line videoconferencing, project management, email, and instant messaging software.
Beef up IT support so employees have someone to call if they experience connectivity issues. Also, consider offering a stipend to employees who need to improve their home WiFi or home office equipment.
When you think about how to motivate remote employees, then don’t forget about recognition. Remote employees need recognition for a job well done just like any other employee.
If someone on your team has done some exceptional work, mention it during a large meeting, in a group email, or some other public forum. If your company has a formal recognition program, then make sure employees are recognized through that channel as well.
Establish an “Open Door” Policy
Remote workers may feel like they’re pestering you if they don’t have time scheduled with you. Continue to remind them that they can contact you at any time during the workday with any questions or concerns. If they ask a question or bring up a concern you don’t have an answer for, let them know that you’ll find an answer as soon as possible.
Make Motivating Remote Employees a Priority
Keeping employee engagement and motivation at peak levels is essential to the success of any company, especially when it’s moving into a mostly virtual set up.
If you’re wondering how to motivate remote employees, then try some of the tips above. But at the end of the day, the basics are simple. Communicate often, treat them with respect, recognize their work, and be there to support them when they need you.
Empire Resume can help you create a stunning resume to land your next job. We help all job-hunters, from entry-level to C-Level, and every resume we work on is fully optimized for ATS software. Call us today at 801-690-4085 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free resume review!
Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.