Over the past few months, many companies have moved to some form of a remote work environment. This has likely been uncharted territory for many, with new opportunities and challenges.
Remote workers are often happy and productive; however, to keep momentum and achieve their full potential they need to work at maintaining their self-motivation. Keeping remote workers engaged and motivated doesn’t have to be complicated. Many of the methods you use to inspire on-site employees can be applied to those working remotely as well.
Here are seven simple methods you can use to help support and encourage your employees.
Unclear expectations can put undue stress on remote employees. Establish clear goals and expectations right up front. This article by HubSpot includes an extensive list of topics to discuss when establishing expectations with remote workers. Having these conversations with individual employees and as a team can promote a positive work environment and minimize stress.
Schedule one-on-one meetings.
These meetings give leaders a unique opportunity to get to know each employee exceptionally well. This is a good time to gain perspective on what is going on in their lives, both personally and professionally, and to discuss workload and progress on goals. Regular one-on-one meetings improve productivity, build team loyalty, and help employees feel valued. For effective meetings, ask open-ended questions, be fully present, and remember to express gratitude. This article includes helpful tips for effective one-on-ones.
Regular feedback demonstrates to your employees you care about their work and their professional development. This can encourage them to try more innovative approaches and motivate them to continue to better themselves. Your regular one-on-one meetings are a great time to provide feedback for employees.
Allow employees to showcase their achievements.
Employees take pride in their work; however, when in remote locations, natural opportunities to showcase and discuss accomplishments may be scarce. Find ways to let remote employees talk about their successes, such as during team meetings. You can also showcase achievements by email and in your company’s internal newsletters, website, and message boards. Depending on the nature of the achievement, a press release on your company website and posts on your social media pages may also be appropriate.
Emphasize what is produced, rather than when.
Encourage employees to identify the periods of day where they feel most productive and to plan their tasks accordingly. Keeping an informal diary of what they accomplish throughout the workday can help employees identify their productivity peaks and schedule their workday more effectively.
Encourage break time.
In a remote setup, employees can find it difficult to separate work life from home life. Some may work through lunch and forget about breaks altogether to get more done during the day. Without adequate breaks, productivity, performance, and mental wellness begin to suffer. This can lead to increased stress levels and job burnout, which not only negatively affects employee health but also has a negative impact on the bottom line of your business.
Encourage your employees to take breaks, including lunch, during the day. Some benefits of regular breaks include increased productivity, improved mental wellbeing, a fresh perspective on challenging projects, and more time for healthy habits.
Keep your team happy.
Having happy employees results in improved productivity, lower turnover, improved customer relationships, and a more harmonized work environment. Keeping remote employees happy doesn’t need to be overly complicated – make sure they feel included, ask them what they need, and be transparent and honest with them. A few simple suggestions include supporting work-life balance, expressing gratitude, encouraging use of vacation time, and recognizing and rewarding employees frequently.
Remember, each employee is unique. Some may adapt well to a remote environment, while others may need individual support to achieve a high level of performance and personal well-being.
Other Helpful Articles
Preventing Employee Burnout
Becoming an “Employer of Choice” with a Total Rewards Program
Nine Tips for Successful Telecommuting
Supporting Mental Wellness in the Workplace
Being a new “remote” worker, I needed to know that I’m not the only one who needed expectations established with feedback on my performance. Not knowing how management views your work will cause many anxiety, this article offers great ways to counter that anxiety. I will also start to take more breaks so that I can give my brain a break. I’ve been working remotely since Mid-March and I’ve not felt burned out….I plan to keep it that way. Great article.