6 Great Ways to Motivate a Remote Team
Wind back the clock and the attitude towards working from home would be totally different to what it is today, but why? Until recently, and the spread of Covid-19, the question of whether staff should be allowed to work from home has been seen as an evil distraction for some businesses. In fact, it’s a question some have tried to ignore for many years. Other, more pro-active organisations, are already enjoying the benefits (and reduction in fixed costs) of having a highly productive remote workforce working from home.
Whether your company has been effectively forced online, or you’ve been practising remote working for a while, these 6 great ways to motivate a remote team will transform productivity.
1. Daily Catch Up
It can be a simple WhatsApp message or short video call via Skype or Zoom – daily communication is useful to motivate a remote team. The communication can be one-or-one or as a team. What’s important is the regular contact that reminds team members that they are part of a unit and a vision that remains, even though they are not sat in the same office as one another. This shouldn’t be used (or misunderstood by the rest of the team) as checking up on the team.
Tip: Keep daily catch ups short and sweet
2. Use Project Management Tools
Project management tools such as Asana are a great way to keep a remote team informed and motivated to complete their daily tasks. It enables individual members of the team to focus on their own responsibilities, while seeing the progress made on overall objectives. There’s some amazing project management software and tools available, many of which provide free trials or complimentary access to small teams. Ensure the team receives the necessary information to enable them to use the tools effectively whilst working from home.
Tip: Pick the right tools and ensure each member of the team knows how they work
3. Provide Information & Training
Most companies and institutions have had to pivot quickly towards remote working and have naturally focused on quick fixes. Getting teams in front of their devices and working from home has been the immediate priority. As time goes on, it becomes increasingly important to provide necessary training to keep staff up-to-date and ahead of the game in all industries.
Tip: Provide regular and consistent remote training for staff working from home
4. Encourage Team Interaction and Learning
A great example of this could be a video call with the team that discusses what is working for them and what isn’t when working from home. Some team members may share some really useful stuff that other individuals can put in place to improve their own home working practise. It doesn’t always have to come from management (who are unlikely to be working in an identical fashion from home). Ideas could range from office set up, to timings, what to eat and how many cups of coffee a day to consume!
Tip: Don’t micro manage 24/7 – encourage your team to interact with each other
5. Mantain Emphasis on Career Progression
Some businesses have changed their views on home working due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Zillow, a Seattle-based real estate company recently told its employees that they can work from home until ‘at least’ the end of 2020. Whether you have had remote staff for a long time, or it is a recent change, it’s important to place emphasis on career progression and staff development. Staff that prove able to work to high and consistent standards remotely will become an asset in their own right. Look after them with progression and rewards and they will be less likely to leave your company for a better offer elsewhere.
Tip: Strategise how work from home can benefit your business and your staff long-term
6. Hire External Assistance
As businesses scramble to cut costs they are not necessarily thinking about hiring external expert consultants or psychologists. However, it is invaluable to provide an extra layer of support for staff adapting to not only huge changes in their working life but also huge uncertainty in general. Staff may confide and resonate with someone external to the organisation and communicate more honestly with them than their direct manager. Allowing team members some time with someone who specialises in self-care and remote working is bound to improve motivation and happiness levels.
Tip: Invest in the wellbeing of your teams now and in the future to avoid burnout