Remote work is often touted as the ultimate benefit for employees.
But remote work can be just as good, or even better for the employer. It can be used to attract talent that would usually not be willing or able to relocate. A robust remote work program has the potential to increase productivity, creativity, and be a boost for savings in a previous centralised working environment.
Technology such as video conferencing, chat tools, and cloud storage has made it possible to create quality work while enjoying the opportunity of working from home. Remote workers are often more productive and report being happier than people who work in traditional offices. They also tend to show more ambition.
But there can be a downside to working at home.
While the temptation of working from home is exciting for many workers, its novelty can wear off over time. Deadlines and commitments aren’t always enough.
Keeping remote workers engaged and inspired doesn’t have to be complicated.
The skills you use to encourage traditional employees can be applied to those that are working from home. Here are some simple methods you can use to motivate and engage your remote employees:
Provide a platform for effective communication
Communication is key.
Keeping remote employees up-to-date with relevant information reminds them they are part of a larger organisation, and their voices and work are valued.
Have them attend in-office meetings virtually. Organise a virtual lunch once a week as a get-together. Some business at the beginning and then personal chat while eating. It would simulate the creative discussions to fix the world, that often happens around the meal room table.
Keep them Happy
Any leader worth their weight knows that a happy employee is more likely to be engaged in their work.
Keeping a remote employee happy isn’t complicated. Ensure they have everything to complete their work. Make sure they feel included.
Sometimes it is as simple as organising a remote course for skills improvement or upgrading their hardware. You could also consider delivering them a care box. A collection of snacks and top quality coffee to keep them happy.
Recognise Great Work
Although it is proven that remote workers productivity rivals or exceeds that of their office counterparts, they don’t always receive the recognition for the work. Make it a point to recognise remote workers for the contributions they make to the team and organisation. Ensure it is visible, so other members of the organisation are aware of the valuable contributions.
Clarify the Expectations
Just like office workers, remote employees need clear direction in terms of company goals and the objectives they are trying to achieve. Expectations should be clear and preferably mutually agreed upon. This way, your team member knows what to aim for.
Focus on Quality
Place emphasis on what is produced rather than when and how much.
Since their position exists for a reason, let them use it to their productive advantage. If they perform better in the evening and the job doesn’t call for them being at their desk during traditional 9-5 hours – let them do it. Some people prefer to be up and started before 5am. If that is how they work best, let them.
Assist with Time Management
One of the common problems remote workers find is the ability to manage their time effectively. They often have personal distractions in the household. Providing tools, tips and training that help remote workers better manage their time is a great motivator.
Implementing collaborative project management tools like Asana and Trello can also make a big difference.
Cut the Fluff
One of the disadvantages of working remotely is substandard communication. A good flow of communication needs to be established from the beginning. But it doesn’t mean that every single piece of information needs to be shared immediately.
Make sure you utilise the right communication tools for the job and don’t engage in excessive communication. Let them get the job done.
What do you do to motivate and engage your remote workers? If you are a remote worker, how do you like to be recognised?
Reach out and let us know your thoughts.