It’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to implement remote working arrangements, which has worked well for many organizations. They are able to maintain operations and generate income despite stay-at-home orders and strict social restrictions.
But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Telecommuting has taken a toll on employees’ mental health, performance, and productivity. As remote working is now part of the new normal, it's imperative that leaders should still be able to motivate employees despite the distance. Here are some strategies on how to do so.
1. Clarify roles
It’s easy for employees to miss targets and feel directionless when they don’t know what’s expected of them. This is why it’s important that they know exactly what their roles entail and which standards to follow. The distance among remote workers can cause misunderstandings, so more than ever, leaders must spell out roles and come up with clear agreements with their staff. When roles are clearly defined, employees have a concrete goal to drive their performance. It will also help them sort out their priorities and align their focus.
2. Build stronger human connections
A whole year of working in isolation can cause people to feel incredibly lonely. This can result in employees feeling disconnected from their colleagues and their work, which can lead to communication breakdowns and mediocre performance.
Leverage technology tools such as chat and video calling apps to encourage employees to collaborate and communicate more often and more effectively. To ease feelings of isolation, team members can participate in virtual gatherings or games that will help them foster camaraderie and maintain trust. Colleagues can also serve as each other’s motivator or sounding board; they can even share tips on how they stay productive at work.
3. Recognize and appreciate your employees
Recognition and appreciation are two of the biggest drivers of employee motivation, so take every chance you can to praise your staff for a job well done. When your company achieves a milestone, make sure to mention how particular teams or individuals helped you reap success. Sincere praise, especially when given in front of their colleagues, makes employees feel good and propels them to keep working with zeal.
Appreciation also goes a long way. Even the simple act of sending your staff a card on their birthday can lift their spirits and make them feel valued.
4. Encourage work-life balance
Burn-out is classified by the World Health Organization as an occupational phenomenon, which means it’s a type of stress specifically caused by work. If left unaddressed, it can leave a person feeling fatigued, sad, irritable, or angry. It can also cause illnesses such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
To combat burn-out, leaders must encourage their staff to take paid days off, try relaxing activities, or indulge in their hobbies. And set boundaries when it comes to schedules. Do not expect your team to be available 24/7 just because they’re working from home. Give them enough time to focus on their well-being.
If your employees feel fulfilled in the other aspects of their lives, they will be less stressed, thus allowing them to be more focused at work. Healthy workers are also more alert, more productive, and less prone to mistakes.
5. Equip employees with the right tools
Faulty or incompatible tech, such as old laptops or broken mics, can demotivate employees and hinder their productivity. After all, it is quite frustrating when your internet connection lags in the middle of an important video conference call, or when your device slows down and makes it difficult to get simple things done.
Different work setups have different tech needs, and you have to implement technology that best suits your remote workforce. For instance, telecommuting opens your business up to cybersecurity vulnerabilities, so you must ensure that your employees are accessing your data through secured networks.
Partnering with a managed IT services provider like SpectrumWise can help guarantee that your workforce is equipped with secure, effective, and reliable tools that will empower them to gain work momentum and deliver stellar results. We offer a wide range of solutions and support, from tailored productivity applications to cost-effective cloud-based phone systems to risk management. Schedule a consultation by calling us at 704-703-9859 or sending us a message.