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How to Motivate Your Team Remotely - A Full Guide

Avatar of Autonomous Autonomous | Jan 8, 2021
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Remote work is the new normal in many places. Distance and separation between team members can harm team efficiency and output. In this article, you can find out how to motivate your team when they work remotely. These team motivation ideas are great ways to leverage the remote work setup to benefit the company and the individual team members.

The Growth of Remote Work

The growth

In the last several years, an accelerated shift has produced much more work from home and remote work opportunities. Facilitated by advances in technology, this shift has brought many great advantages. For example, it is now very common for teams to include members located in different cities and even other countries. The pool of talent has become wider, and location no longer limits how people work. For the employee, remote work also gives more freedom, family time, and removes the everyday work commute.

A New Way of Working and Interacting

As different factors push companies towards allowing and encouraging remote work, the world of work is faced with new considerations and new opportunities for growth and effectiveness.

In-person interactions, eye contact, and random conversations at the water cooler are all taken out of the loop with remote work. For social beings and team members, losing out on these in-person connections can affect how the team gels and collaborates on various projects. Managing a remote team also presents a new learning experience. Keep reading to find out more about how to keep employees motivated when they work remotely.

Creative Team Motivation Ideas

Creative team

When you lead a remote team, you're going to have to get creative about how to motivate them. You can do so much to use technology to your advantage and bring out a new level of productivity, collaboration, and motivation in the company. Try some of these ideas to motivate remote team members.

Try Virtual Team Bonding

Virtual Team Bonding

Team bonding is a vital part of the workplace. It gives workers a break for some lighthearted activities, gets them to relax, and allows them to get to know one another in a less intense setup. Managers who organize team-building activities periodically can keep the level of team engagement and participation high.

No one said that team bonding has to be in person. There are plenty of activities you can try right from your computers. Online team-building activities can be very engaging and interactive when you use the right tools. There are so many different virtual team bonding activities you can attempt to keep your team upbeat.  Personality tests and quizzes are just some of the ideas you can use, whether you have a few minutes or a whole hour set aside for the team activities.

Engage and Communicate the Team Intentionally

One of the challenges or points of difference between remote work from traditional office work is that you can go through a whole day without interacting with teammates. Interactions and communications do not happen accidentally, but they must be planned and initiated. Employees have different job requirements and preferences as far how much they interact with others. For some roles like sales and project management, constant communication is necessary, while for other functions, they can do without as many messages going back and forth.

Some people appreciate remote work because it affords them the quietness of a home office and allows them to engage in deep work and produce outstanding output.

Regardless of what roles and personalities you have on your team, it's important to create opportunities to interact regularly, such as morning meetings. If you generally interact by email, you can switch it up and pick up the phone. This maintains the personal connection and also helps to motivate remote team members and keep them accountable. As a word of warning, be careful to over-engage and become a micromanager.

Use Technology to Manage Time, Productivity, and Progress

Manage time

With remote work, you might have to say goodbye to whiteboards and other physical lists and notices. Thankfully, there are many interactive technology tools you can use to replace these. In fact, with most of the work being on the computer, you can maximize productivity tools to keep your team motivated and keep track of work being done and results being achieved.

If you haven’t already invested in project management and team collaboration software, this could be the time to do it. When you find ways to track various metrics on the individual and team levels effectively, you can start to gain control over how your team is progressing. Doing this can motivate remote team members when used alongside other strategies to get the most out of your remote team

Create a Culture of Productivity

When you are figuring out how to keep employees motivated, it's important to evaluate the team's dominant culture and attitude. Team and company culture can go any way if they aren’t deliberately created. You can build the team culture you want to see by being deliberate in your efforts to influence your team. When a remote work setup threatens productivity, you can invest in systems, ideas, and policies that create a productivity culture.

Don’t Forget Health and Wellness

Health & Wellness

Various mental and physical health challenges can start to creep into the remote workplace. Stress, anxiety, loneliness, and other personal issues can affect team members and reduce motivation. As a leader, don't forget to look out for these most common mental health challenges at work.

No matter what other team motivation ideas you use, there is little else more impactful and important as making sure your team is doing well in their health. Consider including some health and wellness activities and reminders in your communications and team activities. You could even send your team tips on creating an ergonomic office space at home. An ergonomic office chair, for example, is a worthwhile investment

Wrap up 

This article's ideas can help you learn how to motivate your team in a remote work environment. It might take some trial and error to see what works best, so be sure to encourage feedback and enjoy the journey to higher team motivation levels.

Cover image by Rido via ShutterStock

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