7 Best Ways to Keep Your Remote Teams Motivated
The recent pandemic has forced businesses all over the Philippines to implement work from home (WFH) setups for the very first time. Even as life has started to ease back to a slight semblance of normalcy, many organizations are sticking with WFH setups for many of their employees for health, safety, and cost-savings reasons.
Unfortunately, not everyone is cut out to work from home. Some employees can only thrive when in the direct presence of peers and mentors. Others may, over time, start to develop unhealthy habits because there are few people around to help keep them in check. It’s now clear for many Filipino managers that having teams in a WFH situation can lead to lowered work motivation.
If you find lowered motivation is a problem for your team, here are a few ways you may be able to help them cope:
1.) Give them an internet and electricity allowance
While it’s true that your business can save a ton of cash by having employees work from home, what is, in fact, happening is that you are transferring some of the burdens of paying for utility bills onto them. Your employees, of course, know this as well.
Sure, they probably already have a home internet connection, but it may be inadequate for daily video conference calls or for working on large documents on online collaborative apps. They may also be consuming more electricity for air-conditioning and lighting to keep themselves comfortable at home, as well.
Consider helping keep your employees motivated by giving them an internet subsidy that can allow them to upgrade their current plan. You can also consider subsidizing their electricity bills as well. Consider purchasing vital office hardware your WFH teams so that they can be even more productive, as well.
2.) Help them with time management problems
As a manager or business owner, it’s important to take some time to mentor your team in basic time management and leadership so that they can better work autonomously. Give them the resources they need to succeed and consider using project tracking apps like Trello or Asana if you aren’t doing so already.
3.) Have “virtual” hangout sessions
While plenty of people enjoy working from home and become more productive in a WFH setup, many more feel socially isolated and miss the camaraderie that comes with working with others. This is especially true in Filipino workplaces, where socializing with coworkers is an important part of many employee’s lives.
While nothing will replace the traditional workplace, you can still help keep your remote teams upbeat and connected by initiating virtual hangout sessions. Near the end of the working day or during downtime, you and your team can host quick hangout sessions over video calls to just chill and discuss lighter stuff that isn’t necessarily related to work. These sessions can go a long way to helping employees decompress and help keep them feel more like part of a team.
4.) Pay them on time
Whether they work from home or an office, nothing is more demotivating to employees than being paid late. Even one late payment due to negligence can leave a bad taste in their mouths that will last for years to come. Always make sure that whoever handles your payroll is always on top of the situation, and never, under any circumstances within your control, pay your WFH team past the due date.
5.) Don’t schedule pointless meetings
Few things can be more demotivating to a highly-competent, self-disciplined employee than meetings that have no agenda. Long meetings can seriously reduce the productivity of employees, including those who work primarily from home. If you need to have a meeting, make sure that there is an agenda and that there are specific goals. Also, always consider if the meeting could truly have just been an email instead.
6.) Don’t micromanage them
We don’t necessarily act the same way when it comes to real-world and virtual interactions. Just think of close friends in real life who had a falling out just because of a misunderstanding on Facebook. Chances are, their relationship may had survived if the argument was in real life. The same dangers can happen when you micromanage your team members through chat and email.
While you want to be able to keep tabs on your remote team members, closely micromanaging their actions can lead to a lot of resentment. The distance and the depersonalization of your interactions can lead to a negative response if you’re not careful. Learn to trust your team members and only call their attention to issues if seriously warranted.
7.) Take time to recognize achievements
One problem with many WFH setups is that employers may be less likely to give encouragement and recognition to their teams. In a traditional workplace, praise can often be conveyed in the tone of your voice as well as in your body language. This simply can’t happen as often when you manage remote teams because of the way most WFH setups are arranged.
Because of this, managers must take the time to give recognition to individual and team achievements. This can help your WFH teams feel more appreciated and less inclined to be demotivated.
While these suggestions will certainly keep most remote teams motivated, leadership is as much an art as it is a science. Only you can know for sure what you and your team need or are are capable of. This means it ultimately falls on you to find what actions you can do that would motivate your remote teams the best.