More and more companies are steering away from the traditional brick-and-mortar business model. As fast internet speeds get even faster and more tasks rely on the internet, businesses are finding they can save money by having their employees work remotely. Homes and coffee shops are rapidly replacing cubicles and conference rooms. So how do you keep your team motivated if they aren’t even working in the same building?
Keep an open line of communication
Less communication increases the margin of error, which can be frustrating and de-motivating for everyone. If you’re not communicating with your team on a weekly basis via phone, video call, or email, your team will suffer. Productivity will plummet. Mistakes will be made. Your employees may be wasting time trying to find a solution to a problem that could have been resolved in one phone call! Although it may feel awkward at first, set the precedent by initiating communication with your team every week. Remember, face-to-face is best, so if you have the ability to meet for coffee or lunch, do so! If not, call, email, or message. Ask how everyone is doing, give time for questions and problem-solving. You may think “no news is good news.” But if you haven’t heard from your team in a while, reach out. Make sure no one feels like they’re floundering.
Encourage a healthy balance between home and work life
As you delegate responsibilities and assign tasks, keep in mind your employees have more going on in their lives besides work. It sounds like common sense, but it’s easy to forget. For some reason we think that just because our team works remotely they must have more time on their hands. This is not the case. Your remote team members still have families, household duties, lives. They still have to make it a point to stay on task in order to be productive. They have to put-off other responsibilities, shut out distractions that are easily accessible, and find ways to concentrate on work. Most remote teams will happily do all of the above, but because they don’t “clock in” or “clock out,” it’s easy for them to overburden themselves. So be gracious with your team. Encourage them to truly take weekends off, and give them the same vacation days they would have if they were working in the office. It is not your responsibility to make sure your remote team isn’t burning out, but it is your job to care.
Provide opportunities for growth
The last thing you want is a stagnant team. So open doors for your team to grow! Ask everyone if they are getting bored with their workload, and if the response is “yes,” change things up. Allow them to trade responsibilities (within reason) or ask what sorts of tasks each person would enjoy tackling in the future. Believe it or not, people like to be challenged. Give your team the chance to push themselves! It’s not only great for morale but boosts your overall team productivity too.