--Employers should set realistic goals for employees, create incentive programs, celebrate successes, encourage transparent feedback and prioritize health and wellbeing.
--Employers should avoid time-tracking software, which can demotivate employees and lead to burnout.
There are many harmful misconceptions surrounding remote working, including the concern that employees may become less productive while working outside of the office. In fact, Stanford University found that remote working increased workplace productivity by 13%, and that 27% of all full-time days were worked from home in February 2023.
In this article, Weekly10 explores five ways employers can motivate remote workers--and explain why commonly used time-tracking software isn't the answer.
1. Thinking ahead with realistic goals
Employee engagement can be encouraged by setting professional goals. By thinking ahead and setting clear guidelines that coincide with personal development plans, managers and team leaders can help workers achieve their goals.
That said, these goals should always be realistic. If workers do not have enough resources to meet their targets, they may be discouraged from working hard. They may also burn out.
2. Creating incentive programs
Once employers have established realistic goals, they can create incentive programs for the workplace. It can be stressful to meet deadlines and targets, but financial and social rewards are sure to motivate remote employees.
These incentive programs can offer anything that aligns the company and its values, such as commissions, wage increases, profit sharing and bonus payments.
3. Remembering to recognize and celebrate success
A little recognition can go a long way. So, to continue motivating your remote workers, remember to recognize and celebrate their successes. From passing probation to reaching monthly targets, lots of things can be highlighted in the workplace.
Employers can praise employees on video calls, in monthly catch-ups or during team meetings. It's also a good idea to create an achievements channel for this very purpose.
By creating incentive programs and remembering to celebrate success, employers are supporting intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors. This is motivation that either comes from within an employee, such as happiness and fulfilment in their role, or from beyond, such as through incentives and rewards. These keep the team driving forward while catering to every employee's needs.
4. Practicing and encouraging transparent feedback
Next, transparent feedback is important in the workplace. No matter the nature of the job, employees should understand the successes and potential pitfalls of their performance, which promotes constant growth for remote workers.
However, communication is a two-way street. Employees should feel comfortable voicing any praise or concerns of their own. By conducting frequent one-to-one meetings, employers make team members more likely to feel comfortable sharing their feelings and help them understand the option is there for them to do so.
With this clear line of communication, employers are better able to spot issues, find solutions and help the team develop.
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5. Prioritizing health and wellbeing
The health and wellbeing of employees is paramount. If they are suffering from a physical or mental ailment, for example, it will inevitably affect their performance at work. That is why they should feel comfortable confiding in managers and taking sickness leave.
To promote health and wellbeing in the workplace, employers can organize online mental health catch-ups, virtual guided meditation classes and more. Then, in turn, remote workers are more likely to engage with the business.
Why time tracking software ISN'T the answer!
It's easy to consider businesses in a purely quantitative manner. However, companies are made up of people from all walks of life and with various personalities. This means that one method of encouraging engagement, such as time-tracking software, does not always work.
Time-tracking software is a commonly used tool. It allows managers to oversee the daily activities of remote workers, including the level of work being completed at home.
Despite the visibility it gives employers, the software actually reduces the productivity of remote workers. Not only can it put unnecessary pressure on workers to complete tasks, but it can also foster a mistrusting environment that demotivates workers.
It's also unrealistic to expect employees to stay at their desks all day. Employees cannot work at full speed all day, every day without experiencing burnout. Plus, regular computer breaks can prevent eyestrain, musculoskeletal disorders and circulation problems.
Alternatively, employees can measure outputs and impacts with regular meetings, use goal setting to establish clear expectations and build a culture based on trust, rather than using time tracking software.