Keeping employees productive is hard enough, but try doing it when they are working remotely. Having a motivated, hard-working team is the goal of every manager and team lead. It’s not always easy to accomplish, even in an office setting. Seeing the team daily and being able to have face-to-face interactions, be they work-related or casual personal interactions, is a great tool. Nothing can replace speaking in person and being able to read someone’s face and body language. It gives a real sense of how they are feeling and where their head is. None of this is possible when you are in one location and the team is in another. So, what is the solution? How do you motivate a remote team? Here are some suggestions on how to keep remote employees productive.
Build an Active Employee Community
One of the biggest hurdles to keeping remote employees productive is the sense of isolation. They don’t feel like they are a real part of the team. Direct your management efforts towards bringing the team together and nurturing happiness. Give everyone a chance to communicate via various online channels, be it email, teams, Zoom, or a peer-to-peer recognition platform. Make sure they can communicate, and then organize meetups throughout the week.
Let Employees Make Their Own Schedules
When people are working from home, you must surrender a large amount of control—that’s just the way it is. Take another step, surrender a bit more control, and let them set their own schedules. You won’t maximize the remote employee’s well-being productivity if you still demand they clock in by 8 a.m. The home environment is less controlled than an office, and employees with kids may have to tend to emergencies and accidents throughout the day. If they get more done by working from noon until 8 p.m. and that’s the schedule they’d prefer, then let it happen.
Have Company-Wide Meetings
As a company grows, it gets harder to keep everyone aligned with the company vision and culture. Remote employees, especially, are tough to keep on brand. Regular, quarterly meetings of the entire organization are great for stressing the company culture and keeping everyone on message. Remote employees interact with their direct team daily, but they might not often associate with other departments. Have interdepartmental meetings so they can get to know each other in a lighter, more social context.
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