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The Covid-19 pandemic brought various restrictions to minimize person-to-person interaction, including shelter-in-place orders, quarantines, curfews, and lockdowns. As a result, organizational leaders were prompted to embrace remote working as a way to ensure business continuity.
To some organizations, remote working proved very effective, with many choosing to have most of their employees continue working remotely even as the nation opens up. However, the biggest challenge with remote working has been worker loneliness and lack of motivation.
The good news is that identifying the leading causes of loneliness and reduced motivation in your remote workers can be an excellent way to ensure they stay productive.
Five Motivation Killers in Remote Workers
1. Absence of Effective Meetings
Meetings allow teams to come together and share ideas while also getting directions from the management level. But having a meeting for the sake of it may not mean much.
When having meetings, a good rule of thumb is to ensure they are effective by identifying the discussion topics and preparing the agenda ahead of time. It would be best if you also tried to get employees’ feedback to help you improve on future meetings.
Having an effective staff meeting can help your remote teams in various ways, such as:
- Strengthen your team’s interpersonal relationships
- Promote inclusion where everyone feels part of the team
- Promote employee management
- Encourage creative thinking
- Provide an avenue for receiving feedback from employees, which can then be used in decision making
- Provide an opportunity for celebrating and awarding achievers. For example, giving them personalized plaques from a reputable awards company like FineAwards can help them feel appreciated and motivated.
2. Lack of Proactive Check-In with Your Remote Team
When working in a brick-and-mortar office setting, checking in on employees is easy. After all, they may be just a few meters away.
However, if they are working from home, the proverbial out-of-mind out of sight can play out. But that should never happen.
As a manager or team leader, it is your responsibility to proactively check on your team from time to time during a working day. The check-ins can help you know if they are having any problems but, most importantly, make them feel like they are a vital part of the team.
3. Lack of Team Building
Meeting in person once in a while can have quite a positive impact on your team. But it doesn’t have to be a work meeting.
You can consider anything like team-building events every once in a while, drinks after work, etc. However, this option is only applicable if your team lives within the same geographical region.
If your team is spread worldwide, you may need to create and organize virtual team-building events. Team building helps your team members get to know each other better, which boosts motivation and collaboration at work.
4. Lack of Growth Opportunities
Every employee dreams of growing on a career level, and nothing is more effective in killing motivation in employees than feeling like they are in a dead-end job. This applies to brick and mortar office employees and remote workers.
Therefore, let your employers know that there is room for growth in your organization by providing training and having them fill new positions befitting their new skills. Also, you may consider promoting high performance, which can act as a significant motivator towards productivity in your team.
A remote working arrangement allows the highest level of flexibility because it ensures employees have a healthy life-work balance.
Unfortunately, some inexperienced managers view this flexibility as providing opportunities for not working to the maximum. As a result, they insist on setting strict rules such as overly tight schedules, an emphasis on daily reports, and too many unnecessary meetings.
Such an approach can leave employees feeling like they are not trusted to do their work as they should, making them feel unmotivated.
The best approach is to offer proper guidance and trust that your employees will deliver the desired results with little or no supervision. After all, the results will distinguish between productive and unproductive employees.