How to Keep Remote Workers Motivated

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By Jacob Maslow

Keeping your team motivated, especially during busy times at your company, is challenging. If your remote team lacks motivation, it can be hard to turn things around, but it’s possible to fix morale issues with exemplary leadership. It also helps to use the right strategies and policies.

10 Ways to Keep Remote Workers Motivated All Year

According to data, nearly one-third of employees are unmotivated at work, but the numbers don’t have to be so low. Here are some helpful tips for keeping remote workers motivated.

1. Set Clear Employee Expectations

Employees will remain unmotivated if they don’t know what you expect from them. Employers should be clear about each remote worker’s responsibilities and their company’s goals. Keep an open door policy and respond to messages quickly during work hours to eliminate confusion.

2. Recognize Achievement With Gifts

Your employees want to be recognized for their hard work so long as said recognition is timely, genuine, specific, and appropriate. You can give employees virtual gifts, such as gift cards. With that said, public recognition over Slack or a personal phone call is also welcomed. 

3. Show Teams How They Contribute

Team members should never wonder why they’re doing a task. As soon as they do, they’ll feel a disconnect between your company goals and their work, which kills motivation. Show your team that their work matters by sharing their impact via statistics. Do this regularly to improve morale.

4. Don’t Micromanage Your Team

Micromanagement is common complaint employees have about their bosses. Unsurprisingly, watching your staff is the fastest way to destroy motivation. Learn to trust your team and delegate tasks accordingly. Let them do tasks without interfering unless they ask for help.

5. Check-In on Remote Staff Regularly

Team motivation is ongoing, but it can be easy to forget your remote workers. At a minimum, check in on your team members every few weeks. You can use Slack or Zoom to host text or video meetings to ask questions, discuss career goals, and talk through any issues.

6. Stay On Top of Employee Health

When employees feel unwell, their motivation drops. Creating a wellness program can help you manage a fully remote team because it lets them step away when they’re stressed. If you’re noticing high absences, find ways to help these employees. 

7. Help Them Set Up Their Workspace

If your employees quickly switched from in-office to remote work, they may not have a dedicated workspace. This can affect their motivation and productivity. Consider providing your team with a stipend for office equipment and offer advice on how to set up their workstations.

8. Give Workers Regular Feedback

Remote workers won’t always know where they stand with you and your company, which naturally causes anxiety. For this reason, you should regularly meet with your remote workers to offer one-on-one feedback regarding their performance. Be kind when offering any advice.

9. Encourage the Pursuit of Hobbies

It can be challenging for remote workers to separate home from work, meaning they’re less likely to take breaks or time off. Employers should remind remote workers to eat lunch and stretch, but they should also encourage them to pursue other activities, like hobbies or passion projects.

10. Offer Opportunities for Growth

Employees can get discouraged if they don’t see how to grow personally or within your company. If this goes on for too long, they may look elsewhere. To avoid this, speak to your employees about their career goals and support them via training, coursework, or promotions. 


How can I motivate my remote employees?

You can motivate your remote employees by setting clear expectations, recognizing their achievements, showing them how their work matters, avoiding micromanagement, checking in regularly, helping with workspace setup, and providing growth opportunities. Additionally, you should encourage employees to pursue hobbies during work hours and offer regular feedback.

What are the best tools for managing a remote team?

Popular tools for managing remote teams include Slack or Zoom for communication purposes, Asana or Trello for task management, Google Drive or Dropbox Paper to share documents, and Toggl or Harvest to track time. When choosing the right tool, companies will have different needs, so pick what works best for your team.

What are the challenges of managing a remote team?

The main challenges of managing a remote team include a lack of face-to-face communication, difficulty in keeping track of progress, and potential isolation experienced by employees. To reduce these issues, it’s essential to have clear expectations, encourage collaboration and relationship building, provide consistent feedback, and set up regular check-ins. Additionally, having the right tools can make it easier to manage tasks virtually.

What is the best way to recognize achievements for remote employees?

The best way to recognize the achievements of remote employees is through public recognition (e.g., shoutouts on meetings or newsletters), rewards such as gift cards or bonus money, and timely feedback. Additionally, employers should show teams how their work contributes to the company’s goals and provide them with growth opportunities.

What is the best way to provide regular feedback to remote employees?

The best way to provide regular feedback to remote employees is through one-on-one meetings or calls. During these conversations, managers should be kind but honest about their observations, preferences, and expectations for each employee’s performance. It’s also important to recognize achievements and successes as they occur and allow employees to offer their feedback.

What are the benefits of having a remote team?

The main benefits of having a remote team include cost savings (no need for office space), access to a broader talent pool, improved employee morale and better work-life balance, increased productivity (fewer distractions), and the ability to respond quickly to customer needs. Additionally, remote teams can help companies become more agile and stay competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment.


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