As you know, the Coronavirus outbreak has significantly changed how we work. The pandemic has rendered a large population of the global workforce unable to commute to work. As indicated in a recent report, about 75 million of United States’ employees have been forced to work from home due to containment measures introduced by the government, especially social distancing requirements, travel restrictions, and even lockdowns. In other words, working from home has become the new normal. Companies now have a new challenge of managing a remote workforce. However, a remote workforce brings about numerous challenges, and keeping employees motivated is probably the main uphill task for most HR teams.
Problems Faced While Working Remotely
Working remotely has not been good for employees. It is something they are not used to. As noted by Peter Crush in a recent article posted on Employee Benefits, lockdowns and working from home have significantly affected employee mental health and well-being.
Presently, 93% of workers feel that their employers have an obligation to safeguard their well-being. However, studies have shown that most bosses aren’t doing much to address psychosocial problems faced by employees working from home.
Some challenges remote workforces are facing include:
- General Work Organization– They have problems staying organized since they can’t separate play and work.
- Time Management– It is hard to schedule their work at home the way they do it in the office.
- Breaks- Due to a lack of work structure, most people forget to take breaks, which meaningfully affects their productivity and mental well-being.
- Setting Boundaries– It is difficult to define where work time ends and leisure time begins.
- Limited Collaboration– There are no colleagues at home for consultations and chats. People who live alone mainly live and work in isolation.
- Limited Social Interaction- There is no social contact working remotely, except relatives. Lack of social interaction affects not only one’s well-being but also productivity.
As you can see, employees are facing a wide variety of problems. Human resource teams must proactively respond to these changing needs. As noted by Forbes, employees have reported various problems in recent weeks, including:
- Rising stress
- Reduced sleep
- Lack of morale and motivation to work
Keeping Remote Workforces Motivated
Remote working is not an excuse for employers to ignore employees’ well-being. With many virtual engagement platforms in the market, it is always possible for human resource managers to enhance their professional presence in their workers’ lives.
Here are 3 ways to keep your remote workforce motivated:
1. Leverage Technology
The most effective strategy of staying connected with remote employees and motivating them is through building a virtual community. There are numerous high-quality solutions that you can utilize to enhance online teamwork and collaboration. According to the Harvard Business Review, some of these solutions are free while others are inexpensive.
Think about video conferencing tools. Also, think about direct messaging platforms and email. Create a unique way of sharing and downloading files. You can also provide workflow apps to ensure that workers are organized.
On their part, encourage the remote workers to invest in high-speed internet connection. If possible, you can fund the same. It is never a great experience when you are having a video meeting and employees’ devices buffer or can’t connect.
2. Stay Connected and Regularly Communicate
Collaboration is a major element of motivation. When connection and communication are lost, employees feel isolated. Their morale and overall productivity are fundamentally affected.
Staying connected and communicating regularly also goes back to providing them with the right connection tools. It won’t cost much to give them a company cell phone. It is also a good gesture to check if they have an internet connection.
As a boss or human resource manager, always establish regular check-in calls to your remote workers. You can also establish platforms for group chatting and messaging to allow informal conversations between workers. This will make them feel as if they are working in a normal office environment.
3. Create a Visual Scorecard
When employees start working remotely, it is possible to lose track and organizational shared goals. As earlier noted, there are many disruptions at home, and it’s not always easy to balance between work and house chores. Why not create a visual scorecard?
With a visual scorecard, you can capture shared goals. A visual tool that represents progress, clarifies key performance indicators, and motivates workers with a competitive streak. It also helps to set priorities for the entire team so that no one feels as if they are working in isolation.
Why not start with a spreadsheet that tracks progress? You can also think about fancy graphs that represent monthly or quarterly goals. Make sure to set weekly or monthly meetings to review and update the scoreboard.
The Bottom Line
As indicated above, it is apparent that motivating a remote workforce is about creating connections, managing performance, and keeping communication lines open. The Benefits Zone solution helps achieve this with employee benefits. Through it, you can increase employee access to resources and benefits information, drive their engagement participation, and enhance visibility, among other functions. Please request a demo to learn more.