Remote work is on the rise. And if there’s anything we’ve learned from this trend, or from the last year, it’s that it’s good for business. Office buildings, once jam packed with people running to and fro, are now facing unknown territory, with buildings remaining half empty, if they’re filled with anyone at all. It’s the same all over the country. Most people have discovered the home office, even if it’s a corner of the kitchen table, and their favorite work from home outfit.
But now that we’re entering the post Covid-19 era, the choice has been made by some organizations to continue remote work. And while working remotely works for many people, you may still run into issues maintaining your remote team’s morale. Here are ways to keep your team motivated.
Make It Easy to Stay Connected
It’s easy to feel isolated when you work from home, and experience a disconnect from your coworkers. Utilizing communication tools like Slack can help keep your team connected, and avoid that isolation.
Make it a priority to regularly check on your team members to see how they’re doing. A quick weekly meeting, or a daily automated prompt for everyone to list what they did yesterday, what they plan to work on today, and if there is anything preventing them from doing so will help everyone stay in the loop on any projects. Even a quick message asking, “how are you,” can make a huge difference.
Foster a Flexible Work Environment
Some people work better in team settings, while others work best alone. Be sure to accommodate both types of team members, when possible, to encourage higher performance. Or, if you have team members in different time zones, try to stagger their hours according to their designated time zones. Staggering your team member’s hours can be beneficial to everyone. No one is working odd hours, and with staggered hours of operation, your business is actually more available to clients, and potential business opportunities.
Be sure not to stagger too much. You don’t want everyone to be like passing ships in the night. Shifts should have some overlap to encourage communication, and develop a rapport, especially if there are multiple people on a project. Sometimes it helps to have a face and voice associated with a name.
Create an Open Feedback System
How is everyone doing? Are the systems you put into motion effective? The only way to know for sure is to ask.
Setting up a feedback system is an excellent way to learn what employees think. This can either be anonymous reporting system or one that gives the option to display their name. One option, if you don’t have an HR department to collect feedback, is to hire an HR consulting firm. This way, your team still has someone they can go to for any questions or concerns, and so do you. An open feedback system is useful not just for you to receive feedback about your performance, but also an excellent opportunity for you to provide your team with regular, ongoing feedback. People like to know how they’re doing.
Use a Project Management Platform
Working remotely can be hectic when there are multiple tasks and team members to manage. It often feels like your entire day consists of putting out fires. Using a project management platform can help make managing and keeping track of tasks easier for everyone.
We use Asana to to keep us organized. It helps us see where workflow has slowed or stopped, where we can provide more team support, and if anyone on our team needs additional support. With such a platform, it’s easy for our leadership team to prevent any fires from starting.
Encourage Social Activities
20% of remote workers experience issues with loneliness. This is especially true when remote work becomes the norm over an extended period of time. And since Covid hit, leaving your home office for a change of scenery (and a cup of coffee), can be impossible.
How do you encourage your team doesn’t break down from a lack of social interaction? One option is to encourage social activities and engagement. Have a water cooler-like channel on Slack, if you use it for company communication. Encourage post work video gatherings, but also recognize that not everyone wants to stare at each other’s faces after work. Some people may want to escape their computer screen for the day, and that’s also okay!
Build a Remote Team with High Morale
Setting your remote team up for success greatly depends on their morale. Ensuring your remote team maintains high morale requires careful planning and implementation of the best tools. At Curious Minds, we help businesses develop tools to improve workplace functions. So whether you want to enhance communication, project management, or file sharing, we can help. Contact us to see how we can help enhance your remote setup.