How to Motivate Remote Workers in the Hybrid Age?

The introduction of hybrid and fully remote work has revolutionised the modern workplace. Even though it came as a blessing for some employees, it can be incredibly difficult for others. In such a case, you are the key to making it work, and as a leader, you hold the necessary tools to accomplish so. 

Many employees who work from home live and work in the same space. Having no visible work-life distinction, with remote work and home life melding together, may dramatically reduce their motivation and morale. 

There’s no denying that it's more challenging to master motivation in these conditions. Dressing up, commuting, enjoying a cup of coffee at your desk, and taking a five-minute break with your best friend at work are all key routines that contribute significantly to motivation. Much of this cannot be replicated in a home working environment. It's these little moments that drive employees to keep going and their absence can negatively impact one’s work day and dump down their spirit. While one remote employee may like to work from home, another may be extraverted and thrive in the company of other workers. 

However, not all is lost yet. With the right strategy and modern approach, you can turn the tide and use remote conditions to your advantage.  

Reimagining Remote Worker Motivation Programs

Motivating employees is always difficult, but never more so than now. Last years have proved to be tough and challenging, but seeing as we adjusted and resorted to using remote tools and video calls instead of regular work in a physical office, we can be sure we are able to achieve even more. Perhaps we can introduce even more innovations to improve employee performance? What can we do to motivate remote workers? In this blog post, you'll find some helpful responses to that question. 

What is employee Engagement Software? 

One of the simplest and most successful ways to inspire remote and hybrid employees is to implement employee engagement software. By incorporating elements of gamification, such as instant recognition and reward systems, these applications can truly revolutionise your motivation strategy. Gamification is a very popular choice for employee motivation in the past years - and there seems to be a consensus, that it is working well not only in the office but also for remote employees. You can appeal to your employees' competitive side and encourage them to compete with their colleagues by using scoreboards, employee engagement surveys, and statistics. And all of this in a positive, encouraging environment with a growth mindset! 

By combining competition with positive reinforcement strategies, you can successfully motivate your employees and inspire them to do their best. With a little help from gamification, you can also encourage your team to create bonds and facilitate communication. Employees engaged in gamified activities give positive feedback, and it becomes harder to find demotivated employees. They are also likely to recommend the aforementioned software to other team members. Recognise the power of the game mechanics and learn, what can you gamify in order to keep your workers happy and energetic.  

How can I motivate remote employees and boost their productivity? 

Unmotivated office workers will most likely work at a slower pace, only waiting for the workday to end and not paying close attention to their tasks. Checking messages on the mobile phone, watching videos on the Internet... And you do not want it. Not only does it waste valuable time that could be used to complete actual work, but it also gives the wrong impression to anyone who observes it. Unmotivated and downbeat employees do not encourage others to work properly; in fact, more workers may decide to become lazy as a result. 

How can you create an environment that motivates employees and helps in the fulfilment of the company's business objectives? Is that even possible? Numerous options can help you in handling the unique challenges that remote work brings. Should you just maintain the employee-employer communication open, provide regular feedback, or maybe you should put together some care packages for employees? There is a plethora of options to choose from, and I will give you a few ideas that worked in many businesses already

Check-Ins with team members 

If you want to keep your remote employees well-informed and up to date with the company business, I encourage you to organise regular check-ins. These check-ins can take the form of one on one meetings, a Slack thread, a short Zoom meeting, or a Google Form. They will assist you in keeping the entire team on track and in creating an atmosphere of transparency and clarity. On top of that, the need to provide an update on the tasks pushes employees to finish their work within deadlines and creates a sense of accountability.   

It also creates a sense of unity and strengthens communication between remote teams and teammates. When working remotely, employees can feel disconnected from their colleagues and the company itself, so keeping in touch can significantly boost their motivation.  Human communication and the sense of connection with other team members when remote working is especially needed in today's fast-paced digital world. If you want to keep your team motivated, let them exchange ideas, provide feedback or discuss performance goals with the remote team members on video calls and virtual meetings. 

Digital buddies for employees’ wellbeing 

The research found that peer recognition is a top factor that pushes employees to excel at their responsibilities. When colleagues recognise each other’s contributions, it strengthens their relationships and builds trust. Introducing the initiative of digital buddies is a good idea to actively increase levels of motivation and promote cooperation in remote employees. 

By building a strong culture of recognition, your organisation can significantly increase satisfaction levels and inspire its employees to be more productive and proactive. Sometimes the best motivator for employees is another teammate. A remote worker will most likely appreciate being acknowledged, whether during informal conversations or virtual meetings. Although instant messaging cannot replace face-to-face human contact in the physical office, even weekly or monthly video calls with a digital buddy can make employees feel better. They can feel they are a vital part of the team, even if they are working from home only. People tend to feel lonely and not needed when they are not in touch with others; therefore, having a digital buddy who can assist you in your personal development and provide honest feedback might benefit the remote workforce. 

Visual scoreboard for a remote team 

As it was mentioned before, appealing to employees’ competitiveness is one of the most effective methods to increase levels of motivation and engagement. By introducing tracker boards and publicising performance, you can encourage team members to reach their goals. By inspiring friendly rivalry between colleagues, you can uncover their true potential. Additionally, every remote employee will then be able to take part in fun competitions and contests with their coworkers, likely increasing their sense of connection with the rest of the company. By making the results visible on a scoreboard, you can encourage peer recognition. Employee feedback is an essential part of work, and having ratings and scores to reach and later analyse will allow you to properly discuss it. You can also increase employee motivation by encouraging friendly competition  

Workplace competitions as fun ways to boost productivity 

Office wellness programmes are a valuable addition to company life and are essential to its success and sustainability. However, taking employee well-being seriously does not mean it cannot be fun, and of course, health packages offered are not everything. Use the right tools to motivate the entire team and say goodbye to low productivity. Remember, you have the key role in making the employees feel happy and comfortable at your company. 

Remarkably, applying game-inspired elements, such as progress bars, competition and rewards can effectively increase motivation and engagement, as well as improve employee well-being. Many businesses, like Deloitte, hold gamified contests and unique challenges for their employees, sometimes even with grand prizes - but to be honest, just the prospect of outperforming others is motivating and mood-boosting for most employees. What’s more, gamified wellness challenges are inherently social. By introducing fun and playful competitions, you can boost the team spirit and motivation high while building camaraderie and connection, even for remote employees. It is also beneficial to mental health, which is undoubtedly just as important as physical health. 

Motivate remote employees with online and offline team-building events  

There's no denying that the team members who work remotely have fewer opportunities to meet with their peers. To give them a chance to spend time together, learn more about each other, and enjoy each other’s company, I highly recommend organising online and offline team-building meetings, for both stationary and remote employees. The need to isolate oneself over the past few years has resulted in a rise in depression and loneliness. We are gradually returning to the previous state, but we need to almost rebuild the relations between employees again. Make the remote workforce feel connected and motivated to collaborate rather than a group of lonely, stagnant personnel. 

Social bonds are a powerful motivator, and a lack of proper company culture can contribute to company turnover and burnout. If you want to keep your employees energised and motivated, I recommend that you organize engaging company gatherings. These can both take place in the office, with every team member invited, or using video conferencing tools, so even a remote worker can enjoy the fun meeting. I am confident that such activities will help you in increasing their creativity, collaboration, and overall enjoyment, which will improve employee performance in turn. 

Hybrid Cooperation for Remote Employees 

Understanding how to motivate remote and hybrid workers requires some strategic planning and the right digital tools. The best way to keep employees motivated is to diversify their day-to-day work and create an environment where they can thrive. Repetitive tasks and an unchanging environment can cause burnout and tedium. You can motivate employees by providing them with new initiatives and fun ideas, but do not forget to provide the proper tools that will allow them to keep up to date with the company's business and grow professionally. 

Equip remote employees with collaborative space with a direct messaging platform, such as Microsoft Teams, and a medium, such as a corporate intranet, where they can keep up with news and updates to create a sense of belonging. Connect these tools to ensure that the hybrid workplace enables even better collaboration than the physical workplace. Remember to keep all employees motivated - do not focus on remote employees only. It does not matter if you're a startup founder or a CEO of a big business - it takes effort to motivate your remote workers, but with the right actions, you can increase employee engagement.