With so many people working from home, companies are having to improve their work-from-home motivation game. Office managers and C-suite executives need to think creatively about how to ensure that people continue working hard, even when the office isn’t available. Fostering motivation in the short term is relatively easy, but getting employees to dedicate themselves to the cause for months on end is a heck of a lot more challenging.
Are you worried that your staff is falling off the pace? If so, check out these seven ways to motivate your people as they work from home.
1. Set Clear Boundaries for Working Hours
When employees work in an office, the line between work and play is evident. The moment the clock strikes five (or whatever your setup is), they’re free to go home and enjoy the rest of their lives. Work is over.
The same boundaries aren’t so apparent when people work from home. There’s no physical separation between work and leisure. The home is the office.
As an employer, it’s your job to make it clear to staff when they start work and when they’re to stop. Remember, employers who are burned out are 2.6 times more likely to be looking for a new job.
2. Try to Recreate Office Culture
A few people in your office will thrive working from home – the introverts, particularly. But the majority of Myers-Briggs personalities suffer. The average person needs colleagues to feel like they’re making a valuable contribution to the firm (and the rest of the world). They can find it depressing to sit in isolation all day long, pinging emails.
We suggest trying to recreate the office culture of regular interactions. You’re not going to get the banter and exchange of ideas you get as people brush shoulders in a real-life office, but you can still ensure that staff vocalize good ideas and regularly feel connected to the rest of the team. Try things like only recognition seminars for good performance, using GIFs and emojis in your chat, and using VR to allow people to enter a virtual office.
3. Send Them Gifts
Receiving gifts is one of the five “love languages” identified by psychologist and researcher Gary Chapman. When people get something from you in the post, they automatically feel respected and cherished – a feeling you should be keen to foster.
Sending staff gifts branded with the company logo is a way of showing your appreciation while also helping them feel like full team members, which can be an excellent work-from-home motivation.
4. Continue Providing Feedback
Even though employees are working remotely, they still require feedback. It’s essential to make them feel as though they’re on the right track with their work and continuing to provide value. Some members of your company will need affirmative feedback to feel emotionally involved in your enterprise. So, praising them for their high-quality output while identifying areas for improvement should be a standard part of your process.
5. Emphasize Achievement Over Activity
Just because somebody is on Slack chatting from 7 am to 9 pm doesn’t mean that they’re getting a lot of work done. They could just be wasting time.
Unfortunately, you can’t always observe whether people are working hard. Team members could be actively communicating with you, but if they’re not performing their core duties, they’re not providing value. Develop tools that allow you to measure accomplishment, not activity. Emphasise targets, not merely hours logged.
Remember, 80% of workers now admit to “slacking off” while working from home, so even if they’re online, they might be productive.
6. Give Your Team Responsibility
Also, try to avoid micromanaging your team members now that they’re working remotely. Instead, give them responsibilities and make them personally accountable for the performance of the firm. Delegate roles and decision-making and, importantly, trust them to complete the work to a high standard.
In many cases, you’ll discover that the more accountability you expect, the more motivated staff become. Once they have ownership of their roles, they often want to work harder.
7. Use New Technologies
Lastly, it can help to implement the latest technologies to create work-from-home motivation for your staff. Thanks to the cloud, there are all kinds of options out there to boost performance and productivity. Good examples include project management tools like Trello, Asana, and Basecamp, video conferencing tools like Webex and Zoom, and, of course, the ubiquitous Microsoft Office 365. Quality software allows staff to get the job done and reduces frustration.