How to Motivate Employees Who Work from Home

Keep remote employees motivated with these helpful hints.

If you’re wondering how to motivate employees who work from home, start with making sure they have the necessary technology and resources.As COVID-19 cases ramped up earlier this year, many companies found themselves transitioning to work-from-home arrangements for the first time. Now, as the pandemic continues and companies reassess their business plans, working remotely may become the new norm for many.

As your team adjusts to working from home for longer than you may have initially planned, consider these practical ideas to boost morale and keep employees motivated:

  1. Provide the tech and tools for success
  2. Stay connected
  3. Lead with transparency to build trust
  4. Encourage work-life balance
  5. Keep the conversation going

Read on to learn how to motivate employees and help them enjoy their job for peak performance and optimum productivity while working from home.

Provide the tech and tools for success

While working away from the office, one of the most important things to consider is whether your employees have the necessary technology and resources to continue working remotely. Your staff may have been able to work with just their laptop initially, but if you anticipate working from home for the long haul, it may be time to give employees’ home workspaces an ergonomic boost with items such as monitors, wrist rests, and document holders.

If your team uses video conferencing software such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Hangouts to stay connected, be sure employees have a functioning webcam. You may also consider using project management or messaging programs such as Asana or Slack to keep staff connected and available if someone needs help.

Stay connected

Checking in with an employee isn’t as easy as walking over to their desk or chatting with them in the breakroom when working from home. Keep your staff engaged and ward off feelings of isolation by setting up daily or weekly check-ins over the phone or through video chat. Whether you touch base with employees one-on-one over coffee or in a virtual team meeting, this continued interaction will pay off even after your company has settled into working from home.

In these uncertain times, a verbal thank you, an email, a note in the corporate newsletter, or a small reward can also help employees feel motivated and connected to your company. By celebrating little victories as much as big wins, your team just may get the boost they need to push harder even if they aren’t working under the same roof.

Lead with transparency to build trust

Employees will feel more invested in their work, and the work of your entire organization, if you lead with transparency. Transparency has never been more relevant with ever-changing COVID-19 regulations and uncertainty around when – or if – your organization will return to working in the office.

Transparency gives employees insight into the organization’s values and strategies, so they feel more motivated to work toward a common goal even when they’re apart. When staff knows their role in the big picture, they’ll better understand how they can contribute to success and be more likely to embrace improvement strategies. There’s always room for transparency in areas such as your ongoing COVID-19 plans, development and leadership opportunities, compensation, and metrics. Transparency also leads to more trusting work relationships and helps create an inclusive culture.

Encourage work-life balance

It can be hard to balance our responsibilities in our personal and work lives when our homes are suddenly our offices as well. As tempting as it may be to use the time you might have been commuting to make a few more calls or answer a few more emails, try to stick to your typical workday routine as much as possible. That means setting boundaries for when work should—and shouldn’t—happen, and encouraging your team to do the same.

Technology allows us to be on call 24/7, but making it clear that one doesn’t need to answer emails just because their workspace is only a few steps away can help improve motivation and honor better balance.

Learn more about separating office life from home life in our recent blog post on 5 Steps to Improve Your Work-Life Balance.

Keep the conversation going

If you can’t quite put your finger on what will motivate the employees on your team while working from home, just ask! Your staff is your organization’s biggest asset and best source of knowledge. They’re sure to have ideas for improvement that will increase motivation and morale during this new and challenging experience. Encourage employees to be honest without fear of retribution and show them that their opinion counts.

Regular communication is the key to success in every kind of relationship—and that includes work. Team collaboration and brainstorming will also help build trust, encourage engagement, and, quite likely, help uncover some brilliant ideas and strategies that will keep employees motivated while working from home.

If you found these tips on motivating employees useful, check out our blog for more helpful hints and inspiration for success both in the office and working remotely. Looking for office products to engage your workforce and boost motivation? Shop our online catalog now or contact our local team at (608) 310-4300 to get started.