With a growing number of organizations utilizing remote workers in their businesses, many managers are increasingly finding they need more detailed advice on how to motivate staff who are not physically present in an office environment. Read on for our top tips and advice to help you get the most out of these staff members.
- Communicate regularly
This doesn’t necessarily mean checking in every day, or micro-managing their efforts, but schedule in regular catch-ups if possible, and get in touch if you know they are working on a particularly complex project to offer help or support. Make sure that they know the lines of communication run both ways, and that they should contact you if they have any queries – that way you can rest assured that they will get in touch for advice rather than losing motivation by puzzling over a complex issue by themselves.
- Reward as appropriate
Set up a formal rewards system for remote staff, that way they can see a clear reward for the work they are undertaking. This can be monetary, or tied to promotion, or an increase in responsibility – whatever works best for your staff and your business. Just be sure it is something that your remote workers actually want so that they remain motivated to achieve it!
- Review like regular employees
Set up a review process for your remote staff as you would for an office-based worker, that way they’ll feel like a valued member of staff whose development is important to your business. If you can set targets and areas for improvement in a formal review then you will be able to offer the aforementioned rewards for attainment in these areas further down the line, and your remote workers will be clear on where they need to focus their development.
- Meet up face-to-face if possible
If time and distance allow, try to arrange a face-to-face meeting with your remote members of staff. This will make you much more personable and approachable and will encourage remote staff to work to their best when they can see the human impact of their work – it is easy to forget there are real people involved in a project when they are merely a name on a screen! If a face-to-face meet up isn’t possible try video chat using a service such as Skype for an informal discussion.
- Try to involve them in the office culture
Remote working can be lonely, so wherever possible try to involve them in everyday office culture – maybe you are having a party to celebrate the Holidays? Invite your remote staff too! Setting up an office-wide Fantasy Football League? Ask remote workers if they want to join in. This way they’ll feel a part of the social side of the office and have chance to get to know other team members too.
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