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A mouse click away: Mechanisms for motivating remote workers

Employee engagement can be encouraged by setting professional goals. By thinking ahead and setting clear guidelines that coincide with personal development plans, managers and team leaders can help workers achieve their goals.

How to engage employees in the workplace? Remote working is on the rise. — Image: © Tim Sandle
How to engage employees in the workplace? Remote working is on the rise. — Image: © Tim Sandle

Remote working has become widespread in many countries. With the U.K., as am example, 16 percent of employees reported solely working from home between September 2020 and January 2023. How successful has remote working been? And what to employees expect?

There are many misconceptions surrounding remote working, including the concern that employees may become less productive while working outside of the office. To counter this, research has found that 51 percent of employees are more productive when working from home, and 20 percent suffer from burn out in the office.

The employee engagement firm Weekly10 has recently set-out five ways employers can motivate remote workers, sharing the findings with Digital Journal.

Thinking ahead with realistic goals

Employee engagement can be encouraged by setting professional goals. By thinking ahead and setting clear guidelines that coincide with personal development plans, managers and team leaders can help workers achieve their goals.

That being said, these goals should always be realistic. If workers do not have enough resources to meet their targets, this can have the opposite effect and discourage hard work. They may also feel the need to work overtime, which can quickly lead to employee burn out.

Creating incentive programmes

Once employers have established realistic goals, they can create incentive programmes for the workplace. It can be stressful to meet deadlines and targets, but financial and social rewards are sure to motivate remote employees.

These incentive programmes can offer anything that aligns the company and its values, such as commission, wage increases, profit sharing, bonus payments and more.

Remember to recognise and celebrate success

There’s no denying that a little recognition can go a long way. So, to continue motivating your remote workers, remember to recognise and celebrate their success. From passing probation to reaching monthly targets, there’s lots of things to highlight in the workplace.

Employers can praise employees on video calls, in monthly catch-ups or during team meetings. And, whether they use Slack or Microsoft Teams, it’s also a good idea to create an achievements channel for this very purpose.

By creating incentive programmes and remembering to celebrate success, employers are supporting intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors. This is motivation that either comes from within an employee, such as happiness and fulfilment in their role, or beyond, including incentives and rewards. These keep the team driving forward while catering to every employee’s needs.

Practicing and encouraging transparent feedback

Next, transparent feedback is important in the workplace. No matter the nature of the job, employees should understand the successes and potential pitfalls of their performance, thereby promoting constant growth for their remote workers.

However, communication is a two-way street. Employees should feel comfortable voicing any praise or concerns of their own. By conducting frequent 1-2-1 meetings, team members are more likely to feel comfortable sharing their feelings, and understand the option is there for them to do so.

With this clear line of communication, employers are better able to spot issues, find solutions and help the team develop.

Prioritising health and wellbeing

The health and wellbeing of employees is paramount. If they are suffering from a physical or mental ailment, for example, it will inevitably affect their performance at work. That is why they should feel comfortable confiding in managers and taking sickness leave.

To promote health and wellbeing in the workplace, employers can organise online mental health catch-ups, virtual guided meditation classes and more. Then, in turn, remote workers are more likely to engage with the business.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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