Working Remotely

4 Ways to Motivate a Remote Workforce

Learn four proven strategies to motivate and energize your remote workforce. Discover effective ways to improve productivity and keep your team engaged.

We are now over two years into the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic forced most companies to adopt remote work overnight. In some ways this proved advantageous as remote work technologies and methodologies were refined to keep businesses going. It also allowed for employees to balance work-home life better. There were obvious downsides to remote work. Team building, managing, onboarding and motivating employees all need new approaches under the shifting landscape. Social distancing barricades personal connection.

Motivating employees remotely can be tricky. They aren’t right in front of the manager so he or she can’t see how the employee is actually doing. In the office, it’s simple to see if an employee is motivated. Motivated employees are usually bright, move fast, smile and work efficiently. Remotely, an employee can appear excited over a zoom call, but as soon as the camera is off they might sink into boredom or apathy.

Socially, we are meeting up in person again. Restaurants and stores are opening up. Concerts are being performed. But for many of us the work place remains the same or has morphed into a sort of hybrid situation. Employees have settled into working at home and an overwhelming number of them don’t want to return to the office.

Whether employees work totally remote or if they phase into a hybrid scenario of remote and office work, remote work is here to stay. And no matter where employees are working from, they will need motivation.

If you do not change direction you may end up where you are going.” - Lao Tzu

Whether your employees are down in the dumps or busy taking over the world, motivating them is something that needs to be done continually. Here are four ways to motivate a remote workforce..

One - Streamline Communication

Being in tight communication with one another is the bedrock upon which all effective teams are built upon. Without coordination and communication, employees become individuated. They can lose sight of how their work dovetails with the rest of the company.

Motivation starts with employees understanding the broad goals. Next, they need to understand how their individual efforts contribute to the achievement of those broad goals. The best way to do this is figure a streamlined communication system.

Do a survey of how your employees are receiving communications from their managers, each other and the company. How are they getting their job directions? How are they coordinating with each other? You might find they are using Zoom, FaceBook, Twitter, Phone Calls, Text Messages, E-Mails or some other method of communication to talk to each other.

From personal experience, I advise putting anything important in writing. Going over vital project targets over a zoom call or phone call can result things being lost in translation. It’s much more effective to put it all in a checklist so the employee can refer to the directions continuously.

To streamline communication, establish a singular communication system for intra-organizational coordination. Use software like Slack or Groove your employees and managers into only using one channel of communication to coordinate. And encourage communication to happen on the delegated platform. This will smooth out many confusions between employees and helps congeal them as a team.

This might sound overly simple, but when the communications are scrambled and overwhelming within a company nerves get frayed. This is a huge drag on motivation. Streamline communications. Motivation and production will increase.

Two - Use scheduling to help balance work-life balances

We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.” - Arianna Huffington, Co-founder and Editor-In-Chief of The Huffington Post

Burn out is real. There are twenty-four hours in a day. Some of those hours are spent sleeping. If you use the rest of them doing nothing but working, your life probably won’t be the happiest. Even the most dedicated industrialists and hard working people on the planet carve out time to foster the other parts of their lives.

To keep employees motivated, be watchful for overburden. Employees won’t always voice when they have an excess on their plate. They might be afraid to tell their mangers they are burning out and have too much to do. So if you see an employee falling down under the weight of work help him out. Either take some of the work off his plate or help him figure out how to balance the work.

One of the simplest ways of safe-guarding against burn out and keeping employees motivated is to help build a schedule. It can be awkward diving into an employee's personal life, but make sure they know they can take time to handle personal matters.

A good manager should know how long certain tasks take. He should know the skillsets of each employee. With this in mind, a manager can estimate with accuracy how long projects will take an employee. A schedule that allocates time to each different tasks and also delegates time for taking care of the other aspects of life such as spending time with kids or exercise can help keep a stable work-life balance. A manager can propose such a schedule to an employee and give him leeway to amend it as needed.

Sometimes, simply pointing out that a balance should be maintained will help an employee adjust their schedule to achieve a healthy work-life balance. It isn’t always the number of hours that an employee puts in that counts, but the quality of work that gets done in those hours. Less hours worked by a rested and happy employee are generally more profitable than more hours worked by a burnt out one.


Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mentorship has been prevalent in the business community for decades. When done right, employees receive guidance from the company’s best and brightest. Your most trusted employees can act as a sounding board and guiding arm to newer employees. The experience is rewarding on both ends of the spectrum.

Coupling remote work with a cloud based mentoring program is a great way to keep your employees engaged and motivated about their work. Managing a remote team can be difficult. You can’t always find the time to check in and make sure everyone is doing well. A mentoring program can help you reach every employee frequently.

Mentors can be tasked with reaching out to their assigned employee at least once a week. This follow up helps employees maintain human connection with the company. While working remotely, work can turn into a series of emails, spreadsheets, calculations, graphs and mundane office tasks. Without being in the office or seeing the buzz of work from the rest of the company a disconnect can settle in make it really difficult to keep remote employees motivated.

Mentorship solves all this. With Mentoring Software, managers can track how many times mentors connected with their mentees to help keep them engaged. If it seems like an employees work performance has dropped, their mentor can be alerted and asked to check in on them. This can only be done effectively on large groups of people using precise mentoring software and programs designed to make better employees and companies.

Make Team-Building a Priority

Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi, Football Coach

When employees are working remote, you have to get inventive on how build them up as a team. It’s not as simple as having a team dinner or meeting with them as a group within the office walls.

Most work places have shifted to a hybrid work situation by now with some work taking place at home and some in the office. The limited production time in the office should really be spent on work itself. It can be hard to use those windows on team building as it’s the only in person work employees will do. Team building remotely takes creativity. But it doesn’t have to take a lot of effort.

You can assign out of the box tasks to employees such as ordering them to send a personal email to an employee they haven’t spoken to yet. Setup 15-20min group chats where people can do workspace tours, introduce pets or talk about whatever they want to. It might sound silly, but these small gestures to get a team to interact outside of a professional work capacity goes a long way.

After mutual respect and understanding are achieved, it is possible to establish real, sincere relationships, which is the foundation of a solid long-term collaboration.” – Ron Garan, Astronaut

The most important thing is to put attention and effort into motivating employees. Asking yourself the simple question of “What motivates these people?” over and over and constantly working to answer it better will give you all sorts of avenues to get your employees to turn out their best work.

Try working the above points into how you handle your remote team and see if it helps production.

Mentor Resources can help any company to leverage technology to create tailored career development programs that are cost-effective. Our mentoring software - Wisdom Share is a cloud-based program that is simple and comes with guided workflows. Included are tools for administrators to attract, enroll, connect, and guide participants. We also provide analytics to ensure you can monitor your employee development program and easily see ROI metrics.

Reach out to us today for a Free Demonstration of our software.

Similar posts

Get notified on new mentoring resources & insights

Be the first to know about news, articles, learning resources and new feature updates of Wisdom Share to help you build or refine your mentoring program with the tools and knowledge of today’s industry.