The modern workplace is evolving. Over the past year, more and more companies have embraced a telecommuting by allowing their employees to work from home. A report published by Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom, in fact, indicates that 42% of all employees in the United States now work from home full time.
When allowing your company’s employees to work from home, though, you must keep them motivated. Remote employees often lack the motivation of their counterparts who work in a traditional corporate setting. With the freedom to set their own hours and work without the direct supervision of a boss or manager, they may become less motivated. How do you motivate your company’s work-from-home employees exactly?
Give Constructive Feedback
Giving constructive feedback to your company’s work-from-home employees can increase their motivation levels. Research shows that employees feel a greater sense of job satisfaction and fulfillment when they receive feedback. Working from home, of course, physically separates employees from their bosses and managers. You can still give constructive feedback to work-from-home employees. Rather than giving it to them in person, you can use a digital form of communication.
Create a Sense of Belonging
You can motivate your company’s work-from-home employees by creating a sense of belonging. When employees feel like they are part of a team, they’ll have a stronger desire to excel. The problem is that working from home often creates a sense of isolation. Employees may feel isolated when working from home, in which case their motivation levels may drop. To counter this feeling of isolation, you must create a sense of belonging. Let your company’s work-from-home employees know that they are part of a team and that their role is valued.
Set Clear and Attainable Goals
Setting clear and attainable goals can have a positive impact on the motivation levels of your company’s work-from-home employees. Goals serve as a road map to professional success. They convey exactly what an employee needs to accomplish. When you set a goal for your company’s work-from-home employees, they’ll have the guidance needed to succeed, which can have a positive impact on their motivation levels. With that said, you should set goals that are both clear and attainable.
Communication is critical when managing a remote workforce. You won’t have the option of talking to an employee in person if he or she works from home. As communication between the employee decreases, so may his or her motivation levels. By frequently communicating with employees, you can motivate them to excel at their remote job.
There are several ways to communicate with work-from-home employees, one of which is to use email (see below). Alternatively, you can use video conferencing software. Video conferencing software is particularly effective because it allows you to create face-to-face communications over the internet. There are also team-based collaboration apps and platforms that you can use to communicate with your company’s work-from-home employees. Regardless of which method you use, remember to communicate frequently.
Here are some tips on how to effectively communicate with work-from-home employees:
- Schedule video conferences in advance.
- Train employees on how to use video conferencing software as well as other communication platforms.
- Set expectations regarding communications.
- Speak clearly during video conferences.
- Use digital communication platforms to provide employees with digital documents.
- Explore new communication solutions to further enhance your company’s remote workforce.
Send Appreciation Emails
You can use appreciation emails to motivate your company’s work-from-home employees. Appreciation emails, of course, are designed to show appreciation. When employees feel appreciated, they’ll have a stronger desire to excel. Conversely, employees who feel unappreciated tend to have lower motivation levels that’s reflected upon their productivity.
With appreciation emails, you can let your company’s work-from-home employees know that you appreciate everything they’ve done. The emails don’t have to be long. On the contrary, a short email consisting of just a few lines of personalized text is often all it takes to motivate work-from-home employees. In an appreciation email, address the employee by name while thanking him or her.
Another tip to motivate work-from-home employees is to reward performance. Performance-based rewards are a powerful motivator. If employees know that they’ll be rewarded for completing a goal or task, they’ll have a stronger desire to do so. You can offer bonuses, paid time off, gift cards or pretty much anything else of value. These extra incentives give employees another reason to excel. Performance-based rewards are just one more way to motivate work-from-home employees.
Working from home has become increasingly common — and this isn’t expected to change anytime soon. Telecommuting is mutually beneficial for both employees and the companies for which they work. When allowing employees to work from home, however, you’ll need to keep them motivated. By following these tips, you can increase the motivation levels among your company’s work-from-home employees.