Keeping the Team Motivated Remotely.

Remote-ivating your teams

For some companies, working from home or remotely will be something which is already very much ingrained in them and a tool which they have nailed to a T. But for many, working from home is a completely new experience, which may be daunting, but executed effectively could be the way forward. Remote working is very much a fine art, with a number of contributing factors to make it a success – not just getting changed from ‘sleep pyjamas’ to ‘day pyjamas’. I’ve outlined a number of tips, some food for thought to help engage your colleagues in a time which the majority of us have had to immediately adapt to a whole new way of working.

1. Mirror the office routine and environment

You may not be able to bring the office pool table into your 3x3m spare room/ home office, but you certainly can structure your ‘normal’ office routine from the beauty of your own home. With the advanced technology we’re now blessed with, colleagues are just a click of a button away. Stick to your usual routine, whether it be hourly, weekly or monthly catch ups make sure your teams still feel well connected through tools such as Google Hangouts and Slack. Through doing this, the Whatsapp group which is still being flooded with memes hourly isn’t getting in the way of important work conversations, questions and team catch ups.

2. Trust your team

On the other hand, communication overkill can be something which could be detrimental to the remote team spirit. This is a fantastic opportunity for employees to prove themselves, and show how successful they’re able to be when they’re working independently.. It’s easy to assume that when your colleague hasn’t replied to your instant message for 20 minutes that they haven’t been working all day, and are sitting with their feet up watching Loose Women rather than completing that project you’re working on together.. Most wouldn’t sit at their desk for 9 hours straight when they’re in the office, so we’re all entitled to some time here and there to stretch your legs, to get some fresh air or to load the dishwasher! Be sure for your video-call catch ups to last longer than necessary, you’re just as busy as you were when you were in the office, use 1-1 time to catch up with individual team members which doesn’t involve the whole team.

3. Keep up the competitive spirit

Keep your team excited and motivated by creating small competitions and targets. Again, routinely as you usually would and even more if this is the atmosphere within your office. This can be from your lunch time energizer or team quiz which is completely non work related, to setting mini goals and targets amongst the team. Keeping up a competitive nature will drive colleagues to deliver the best results, a visual representation and live score boards will incentivise your team to be at the top of their game! Online games are a fantastic tool to replace office games, so there’s no need to miss out on your game of pool at lunch time with your work friends.

4. Incentives

Use your incentive schemes as a key tool to motivate your teams, even if the incentive can’t be taken there and then. Organise team socials, lunch clubs and trips for when you’re back in the office as a way to reward the team or individuals for their hard work whilst away from the office. Find ways to still keep your usual incentives running – usually reward your highest performer of the week with lunch on a Friday? Offer them a Deliveroo or gift card to use whilst they’re working remotely! Going back to your usual office routine, if you usually offer the incentive of an early Friday finish, make this clear to those entitled to it. Set the expectation for them to log off that bit earlier to enjoy a G&T and start their weekend!

5. Don’t just talk about work!

Just because you’re not all in the office together, people’s personal and social lives are still continuing as usual. Catch up on what people did in their evenings, that new recipe that they were cooking for dinner that they mentioned, or what they’re up to at the weekend. Schedule a coffee break via video call with your colleagues who you’d usually catch up with to keep up with what you’re all doing. Don’t forget – Birthdays! These are easily forgotten, and can be an awkward one for people to bring up themselves, make use of your calendars and send a virtual birthday card or take 30 minutes to have a birthday drink or slice of cake with the team on video call!