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Boosting Self-motivation for Remote Employees

Many organizations are expanding remote
work options to more employees than ever before. The coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) pandemic has led to many employers expediting use of this practice—sometimes
out of business necessity.

Before expanding remote
work options, employers often first address obstacles such as establishing
expectations and ensuring all employees have the technology they need. Once initial
challenges are addressed, employers have an opportunity to plan for best use of
the remote workplace—including how to boost self-motivation for remote

Challenges of Managing Remote Employees

Remote employees face unique challenges. While
numerous studies show that remote employees can achieve levels of productivity
that are the same as or higher than their non-remote peers, this isn’t without
obstacles. According to a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review,
remote employees were less motivated than employees who work in an office,
while employees who did not have a choice in their work location were found less motivated than those who had a personal choice of their location.

Other challenges remote workers face may include:

  • Lack of face-to-face interaction
  • Social isolation
  • Limited or lack of access to necessary information
  • Distractions within their home
Leaders can take steps to address these challenges and partner with remote employees to boost motivation.

Motivating Remote Employees

To boost self-motivation for remote employees, leaders can
consider the following practices:

  • Empower employees to solve meaningful problems and experiment—According to the Harvard Business Review, employees who are allowed to solve meaningful problems or experiment report higher motivation—regardless of where they are working. Consider how to find ways to engage employees with high-level contributions.
  • Measure motivation—Communicate to employees that self-motivation is the desired outcome. Set goals and measure accordingly to reach them. This could be completed through productivity measuring tools—or even through surveys completed by employees.
  • Allow employees to showcase their achievements—Employees take pride in their work—when in remote locations, natural opportunities to showcase and discuss accomplishments may be scarce. Find ways to let remote employees talk about their achievements, such as during team meetings.          

Supporting Each Employee

Motivated employees can lead to effective and productive
remote teams. Leaders can consider how to best support their remote employees.
Considerations include:

  • Schedule
    one-on-one check-ins
    —By gauging how each employee is doing, leaders can
    evaluate how to meet the unique needs of each employee.
  • Provide
    emotional support
    —Asking open-ended questions can allow employees to speak
    their minds. Leaders should focus on being good listeners and providing
    appropriate support.
  • Establish
    —An increased level of ambiguity can stress remote employees
    out—by establishing clear goals and objectives, employees can stay on the same page
    with their manager.

Remember, each employee is unique. Some employees may adapt
well to a remote environment, while others may need individual support to
achieve a high level of performance and personal well-being.

Empower Remote Employees to Succeed

Every business is different, so there isn’t one right way to best
lead remote employees. Create practices and expectations that work best for specific
teams and individual employees. 

For additional resources regarding best practices for utilizing the remote workspace or more information about employee benefits, our services and products, please contact HANYS Benefit Services by email or by calling (518) 431-7735.

This HR Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice.  © 2022 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved. 

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