6 Ways to Boost Remote Employees Morale Thumbnail

Being able to work from anywhere seems like an inevitable future for many jobs. It makes sense, primarily because of all the benefits remote work provides to both employers and employees.

When done correctly, remote working can positively impact an individual's productivity, creativity, and morale. Generally speaking, telecommuting boosts an employee's mood and desire to work, thanks to increased flexibility in how they work, better work-life balance, and reduced personal expenses related to traveling into the office daily.

However, there are still some drawbacks and potential for burnout if distributed workers feel like they lack the traditional office environment's support structures. Non-existent managerial feedback, feelings of social isolation, and other realities of the remote work lifestyle can add up and take their toll on any employee's well-being and performance.

As an employer, it's up to you to keep your team energized and ready to contribute one hundred percent. The following tips will provide you with actionable strategies for boosting the morale of your remote workforce.

Provide Extra Support

The most common reasons behind declining remote employee morale stem from a lack of communication and inclusion (which would otherwise be present in a traditional office space). For instance, in the absence of face-to-face interaction, it is more likely that remote employees will feel cut off from their managers or team leaders.

In these cases, remote workers might come to believe that their managers are out of touch with their needs and not providing adequate support for them. It becomes even more important, then, for managers to provide extra support to ensure that remote employees receive the guidance and help they need.

Encourage Interactions

In other scenarios, your employees might feel lonely because they lack opportunities to engage in informal social interactions. An essential part of creating cohesion and unity in a team environment is to engage in periodic, casual conversation— and such opportunities do not occur organically in a remote work setting.

Each of these factors can chip away at employee morale. In sustained doses, these effects might ultimately erode an employee's trust in your organization. Should you fail to address these challenges, your demoralized employees will, at minimum, suffer from reduced productivity. In more severe cases, they might even feel as if they have no choice but to leave your company.

Host Social Events for Your Remote Team

Counteracting potential declines in morale among remote employees requires you to provide opportunities for social interaction. Perhaps the most straightforward way to accomplish that is by leveraging video conferencing software to connect your team.

At its most basic level, this might take the form of a virtual hangout where employees can catch up on non-work topics and establish a bit of rapport with one another. There's no rule stating that you have to keep video chats conventional, however, and you might benefit from hosting a few creative virtual get-togethers, such as:

  • Remote talent shows
  • Virtual trivia nights
  • Netflix watch parties
  • Group gaming sessions
  • Exercise hours
  • Virtual skills training

It's important to keep the team connected with each of these activities by using as much video communication as your technology will allow. The video part of it helps them feel connected.

Video conferencing also helps provide crucial non-verbal cues that accompany face-to-face interactions and go a long way in helping your remote workers feel more connected and less isolated.

Adjust Management Strategy to Fit a Remote Environment

Beyond providing ample social time, there are also crucial strategies you should employ that will keep morale steady, like establishing some one-on-one time with your remote team members to figure out how they are doing and what they need.

This helps them feel valued as team members and allows you to build some individual rapport. Using limited amounts of one-on-one time to learn more about your remote workers' families, interests, and motivations, you can get to know them as a complete person and build up the kind of goodwill that motivates them to work harder.

What's more, one-on-one time can help you gain insights into what changes you might need to implement to help support them. Questions you should consider asking include:

  • Can you describe your daily routine for remote work?
  • Are there any co-workers you need to be more connected to?
  • How can I help facilitate that connection?
  • Do you have the right tools to complete your work?
  • If not, what tools are you lacking, and how can we obtain them?
  • Are you getting all the information you need to stay in the loop?
  • Do you feel included in the team's decisions? Why or why not?
  • Do you have a favorite aspect of working remotely?
  • Do you feel like you're getting enough time at the office to complete your work?
  • How can we better support remote staff members?

Training and Feedback Methods for Remote Workers

Don't forget that remote team members have career goals and dreams of advancement like every other employee. You'll need to keep them engaged with continuing training opportunities not to feel like they are stagnating.

Consider offering e-learning courses for remote employees to gain new skills pertinent to their career path. As an employer, knowing that you value them enough to invest time and resources in helping them improve is a powerful motivator.

You can build upon this by providing praise and positive feedback on their remote work efforts and only taking time to let them know they are appreciated through your internal communications. Acknowledging essential dates (like their birthday or work anniversary) in team communications is particularly important for helping remote team members feel seen and appreciated.

Manage Remote Worker Morale or It Will Manage You

Remember that morale is higher when your remote employees feel included in the group, so make sure you're proactive about keeping your remote team members in the loop. Video conferencing software provides the best method of keeping in touch as it allows your team to bond more effectively than they would through text or voice chat alone.

Supporting the morale of remote workers can help boost productivity, worker satisfaction, and talent retention. Still, it requires planning and intention to address challenges that aren't a factor in traditional office environments. Treat your remote workers like people instead of abstractions, and you'll be well on your way to boosting their morale.