According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 11.5 million workers quit their jobs in April, May, and June of 2021 — a record-breaking number of employees are also reporting lower rates of motivation at work. These statistics are alarming for leaders in the remote workspace but not surprising. Many of us have already experienced the challenges of working remotely and may have struggled with staying motivated ourselves.

Our society is reevaluating its relationship to work and reprioritizing things outside of people’s careers. This mindset seems most common in millennials, the largest demographic of those who left or quit their jobs in 2021. Although, other generations are adopting this mindset and we are becoming less work-obsessed, giving more importance to flexibility, growth, and health.

People have discovered a new life outside their careers in today’s digital workplace. To keep remote teams motivated and willing to go the extra mile, leaders have to change how they approach inspiring today’s employees.

Use a reward system for remote teams

As levels of remote work increase, feelings of recognition begin decreasing for many reasons. It can be caused by less visibility in a remote workspace or the fact that today’s leaders still haven’t caught onto new ways of showing their team appreciation from a distance.

The right reward system for remote teams can improve motivation, increase levels of satisfaction, and stimulate job performance. Leaders should also understand that rewards are a form of recognition but not the only way we should go about appreciating the efforts of our employees. Sometimes a verbal compliment or simple thanks is all that is needed for someone to feel appreciated.

Keeping remote teams connected

Looking back on your days at the office, you might remember going out to lunch, catching up at the coffee machine, or having short conversations in the hallway. These small moments were once part of the glue that held a team together, allowing people within an organization to build rapport naturally. Leaders must now take the initiative in their virtual work environments and create opportunities for their teams to connect.

5 ways to build connections working from home:

  1. Optional virtual lunches
  2. One on one meetings
  3. Virtual break out rooms
  4. Encouraging web cameras
  5. Scheduling in-person meetups

Maintain a work-life balance for your remote team

Leaders know that situations often require their team to be all in, fully committed to accomplishing a goal. If you want to keep your remote team motivated, ensuring they have enough in the tank for when it really matters, leaders should ensure their team maintains a healthy work-life balance.

A study by the Nation Bureau of Economic Research shows an average 70% increase in meetings since the start of the pandemic. Although remote work justifies a substantial increase in the number of meetings we need to have, leaders should still be mindful of how this impacts their team when working from home.

Use purpose to motivate remote teams to go the extra mile

Today’s workforce needs their work to have purpose and align with their values. To keep remote teams motivated, leaders need to define the why behind their team, its mission, and its values as an organization. Defining and communicating these things to our remote teams is vital for inspiring them to go the extra mile.

Keeping your team engaged when working from home has its challenges, but leaders still have everything they need to reach employees. Follow these tips to keep your remote team motivated, and they’ll be ready to go the extra mile when you need them to.

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