Home working is now part of our jobs culture. In fact, 16% of UK employees reported solely working from home between September 2020 and January 2023.
However, many misconceptions remain, including concerns that employees are less productive outside the office.
However, figures show that 51% of employees are more productive when working from home, and 20% suffer from burnout in the office.
Experts at Weekly10 explore five ways employers can motivate remote workers, and why commonly used time tracking software is not the answer.
1. Set realistic goals
Employee engagement can be encouraged by setting professional goals. By thinking ahead and setting clear guidelines that coincide with personal development plans, managers and team leaders can help workers achieve their goals.
These goals should always be realistic. If workers do not have enough resources to meet targets, this can have the opposite effect and discourage hard work. They may also feel the need to work overtime, which can quickly lead to burnout.
2. Create incentives
It can be stressful to meet deadlines and targets, but financial and social rewards are sure to motivate remote employees. Incentives mean offering rewards that align with your company values, such as commission, wage increases, profit sharing, bonus payments etc.
3. Recognise and celebrate success
A little recognition can go a long way, so remember to recognise and celebrate the success of your remote workers, from passing probation to reaching monthly targets.
Offer praise on video calls, in monthly catch-ups or during team meetings. And, whether you use Slack or Microsoft Teams, it’s also a good idea to create an achievements channel for this very purpose.
By creating incentives and celebrating success, employers are supporting intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors. Motivation comes from within an employee, such as happiness and fulfilment in their role, or beyond, including incentives and rewards.
4. Encourage transparent feedback
No matter the nature of the job, employees should understand the successes and potential pitfalls of performance.
But communication is a two-way street. Employees should feel comfortable voicing praise or concerns of their own. Through frequent 1-2-1 meetings, team members are more likely to feel comfortable sharing their feelings, and understand the option is available for them to do so.
As an employer, you are then better able to spot issues, find solutions and help the team develop.
5. Prioritising health and wellbeing
Health and wellbeing are paramount. If employees are suffering from a physical or mental ailment, it will inevitably affect their performance at work. They should feel comfortable confiding in managers and taking sickness leave.
Your company could organise online mental health catch-ups, virtual guided meditation classes and more, so that workers are more likely to engage with the business.
Why time tracking software ISN’T the answer!
It’s easy to consider business in a purely quantitative manner. However, your business is made up of people from all walks of life with various personalities.
This means that one method of encouraging engagement, such as time tracking software, does not always work. This common tool allows managers to oversee daily activities, including the level of work completed at home.
But although it gives visibility to employers, it is actually harmful to productivity. Not only can it put unnecessary pressure on remote workers to complete tasks, but it can also foster an environment of mistrust which is a demotivating factor.
A Weekly 10 spokesperson explains, “Employee engagement is the driving force of success. There are multiple ways to encourage this, such as harnessing positive attitudes and encouraging personal development.
“However, time tracking software is not the answer to improve business operations. While it tracks multiple factors – including the amount of time between actions – it is harmful to workplace productivity.
“It’s also unrealistic to expect employees to stay at their desks all day. Employees cannot work at full speed all day, every day without experiencing burnout. Plus, regular computer breaks can prevent eyestrain, musculoskeletal disorders and circulation problems.
“Alternatively, employees can measure outputs and inputs with regular meetings, use goal setting to establish clear expectations and build a culture based on trust, rather than tracking software.”