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How To Motivate Employees Working Remotely

With the persistence of COVID-19, companies around the world are changing their approach to business. At first, many of us believed the changes would be temporary. However, the future of the workforce appears to be moving to be largely remote. Now companies have a new challenge. How can they keep employees safe at home while also keeping them motivated? In this post, we will discuss effective ways to motivate employees working remotely despite the physical and social barriers put in place by COVID-19.

How To Motivate Employees Working Remotely

Partner People Up For Projects

Previously, the majority of project work would be done in person with multiple people. Now, virtual teamwork offers a much different experience. However, it does come with an additional benefit: human connection. It allows employees to communicate and collaborate, which is something that we all need right now. By partnering people up for projects, you can help employees to feel less alone in the workspace. Give them a reason to connect. Sometimes when a person is feeling isolated, it can be really easy to simply drift away and let it happen. Partner and group projects can help motivate employees working remotely, and remember that they are a part of a team, even when they are working at home in their pyjamas.

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Connect With Each Employee Individually

Taking the time to connect with employees individually is a management requirement now more than ever. Even if your managers are constantly putting out fires and working to adapt to this new style of work. It is essential to remember to emphasize the need for employee engagement. Right now, everyone is experiencing a different reality because of this pandemic. Make sure that you reach every single employee and check-in—and not just for reasons that are related to work. An employee that feels seen and cared for will be more motivated to stay on track. To motivate employees working remotely, focus on letting them know that you are there for them if they need anything.

Hold Virtual Teambuilding Events

Virtual team building events are quickly becoming one of the most engaging techniques for motivating employees working remotely. Whether you choose to host your very own virtual happy hour or you sign your team up for a virtual movie or concert, these little reminders of what life was like before the pandemic can be helpful. By giving your employees a way to stay connected and have fun, you will inspire them to keep working hard and chase that greater good for all. These events are perfect for teams that are missing out on the feel-good nature of spending time with co-workers.

Setup Connection Opportunities

While virtual team building events are important for maintaining a personal connection between team members, connection opportunities can play an even bigger role in motivating employees working remotely. While many people are grateful to still be employed given the increasing unemployment rates in some industries, many are still looking towards the future.

Connection events and networking opportunities have consistently been used as a way to help employees’ feel valued. It also aids in charting a better course for their future within a company. However, with COVID-19, these opportunities have largely been taken away. Consider creating virtual connection opportunities to partner employees up with potential mentors, or to help them learn about upcoming changes that the company might see. This can remind employees of their real value to the company, even with COVID-19 knocking on their door.

Keep Communication Active

Active communication is a crucial part of any successful business, but it is more important now than ever before. Help your employees to stay focused and on-task by keeping communication alive within the team. Whether it is simply relying on a chat room, or sharing in on an email thread, active communication can help motivate employees working remotely to feel less isolated while they work. Don’t hesitate to use communication for more relaxed purposes too. Chatroom ice breakers and silly conversations can provide a nice break for employees and help strengthen the bonds between them.

Offer Fun Incentives

Incentives have always been effective to motivate employees and this is true now more than ever for those working remotely. Offer your employees fun incentives for being great team players or for performing well despite the ongoing crisis. It might just be something like a digital gift card or even a movie rental. Even a small prize can help employees to strive for greatness and have fun doing it. Consider the opportunities and what kind of behaviours you want to award. Remember, being a team player is very important right now, so consider seeking out these behaviours.


Working from home can be fun when it’s optional, but it can also be difficult for longer periods of time. If you notice a lack of motivation in your team, remember that right now, everyone is fighting their own personal battle. Every company should be focusing on the mental and emotional well-being of their employees to keep them motivated, particularly those working remotely (check out Working from Home – 7 Top Tips to Stay Healthy and Productive). Find ways to reach them, even from a distance. It will always be well worth the effort in the end.

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jakob lindvall profile image

I hope you are enjoying my article.
To capture and share ideas, check out our #1 Software for Flexible Idea Management

I hope you are enjoying this article.
To capture and share ideas, check out our #1 Software for Flexible Idea Management

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