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How To Lead A Demotivated And Remote Team?

leading Sep 27, 2022

A recent WHO-led study estimates that mental health disorders cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion yearly in lost productivity. Rather alarming, isn't it?

Remote work is highly isolating and, without the right incentive, demotivating. This demotivated remote team impedes the company and needs to be made productive as much as possible, and this is where employee motivation plays a crucial role.

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How To Motivate Your Remote Employees?

Apart from the physical health consequences of the pandemic, loneliness and anxiety were two of the most prominent issues that plagued everyone, including workers. Although anxiety, loneliness, and burnout are not unique to remote work cultures, they are becoming more prevalent in a digitalized world.

To motivate remote employees, make appreciation a priority, provide them with the necessary tools, create a culture of trust, focus on the mental health of your employees, adopt a culture of growth and have open communication.

On the other hand, employees are often reluctant to disclose their mental health status, particularly to their managers. A leader's responsibility is to identify and address signs of demotivation and disengagement on their team. Our article will help you in doing so by focusing on:

1. Invest In An Employee Appreciation And Recognition Program

Appreciation and recognition are important tools to motivate employees. And when it comes to your remote workforce that does not have as much physical contact with their team, recognition and appreciation are essential to make them feel like they are a part of the team and their contribution matters.

They are not just a name on the roster, but a contributing member of the team. The vantage circle rewards and recognition program encourages employee appreciation by making it easier for your employees to recognize the efforts of their co-workers.

2. Provide Your Team With The Right Tools

An ill-equipped team is an unprepared team. Lack of communication is the biggest impediment for any remote team, and you cannot lead a team you cannot reach.

A remote team needs a good internet connection, a remote communication tool, a video conferencing tool, project management tools, a direct messaging tool, and a way to share and download files to do their job effectively. This allows for smooth collaboration and open communication channels, essential to keep your team motivated and successful.

3. Focus On The Mental Wellbeing Of Your Employees

In any work environment, the mental well-being of all employees is essential, especially when it comes to a remote team.

In a remote working setup, people tend to feel more isolated than usual. And if they don't have a home office setup, there tends to be a disconnect between home and office life. There is a disconnect within the team, with fewer face-to-face interactions and office get-togethers.

4. Understand and honor the importance of frequent breaks

Overworked employees often deal with chronic stress and are prone to facing burnout. A 2011 study suggests prolonged attention to a single task can hinder performance.

The ideal work-to-break ratio is 52 minutes of work, followed by 17 minutes of rest. People who maintained this schedule had a unique focus on their work, and for roughly an hour at a time, they were 100% dedicated to the task they needed to accomplish.

As a leader, you must ensure that your team is not on the verge of burnout. Just because an employee is working from home, it does not follow that you overpack their day with too much work. Make sure to spread out the activities to allow frequent breaks to keep productivity at its peak.

5. Acknowledge the importance of psychological safety

Psychological safety is the belief that one can speak up without the risk of being humiliated. This safety is also crucial to high-quality decision-making, healthy group dynamics and interpersonal relationships, greater innovation, and better execution in the workplace.

Every employee wants a safe and harmonious work environment, and that is an environment where people can thrive and grow.

People tend to spend the most time at work, which makes it necessary for the environment to be non-toxic and safe. Without said safety, an employee will not be giving their best. Employees don't often feel comfortable enough to speak up. This can be determinant for the work environment as flaws and mistakes overlooked by the upper management can be corrected before any harm can be done if the staff speaks up

6. Prioritize Mental Wellbeing

Mental health should always be a priority when it comes to remote work. As has already been established, remote work can be stressful and isolating, and the added complication of poor mental health can be debilitating for employees.

A guide from the World Economic Forum highlights steps organizations can take to create a healthy workplace, including:

  • Awareness of the workplace environment and how it can be adapted to promote better mental health for different employees.
  • Learning from the motivations of organizational leaders and employees who have taken action.
  • Not reinventing wheels by being aware of what other companies who have taken action have done.
  • Understanding the opportunities and needs of individual employees in helping to develop better policies for workplace mental health.
  • Awareness of sources of support and where people can find help.

Good practices and interventions that can help with employee mental health include:

  • Implementation and enforcement of health and safety policies and practices, including identification of distress, harmful use of psychoactive substances, and illness and providing resources to manage them.
  • Informing staff that support is available.
  • Involving employees in decision-making, conveying a feeling of control and participation; organizational practices that support a healthy work-life balance.
  • Programs for the career development of employees.
  • Recognizing and rewarding the contribution of employees.

Mental health intervention should be a part of an integrated health and well-being program that includes prevention, early identification, support, and rehabilitation.

7. Orchestrate Interdependency Among Team Members

When it comes to working together as a team, cohesion is very important. Your employees must be able to depend on each other to progress smoothly in terms of growth and work.

It is difficult for a team to work together without communication. As a leader, you should encourage a certain level of interdependence among your team to encourage regular communication. This will lead to greater team cohesion, motivating your team to interact frequently, which also leads to a better employee experience.

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Remote working is the future of the modern workplace. The sooner you adapt to the new reality, the better. Keeping the remote team motivated is essential for steady progress.

Engaged employees will put forth a higher level of productivity, which in turn works towards developing the bigger picture. This just goes to show the importance of motivated employees.


Zoi Kotsou

Copywriter - Content writer - Content Strategist

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