Is it possible to work remotely and still be motivated?
The pandemic era has led businesses and individuals to a new reality. Instead of paying attention to more tactical work, the “new world order” encourages people to work from home, be adaptive, and become more flexible with matters that arise. Several teams have failed to achieve these qualities of work, while others have managed to acquire them, thus experiencing high levels of productivity. When discussing about these new attributes, everything comes down to the levels of motivation.
According to the Harvard Business Review, motivation might reduce among individuals who are working from home. A research study that took place between 2010-2015 and studied more than 20,000 employees, indicated that individuals who worked from home were less motivated compared to the ones who attended the office. Similarly, employees who did not have a choice on where to work were far less motivated compared to those who were given an option.
In addition, the study indicated three factors that have a negative impact on motivation levels: emotional and economic pressure, the constant barrage of news, and the lack of desire to work. In contrast, three positive motivators were discovered, all heavily dependent on personal interaction. These motivators are play, a feeling of purpose, and potential for growth – all of which may be threatened by the fact that individuals are working from home, and not in the office.
Right course of action?
Through these difficult times, leaders must keep the motivation levels of their teams high. Even though it is important to provide rules and guidelines to your employees in order to complete a project, one must remember that work has to be engaging in order for the remote team to stay motivated. The best way to achieve high levels of commitment, is through experimentation. By providing employees the opportunity to be creative, involving them in the process of problem-solving, and making them feel like valuable members of the team, management can help achieve higher levels of employee commitment as well as engagement.
Do it yourself!
Having in mind what you need to do to keep motivation levels high, here are two tips on how you can apply what was mentioned to your remote team:
Firstly, it is important to communicate to your employees what is significant for you from a leadership perspective. For example, it is important for you to learn about what motivates your team. Find out what may increase or decrease their motivation by using online tools, such as an online survey, or through individual and group discussions and then apply what you have learned.
Secondly, weekly routines must not focus specifically on tactical work. Employees should have the opportunity throughout the week to work on projects that do not demand mechanical procedures, while at the same time be able to develop skills such as adaptability, flexibility, and problem-solving thinking.
Analyzed and edited by Ioannis Maragkakis