Remote working: five successful tips for motivating virtual teams

Whether you have someone in your team who works from home one or two days a week, a handful of remote workers or you even have team members overseas, good employee management is essential to the performance of your business.

More and more businesses are choosing to offer remote and flexible working for their employees, but some may worry about how this might affect team morale. In most cases, remote working can have a huge benefit on your business; allowing you to secure the right people, regardless of their circumstance and where they are in the world.

It just means that you should make a little more effort to keep employees driven and feeling part of a team. If you’re in need of some inspiration, here are five ways in which you can keep your virtual teams motivated.

  • Hold weekly team video calls

A great way to feel more connected with your team is to hold weekly video calls with everyone included. Like a normal team meeting, this will allow your employees to get any issues off their chest and share what they’re currently working on with the rest of the group. Of course, it doesn’t all have to be about work. Why not end the meeting with a fun non-work-related question that everyone can take turns answering?

  • Use an instant messenger service

It’s all well and good sending emails back and forth to one another, but even these can seem a bit too formal at times. Instead, have your employees use an instant messaging service such as Skype or Slack to be able to quickly fire questions across to each other, or even just to chat, feel connected and build better working relationships with one another.

  • Show trust in your employees

One of the things that most employers will admit they find the most difficult about remote working is trusting that the work is getting done. It might be easier said than done, but if you’ve hired the right people in the first place, you have to give them the autonomy to go away and get on with it. A lot of people will find that they’re actually more productive when working remotely for a team, as they feel they need to prove that they’re getting things done without the boss nearby to check in. So, show your employees some trust and they’ll be more willing to do the best job possible.

  • Provide rewards and opportunities

It can sometimes get lonely working on your own, especially if there are people in your team who work together on a daily basis. So, with that in mind, make sure you’re providing incentives and rewards to help encourage your team members who work remotely. Give plenty of recognition for the great work that they do, letting them know that it doesn’t go unnoticed, despite them not being present in the office. And, where possible, offer plenty of opportunity for learning, development and growth in their role.

  • Plan team activities in person

It might not always be easy, but try and arrange for all your team to get together at least once, twice or even quarterly each year, even if that means covering expenses for people travelling overseas to do so. You could plan specific team building days or activities. Or, instead, why not pay for a relaxed meal out followed by drinks, so that everyone can put faces to names, let their hair down and have their hard work rewarded.

With these five tips in place, managing remote teams won’t seem as tricky and morale will be boosted across the business as well as more collaborative working.