January 20, 2022

We thought that as we were nearing the end of 2021, we were also nearing the end of the pandemic. How wrong were we! The never-ending pandemic has made it certain that remote work is here to say.

Amid rising Omicron cases, it’s natural for companies to feel like they have no control right now. On the other hand, it’s common for employees to feel burned out. The wisest way to navigate this never-ending pandemic is to have a solid plan to motivate your employees.

After all, tons of studies have shown that employees who are motivated and appreciated, work harder and are more productive and satisfied.

After the Great Resignation, 2022 is expected to bring more employees back to the office, accelerating the hybrid and remote work experiences that have already become a part of the work culture today.

So, how do leaders, who may themselves be feeling burned out with this never-ending pandemic, lead and motivate employees?

We’ve put together a 5-point plan for you to lead and motivate your remote and hybrid employees.

Let’s get started.

A 5-point plan to motivate remote employees in 2022

1. Motivate employees to be social

One of the struggles of remote employees is to be able to feel connected and have a sense of belonging. The first and most important step of this plan is to simply socialize with employees and encourage managers to do the same with their team members.

Host company gatherings, team luncheons, yoga sessions, or retreats to foster a sense of connectedness and belonging among employees.

Using the latest technologies and tools is cool. But let’s not forget the importance of a simple and heartfelt talk with your team members, especially remote ones.

Pro tip: Not every interaction needs to be over a video call. Tons of studies suggest that video calls can place extra strain on the brain since they require more intense focus. Chat can also prove to be a great way to host social programs, engage in conversations, celebrate milestones, and ultimately motivate employees.

2. Motivate employees to set boundaries and disconnect

Remote work may feel all exciting especially in the start, but it requires clearly set boundaries. Otherwise, the boundaries between work and personal life can quickly blur. The result is an inability to unplug from work. Burned out employees are more likely to quit their jobs.

Encourage employees to set boundaries, have a dedicated workplace, take breaks, and shut down on time. By motivating employees to set boundaries, you not only get better results but you get more engaged and loyal workers.

Pro tip: A productivity or a time tracking tool like KonarkPro can help your teammates to clock out or shut down on time.

3. Motivate employees to work flexibly

There are over 16 MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) personality types that approach relationships, career choices, work, planning, and thinking all in their own unique ways.

Some people work better in an office, while some work better at home. Some are more productive in the morning, while some work more efficiently after noon. Provide your remote employees with the flexibility to get their work done at their most productive hours.

At the end of the day, what matters is whether the goals are being met, right? The level of flexibility you provide goes to show the level of trust you place in them.

Pro tip: While ensuring flexibility and freedom of work hours, you can track the progress and productivity of your employees with the use of time tracking platforms like KonarkPro, without having to micromanage them.

4. Prioritize mental health by providing your team with regular counselling

We’ve all been through a lot since early 2020. Your teammates rely on you to help them cope with all the challenges that this never-ending pandemic is throwing their way.

Offer mental health support to your employees in the form of online resources, wellness allowances, mental health policies, guided gatherings, counseling sessions, or meditation periods.

Pro tip: Empower and motivate employees to take time off for mental well-being.

5. Ramp up more formal employee recognition opportunities

A lack of appreciation can lead to unsatisfied and unproductive workers who feel stuck in their jobs. Praising them during regular interaction is great, but it can only do so much to keep them motivated. Consider ramping up your employee recognition opportunities by holding regular weekly or monthly recognition meetings. Go out of the way to show your appreciation for your best employees in unique ways like having team managers send special deliveries to them.

Pro tip: Recognize the person, not just their performance. Go beyond performance-based recognition by recognizing your employee’s unique talents and abilities. Deliver specific and personalized appreciation messages to make maximum impact.

The Bottom Line

Team-building activities are great to energize and motivate employees. In the end, it leads to great work ethic and improved job satisfaction. You could either center these activities around work or simply entertainment. Fun outdoor activities like scavenger hunts could help employees develop group communication skills.