August 25, 2021 9:50 am Published by Categorised in:

Motivation, remote work and Covid

The Covid-19 pandemic has shattered all norms of what was once considered normal by every one of us. It has caused unprecedented disruptions to all facets of life. It has forced people across cultural and geographic lines to reimagine and adapt to a new world. A world underscored by confinement, uncertainty, restrictions and isolation.

One of the biggest fallouts of the pandemic has been the push to keep livelihoods going. This has been accomplished by making remote and hybrid work sustainable, productive and efficient. There are several studies on the efficacy of working from home record higher productivity due to fewer distractions and the ability to log longer hours when working from home. These longer-term effects on motivation and mental wellbeing, however, are demanding reconsideration as the pandemic rages on.

For organizations large or small, finding a way to balance the psychology of motivation and heightened productivity is a challenge. To help you out, we’ve listed some motivation tips. You can implement these to create win-win situations for yourself and your employees while making the most of working remotely:

Motivation Tips and Hacks to Try

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1. Encouraging Boundaries:
The idea of having employees log longer hours or stay available on work communication all day is seemingly intuitive. Longer hours dedicated to work, after all, automatically translate to more work done. This is likely to show strong results at the start, but can be detrimental to productivity, motivation and wellbeing in the long run. This can lead to employees beginning to report burnout, fatigue and dissatisfaction over time.

So, to combat these effects, encourage your employees to try the following:

  • Build a daily routine that takes into consideration ample personal and down time
  • Set up snooze schedules on your devices and apps to make sure you are digitally well rested
  • Set out personal time everyday for social connection, making sure you’re meeting with or speaking to loved ones or colleagues
  • Through the course of your work day make sure you take time to eat nutritious meals. Take breaks away from your devices and hydrate enough. A healthy body supports and maintains a healthy mind

2. Non- Monetary Rewards and Incentives:

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Evidence from research reveals a strong correlation between low motivation in employees and the lack of recognition or support.

Non-monetary incentives that are useful to the team and the organization during these times can be implemented. They are a good way to go without having to allocate additional revenue or budget spends:

  • Offering four-day work weeks for teams that reach their targets or complete projects beyond expectations
  • Feature employees on company social platforms or internal networks. Highlight their service and accomplishments that have gone above calls of duty during these times of crisis
  • Barter potlucks or virtual get togethers for teams that aren’t able to meet each other or share meals together. These are important daily rituals of bonding that are no longer possible with remote work. Assigning members to send meals to each other can help revive foster a sense of community and adds things to look forward to at work

3. Integration of Technology and AI:
With much of today’s work managed virtually, the levels of digital literacy and comfort with technology are higher than before. Using this familiarity and comfort with emerging tech, organizations can introduce Artificial Intelligence tools. Adding periodic, gamified surveys and tasks to help them monitor and catch interferences in mental wellbeing prior to onset. This allows the organization to take timely action to protect the overall wellbeing of their employees. This also contributes to saving on attrition and productivity costs. Additionally, it creates feedback loops that serve as crucial indicators of the efficacy of any new performance or engagement policies that are being implemented.

Services from providers such as 7cups, Meditopia and Kaktus are options that can be explored for employees in this direction.

Your assurances of well rounded assistance services that factor in the special needs of workers at this time can be very beneficial. Extending benefits to family members of employees too will be useful. If not, directing them to affordable service providers can help manage the spill over effects of the pandemic onto family life.

Motivation tips to try for remote employees (Designed by Dana Barakat)

4. Financial Education:
With uncertainty casting gloom over the future for the world at large, financial security is top on most people’s minds. A great way to keep employees motivated and alleviate stresses over financial security is by providing information around safe savings and investment channels. Educating your workforce on smart ways of saving during the pandemic or investing in short term plans. As the organization shows employees they are cared for, performance and motivation is likely to rise on a daily basis.

5.  Inclusion of Diverse Experiences:

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The pandemic has affected different portions of the population in differing ways. Taking all experiences into consideration is important to creating empathetic environments. This makes space for all sections of your diverse workforce and is important to keep employees motivated through a crisis.

Including employees in decisions that affect their time and experiences on the job or having open discussions will help workers feel invested in their roles and contributions to the firm. This also helps them feel less lost in the crowd while already overwhelmed with circumstances beyond their control.

6. Building Trust and Autonomy:
The disappearance of physical access to employees has challenged professional trust. Many organizations have grappled with the idea of trusting a remote workforce to get work done. While this is a normal reaction attached to previous modes of functioning; you can use the new need for remote working as an opportunity to examine and build healthier notions of trust at the workplace. Some of the ways in which this can be achieved are:

  • Including employees allocation and assignment decisions for tasks, allowing them to take independent ownership and responsibility for projects
  • Avoiding micro management or unrealistic deadlines. Choosing instead to use positive feedback loops at reasonable intervals. This ensures that tasks are completed in a timely manner, employees feel trusted and have a sense of personal accomplishment. This can help build worth, confidence and motivation
  • Practicing transparency in your communication with your teams. Making sure that the reasoning behind goals or targets are clearly explained, so that the process leads to trust begetting trust on both sides

Conclusion

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In conclusion, it is safe to say that the pandemic has taken the world by storm in more ways than one. Above all, the extent to which things we were once familiar with have been uprooted is truly devastating. But, with disruptions come opportunities to invent new ways of doing old things. We hope that these tips and tricks are helpful as you continue to champion the vision of the organization while caring for your battalions through this crisis. Your efforts to build kindness and empathy in leadership can go a long way. It will contribute to strong, resilient teams and will continue to be remembered after the traces of the pandemic have left our lives.

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