Staying motivated when working remotely or working from home can be tricky. Many leaders wonder how to keep their teams motivated, and many employees struggle to get up in the morning due to a lack of motivation.
We've written about ways to unplug from work before, and we truly believe this is one of the ways to stay motivated. Before giving you tips on how to to stay motivated, it is perhaps important to understand what are your main demotivators.
Why Does it Even Matter?
Demotivation is contagious and it is toxic. Even one demotivated employee who constantly gossips about work or other factors can quickly succeed in demotivating others too. Organizations are prone to the danger of demotivation at all times. So, it’s important to be aware of it and recognize it, empathize and attempt to really connect with that employee to figure out what is demotivating them.
Common Demotivators and Tips
There are common demotivators in companies, those demotivators compound when working from home or remotely, let us explore some of those common demotivators and how remote work can compound their effects
Lack of Appreciation
When working remotely one common piece of human interaction we do away with is subconscious appreciation. In an office setting it is very common to have an impromptu conversation with a colleague, and during the course of the conversation unknowingly express appreciation: "Ah that's awesome I needed this!", "Wow I didn't know you could even do that", etc.
Tip: We recommend making an effort and blocking time away (5-10 minutes) from your day to look at what your colleagues and people around the company are really doing. That's easy with Clearword's search but we won't get into that now. When you notice something interesting send that person a message. "Just wanted to say this deal you closed is really impressive!" — This is leadership, regardless of your position.
We've written about the importance of unplugging from work. 45% of people say they work more when working remotely. If being overworked is common in the traditional workplace, imagine if 45% of people now feel they are overworked. The mental burden of having too much work is detrimental to every aspect of your life, not only your professional life but also your personal relationships, family life, etc.
Tip: When you feel overworked (assuming you are competent), do bring it up to your manager or your colleagues in a constructive manner. If you work with "traditional managers" it is your job to set strict boundaries, say no if it's necessary, talk to your friends and family about being a bit overworked, make sure to take lunch breaks and never neglect your nutrition.
🚨 Pro-tip: I have spent over 15 years perfecting the art of protecting my "yes" and liberally say "no". This is a skill that is learnt and perfected. This will allow you to establish solid boundaries, in which you can operate more effectively.
Lack of Visibility & Communication
Many employees in traditional offices fail to be successful not because they are incompetent but because they do not have any visibility, clarity or understanding of their tasks. This is usually due to a lack in communication. When working remotely, a lack or failure of communication can destroy the productivity of a team in a mere few weeks.
The lack of information-flow is demotivating and many remote employees feel they need to stay online much longer hours to try and "stay in touch" with their organization.
Tip: Your job is to establish transparency processes around the tools you use. Your manager's job is to make sure they express the WHY you are working on something, and more than ever, pose tasks as challenges.
🚨 Pro-tip: Never forget that you are always allowed to ask why. If you don't understand a task, express it early, and ask for clarifications.
Micromanagement & Mistrust
Unfortunately this is something we all either experienced or heard about: Micromanagement. Whilst there are cases where micro-management can be a useful interim technique, it usually is not. It grows out of mistrust with an employee or manager resorting to micro-managing other employees.
The cost of micromanagement is very high. Managers who micromanage are often very insecure in their own abilities. According to a study in the Harvard Business Review, approximately 40% of managers express low confidence in their own ability to manage workers remotely. This insecurity is often projected onto the employees, and the lack of transparency around toolsets and guidelines cause... more meetings.
Tip: Use tools like Clearword to provide a clear view across your organization so you can reduce the amount of "check-in" meetings with your teams. Use tools and establish transparency guidelines for your team.
🚨 Pro-tip: As a manager, express your insecurities. You are a human, talk to your colleagues. You need to sit down with your team and figure out what is a meeting cadence that works FOR THEM.