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The coronavirus pandemic has led to lockdowns and quarantine orders affecting everyone, including your workers who are now forced to work remotely.

Recent studies show that a large majority are struggling with loneliness. The same number find it difficult with collaboration and communication online, and while only a small percentage reported challenges staying focused on the job at hand, employers understand the value of finding ways to motivate their workers during this period of uncertainty and stress.

We’ve checked out companies that are investing time in this quest, and we’ve come up with a list of options for you, from regular team huddles—connecting co-workers with short, online meetings, to virtual coffee chats (GitLab)—video calls scheduled in between meetings for friendly, fun, non-work conversation.

Here are some other ideas on how to motivate your workers:

  • Face to face engagement. Use Zoom and Skype to improve engagement through video chat.
     
  • Recognition and rewards. Give your remote employees a gift card or meal voucher for their extra diligence and acts of kindness outside the office in fighting the COVID-19 virus. Perkbox is a good example.
     
  • Staying in touch. Slack, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts are examples of how your remote employees can keep in contact with each other wherever they are located. Also, keep in mind that it pays to invest in internal communication tools that are reliable and secure at the same time.
     
  • Encouragement. Send regular email messages to your workers and reassure them that their role is essential, whatever that may be.
     
  • Counseling. Offer psychological helplines, to aid workers suffering from anxiety or stress-related issues.
     
  • Professional development. Initiate opportunities for personal growth including learning new skills and tackling new projects.
     
  • Workswell works well too! It’s an online consulting group and their aim is to incorporate more playful elements into company meetings. 

However, when it comes down to it, it’s not really about motivation. As Adam Gerhar, CEO of Mindshare aptly puts it: “… it’s about support, empowerment and empathy. People want to know that [you’re] in their corner, and that we’re in it together.”

Creative thinking, smart innovations and motivation itself all stem from this concept.

Keep this in mind and always provide clear information and instructions. Push the importance and effectiveness of virtual meetings, and your workers will undoubtedly be more productive and happier in the workplace, as remote as that might be.

About the Author(s)

Vernon Southward

Vernon Southward is the CEO of Easelly, makers of a simple infographic maker tool with 4 million users (and counting!) worldwide. They also do custom infographics and animated infographics for small businesses and startups with lightning-fast turnaround times.

CEO , Easelly
Happy employee waving at co-worker on laptop screen