Motivating Remote Teams: 10 Ideas for Managers

Many companies and businesses have shifted to remote work in light of the pandemic. However, working remotely can pose unique challenges to employers and managers. How do you ensure that team dynamics are maintained despite the barrier of physical distance? How do you motivate remote workers to work in order to encourage productivity without sacrificing work-life balance?

In this article, we will explore 10 ideas for managers on how to motivate employees on their distributed teams. Whether your team is entirely remote or just partially working from home, these strategies provide useful guidance on connecting with employees and creating an engaging workplace culture.

What is Motivation?

Motivation is the key that drives employees to give their best efforts, remain optimistic, and maintain a positive attitude towards work. Having motivated employees can lead to an increase in productivity, better job satisfaction, and ultimately results in employee retention.

Motivating employees needs to be a driven effort by the managers, who can implement different ideas and strategies to encourage their team members. These ideas can range from providing flexible work arrangements, rewards and recognition, offering opportunities for learning and development, and showing empathy towards employees’ personal situations. All of these aspects are essential for developing a motivated and engaged workforce, which can lead to a successful organization.

Challenges in Motivating Remote Teams

With the global rise in working from home, motivating teams remotely has become a new challenge for managers. A report shows that only 15% of workers worldwide feel engaged in their work.

Without the traditional office environment and face-to-face interactions, it can be difficult to maintain morale and keep everyone focused on meeting goals due to the challenges of remote working.

Some of the most common challenges that remote teams may face include:

  1. Lack of face-to-face interactionOne of the biggest challenges of remote work is the lack of face-to-face interaction. This can make it difficult for team members to feel connected to each other and to the company. Without in-person interactions, it can be harder for managers to build personal relationships and trust with team members.
  2. Communication barriersImage from FreepikCommunication can be more challenging in a remote work environment, especially when team members are spread across different time zones or working hours. Miscommunication can easily occur, and important messages may be missed or misunderstood.
  3. Difficulty in monitoring productivityRemote work can make it harder for managers to monitor productivity and ensure that team members are meeting their targets. This can be particularly challenging for teams that require high levels of collaboration and coordination.
  4. Distractions and lack of structureWorking from home can be distracting, especially if team members are not used to the environment. A lack of structure may lead to procrastination and decreased productivity.
  5. Feelings of isolationRemote work can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness, which can negatively impact motivation and morale.
  6. Technology issuesTechnical problems can be a major source of frustration for remote workers, leading to delays and decreased productivity.

Maintaining motivation and engagement in a remote work environment requires managers to be proactive in addressing these challenges. This can include regular check-ins with team members, fostering open communication channels, setting clear goals and expectations, providing feedback and recognition, and creating opportunities for team members to socialize and connect.

How can you motivate remote employees?

Motivating remote employees can be challenging, as it requires different strategies than those used with on-site workers. The lack of face-to-face interaction makes establishing a connection with team members harder. It can make remote workers feel disconnected from their colleagues and the company culture. Despite these challenges, there are several effective ways to motivate remote employees and foster a positive work environment.

Here are a few ideas to boost remote employee motivation.

1. Establish effective communication within the team

Effective communication is vital in any team. It’s the foundation for a successful group dynamic and ensures everyone is on the same page. Communication isn’t just about talking, it’s about actively listening, gathering information and sharing ideas. Whether through regular meetings, online chats or group emails, establishing effective communication within the team will undoubtedly lead to a successful outcome.

To avoid miscommunication, it is important for leaders to set clear goals and objectives when managing remote teams. Managers should also ensure that tasks are delegated clearly and that consistent check-ins occur between team members. Hence, everyone is aware of their goals, objectives and expectations while working remotely.

Advantages of Effective Communication:

  • It builds relationships with remote employees.Regular communication can help to build relationships between team members and create a sense of camaraderie, even if they are not working in the same physical space. This can be achieved through various means, such as video conferencing, instant messaging, email, or phone calls. It’s important to establish regular check-ins and virtual meetings to keep everyone informed about the progress of projects, deadlines, and other important information.
  • It helps to establish a culture of trust within the team.When everyone in the team communicates openly and honestly with their colleagues and managers, it creates a positive and cohesive work environment. They are more likely to understand each other’s dynamics and expectations and develop a shared sense of purpose. Good communication fosters trust, which in turn, makes the team members feel motivated and engaged with their work, resulting in higher levels of job satisfaction, increased productivity, and better results for the organization as a whole.

2. Provide feedback regularly

Providing consistent feedback to remote employees is especially important in order to ensure that employees feel they are adequately motivated. Feedback can be positive and negative, but regardless of the nature of the feedback, it should focus on reinforcing specific behaviours and results.

Research suggests that well-timed feedback can increase performance levels by up to 37%. Whenever possible, provide immediate feedback on tasks and projects rather than waiting until a later time or after all tasks have been completed.

Consider creating a feedback system that includes formal evaluations and informal conversations.

  • Formal reviews can follow a prescribed format that outlines expectations for the employee’s performance levels as well as what rewards they might expect at different milestones.
  • Informal check-ins can include phone calls, emails, or video conferences where managers can informally assess their employee’s morale and sense of satisfaction with the work they’re doing.

While providing feedback is essential to motivating remote employees, it must balance positive recognition of accomplishments and constructive criticism to address issues before they become major problems. When delivering critical feedback, ensure that it’s done in a gentle manner since it can easily affect an employee’s motivation. It should also be directed towards behaviour rather than individuals; aim to discuss specific instances instead of labelling people with general character traits or qualities they cannot change. Finally, accompany criticism with recommendations for improvement and a sincere commitment to helping the employee make the necessary changes.

3. Build trust within the team

Building trust within a team is essential for keeping remote workers engaged. Without trust and cooperation, tasks can be nearly impossible to complete efficiently as employees don’t feel secure enough with their colleagues.

Two main strategies can be used to build trust in remote teams:

  • Establish communication protocolsThis can help reduce employees’ fear of the unknown by giving some structure to the team’s workflow while also making sure that expectations of behaviour and work culture are maintained despite the remote setting.For example, employees should book meetings ahead of time instead of impromptu video calls; emails should include topics or questions that need clarification rather than long-winded ones without an agenda; and online chats should focus on light conversations about projects and successes. These expectations can keep everyone on the same page and help them understand each other, leading to better collaboration in the long run.
  • Create shared team goals
    Creating shared team goals not only gives remote employees a sense of unity but encourages them to use each other’s skills to achieve great things together. Business leaders can set aside time to emphasize how important teamwork is when setting up shared goals and engage in meaningful dialogue to help generate commitment among team members. This can also help promote honest feedback between peers as well as validate each individual’s contribution towards the common goal.

    Building strong bonds between team members can help remote teams to thrive and become more productive despite working from home or in different parts of the world.

4. Create a sense of belonging

Fostering a shared identity and common purpose among employees will make them feel more connected to their role in the organization and less likely to become disengaged. This can be done through activities such as team-building exercises, social events, or simply making sure that everyone’s voice is heard and respected.

When people feel secure in their roles within the team, they are more likely to be motivated, productive and committed to achieving success. So make sure everyone feels included and part of something bigger so that everyone can work together towards a common goal.

5. Recognize employee achievements, efforts, and milestones

It’s essential to understand that remote teams are doing an exceptional job in keeping the companies afloat. They put in a lot of effort and commitment to meet deadlines. As with any employee, remote employees like to be appreciated and acknowledged for their work. In fact, a survey says 88% of organizations use employee recognition to increase employee motivation.

Employers can show appreciation for remote workersby rewarding bonuses or special incentives that will make remote employees motivated and feel valued. This, in turn, can lead to increased productivity and higher job satisfaction.

Rewards can be offered in both financial and non-financial forms. Financial incentives are a great way to recognize an individual’s achievements. Employers can offer bonuses, gift cards, or special events as a reward for a job well done. Non-financial incentives include gratitude and verbal recognition, virtual awards on company forums, or other tokens of appreciation, such as an extra day off work or an invitation to a a virtual lunch or happy hour.

Investing in your remote teams not only benefits your business but also creates a positive work culture that recognises and rewards employee contributions.

6. Offer opportunities to learn

Remote work can be isolating, and without opportunities to learn and develop new skills, employees may become stagnant in their roles. Offering learning opportunities can help remote employees expand their skill sets and stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends. It also shows that the organization values their professional development and career progression.

Organizations that invest in the development of their remote employees can also gain a competitive advantage by attracting and retaining top talent, and by having a more skilled workforce that can adapt to changing business needs.

7. Provide flexibility with work arrangements

With the trend of remote working, the traditional 9-5 work schedule is becoming less and less popular. Remote team members are looking for more than just a steady paycheck. They want a work-life balance that fit their individual needs.

Offering flexible work schedules whether full remote work, a compressed workweek or adjusting hours to accommodate personal obligations can lead to increased job satisfaction and loyalty.

As an employer, it’s important to recognize the value in offering flexibility as it not only benefits your employees, but your company as well. Flexible work schedule attracts a diverse workforce, as people with different lifestyles and family responsibilities can still maintain their careers while fulfilling their personal obligations. It’s a win-win situation for both the employer and the employee.

8. Have online team building events

Discuss how having online team-building events can help motivate teams.

In the current digital world, employee engagement has become more important than ever before. With many teams no longer based in the same physical location, building strong connections and fostering a sense of unity can be challenging.

Creating employee engagement programmes motivates employees to have fun experiences with other team members. Participating in virtual team building activities, the remote workforce can bond over shared experiences and work towards common goals. From online games and quizzes to virtual socials and workout classes, there are endless possibilities for creating engaging and fun experiences for teams.

Investing in online team building events can strengthen an organization’s team dynamics and improve overall productivity and job satisfaction among their employees.

9. Set output-based goals for the team

Achieving goals is always challenging, but setting output-based goals for your office or remote team can lead to success. Identify specific, measurable targets, provide clear direction to your team members, and encourage them to work toward common objectives.

Rather than focusing on individual accomplishments, output-based goals require collaboration and teamwork. This approach fosters a sense of shared business purpose and enables everyone to work together toward common company goals.

When your team knows what they’re aiming for, they’ll be more motivated, productive, and more likely to achieve results. Whether it’s increasing sales revenue or reducing waste, setting clear output-based goals will make a significant difference to the success of your team.

10. Show that you care for their overall well-being

It’s easy to get caught up in project deadlines, but it’s important to remember that employees are just human and have needs beyond work. Whether it’s a kind word of support or a listening ear, showing that you care for your employees’ overall well-being can go a long way. It’s about checking in on them, asking how their day is going, and genuinely showing interest in their lives.

Demonstrating care and concern for others isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also a great way to build meaningful connections and relationships.


There are many ways to motivate remote teams to create an effective and successful work environment. It is important to establish effective communication within the team, set output-based goals, offer flexible work arrangements and schedules, celebrate successes and milestones with the team, provide learning opportunities, show appreciation with rewards or bonuses, and have online team-building events.

Show that you care for your remote teams’ overall well-being by taking a step back to provide them with the flexibility of their busy lives; this will help you create an unforgettable workplace culture that will last a lifetime.

More from

What’s MintSuperTeams

Feugiat nibh arcu purus laoreet nullam. Leo quis faucibus arcu sed viverra. Sit imperdiet massa fermentum tincidunt consectetur. Ullamcorper sed bibendum tincidunt a auctor ultricies neque in. Risus mauris mauris sed non leo.

Join our team

Join our team today and be part of a company that values your skills, invest in your professional and personal growth,, and empowers you to make a difference.

Together, we can drive innovations and deliver remarkable results for our clients.

Work with us

Finding the right skills for your business should not be a hassle. With our expertise, extensive network, and personalized approach, we can help you find the perfect match that will fuel your business success.

Join our team

Join our team today and be part of a company that values your skills, invest in your professional and personal growth,, and empowers you to make a difference.

Together, we can drive innovations and deliver remarkable results for our clients.

Work with us

Finding the right skills for your business should not be a hassle. With our expertise, extensive network, and personalized approach, we can help you find the perfect match that will fuel your business success.