While many companies were forced into a remote work environment during the pandemic, the decision to remain remote (or in some cases, hybrid) has become intentional and conscious. Just look at the recent companies that have decided to go fully remote.
An important part of managing a remote workforce is maintaining and improving team morale. Doing this is imperative to maintaining team productivity and collaboration, but also ensuring that employees are happy and satisfied in their work.
With in-office work environments, morale can be cultivated through various in-person activities. But in a fully remote setting, companies need to be creative about their approach. Thankfully, there are several strategies companies can implement.
8 effective ways that companies can help boost your remote team morale
- Regular communication is a must. Consistent communication is the key to building strong relationships and trust between team members. Companies can encourage communication through daily or weekly team check-ins, virtual social hours, and team-building activities. Additionally, a system like Slack or Ring Central with carefully-planned use policies is essential. Many teams create channels to celebrate birthdays or holidays, or for employees to share personal or professional good news.
- Show recognition and appreciation for your team in a meaningful way. It can be easy for your remote work team to feel isolated and disconnected from a company culture that has typically been established through in-person connection, so it’s essential to recognize and appreciate your team’s contributions. Whether it’s through personalized thank-you emails or texts, shout-outs in a public forum, or incentives like rewards (like a gift card for a cup of coffee or a free day off), ensuring that you’re taking the time to acknowledge your remote team that’s meaningful to them is key to boosting morale.
- Invest in employee development opportunities: By offering a variety of work and non-work-related learning and development opportunities can help your remote work employees feel valued and invested in the company. You can offer online training programs during work hours, educational sessions for CE credit, or even reimbursement for in-person classes they have an interest in taking as a way to support your employees’ development.
- Provide flexible working hours that accommodate the challenges of real life: Flexibility can be one of the reasons why employees enjoy remote work. But there are many different levels of flexibility. When companies actually accommodate the challenges of real life, like daytime doctor appointments or sick children, it can create a positive working relationship between the employee and the company. Also, allowing employees to set their own working hours can also help them find a balance between their work and personal responsibilities. For parents, in particular, it can be helpful for them to start earlier so they can pick up their children from school.
- Plan fun non-work related events: Without in-person opportunities for socialization, like office birthday parties or happy hours after work, companies need to create those opportunities virtually. They are an important part of a company’s work culture. Confetti offers a slew of engaging, creative opportunities for companies to host virtual events for their employees that feel like they’re celebrating or engaging in person.
- Foster a positive remote work culture: Companies need to be intentional about creating a positive work culture. Beyond promoting inclusivity and diversity, companies should consider things like an employee-driven work policy or peer-to-peer mentoring as just a couple of examples of how to foster a work culture that makes employees feel supported. Not sure what your employees think is important to them? Ask them what is meaningful through an anonymous survey. Or, consider creating a committee dedicated specifically to fostering a positive remote work culture
- Provide regular feedback to your team: This is especially important for remote work teams who do not have the opportunity to hear from their leader about the quality of their work. Annual performance reviews aren’t enough for a team that doesn’t see each other in person. Feedback should be constructive and personalized, and be presented in a way that the employee understands what the next step actions might be.
- Offer them on-demand coworking spaces: Remote work can be isolating, so offering the option of a coworking space to your remote team can be a smart way to boost their morale. Not only will they be able to connect with other professionals and potentially network, but they’ll have the opportunity to add a bit of a commute back into their day (which has been shown to help support mental health), and have a place that feels like an office to support productivity.
By implementing these strategies, companies can boost remote team morale and create a positive and productive work environment for their teams.