Looking for a way to increase productivity, reinvigorate your team, and make coming into work feel exciting every day? This can become a little more complicated when your staff works from home.
If you’re wondering how to build team morale remotely, you’re not alone.
With so many workplaces operating remotely, business owners are eager to boost morale online and create remote work culture, and we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll cover mentorships, team building activities, and a whole lot more, so read on to find the perfect solutions to the challenge of building employee morale in the virtual office space.
Your team members deserve to be recognized for their contributions to the company. According to studies, nearly 70% of workers believe they would work harder if they were properly appreciated.
In a traditional office, recognition and employee feedback could take the form of an employee of the month plaque, a semi-annual assembly to recognize the high achievers, or a simple face-to-face thank you.
When it comes to congratulating your remote team on a job well done, consider the following options for your virtual team:
- A virtual award event – Create an annual virtual event to honor the biggest successes at your company. Consider creating clever categories and offering prizes to the team members who went above and beyond.
- Monthly call-out emails – If it’s difficult for you to bring your entire staff together for a meeting, email might be the best way to highlight your virtual team’s successes. Consider sending out an all-staff bulletin with pertinent information and a prominent space to recognize staff accomplishments.
- Personalized videos – Since you can’t stop by and offer your personal congratulations, consider filming a short video that expresses your appreciation. You can enlist fellow team members to contribute and craft a video that shows one special staff member how much they mean to everyone in the office.
Construct Clear Lines of Communication
Are you listening to your team? Sure, your email is always open and your phone is always on, but communication is about more than talking—it requires an environment where employees can freely share.
Workplace morale can stagnate or sink when employees feel unable to communicate their challenges. If your distributed team feels out of touch with managers and bosses, it can lead to wasted potential and frustration.
Consider the ways to open the lines of communication with your team remotely:
- Start asking the right questions – Get specific when interfacing with your team one-on-one. Ask about their current challenges, their energy levels, and their insights about their own performance. If you create a safe and stable work environment, you can expect to receive candid answers that can lead to strong bonds and better communication.
- Build a space to chit-chat – Create a digital chat channel that honors the social. That means chatting about movies, sports, knitting—whatever your team is interested in. This can be a place where common hobbies are shared, thoughtful encouragement is given, and friendly relationships are cultivated.
- Clarify expectations – Employees are sometimes hesitant to reach out for clarification. This can lead to doubts and lowered staff morale when they struggle with difficult projects. Challenge yourself to create clear expectations for your team, and let them know that even when they’re working alone, they don’t have to take on every challenge alone.
Work to keep your team locked into consistent, solid communication, and you’ll likely see your morale at an all-time high. So often the difficulties of remote working are solved when you start to close the distance with communication.
Enable Work-Life Balance
Most workers are familiar with burnout. Whether working long hours or stressing over an important project, many of us push ourselves to the limit as we strive to be the very best we can be at our jobs.
While dedication and hard work go a long way, it’s important to remember that every member of your team has a life outside of their work.
To help ensure that everyone’s work life is balanced with their time off the clock, consider the following ways to encourage a healthy equilibrium:
- Ask about preferences – Knowing a little bit about each team member’s personal preferences can go a long way to avoiding work burnout. Discover the tasks that they find the most interesting, where they’d most like to improve, and what particular pet peeves they may have when it comes to the job. As an added bonus, getting to know your team can lead to better work relationships overall.
- Plan ahead – We’re often faced with unexpected deadlines and scenarios that quickly become more complicated than originally expected. It can boost morale when your team knows exactly what’s in store. Do your best to keep them posted about what to expect and plan your weeks in advance to ensure everyone can make time for the rest of their lives.
- Stay flexible – Life happens. Occasionally, that means work has to wait. Try to be flexible with your team and allow them the freedom to take off work when something more important pops up.
Empower Your Team
A strong team is a happy team, so work to curate opportunities for members to venture out of their comfort zones, rise to challenges, and do the work that means the most to them.
Discover what motivates your team and brings out their A-game by trying out the following empowerment options:
- Sponsor charities – Giving back is important. Encourage your team to connect with a local or national charity of their choosing and create a fundraiser or raffle. A charity project can help your team members feel like they’re truly making a difference every time they open up their laptops.
- Create incentives – Is your team hungry for a challenge? Create unique incentives such as “top seller,” “most inventive idea,” or “fastest conversion.” Choose the challenge that works best for your business and start brainstorming rewards. Of course, cash is always appreciated, but you can always offer up special items that might appeal to your team. Pick something that’s sure to inspire everyone to rise to the occasion.
- Inspire collaboration – While incentives encourage competition, you can always double down on collaboration. Offer new tools for your team to work together even when they’re halfway across the world. With the advent of easy-to-use digital workspaces, there’s no reason your team can’t be fully synchronized and ready to collaborate at the drop of a hat.
Create Opportunities For Growth
Give your team the chance to accelerate their work and plan for the future. You can offer a variety of digital events and opportunities for career growth.
Invite your team to take part in any of the following opportunities:
- Seminars and virtual events – Look within your network for industry leaders and insiders who can offer their insights. Informational seminars are an engaging great way for your employees to discover new skills and refine the ones they already have. Larger virtual events can offer your team opportunities to interface with other professionals.
- Online classes – If you’re interested in keeping your team up to date with the most recent and relevant aspects of your industry, consider investing in online classes. Further education may only be applicable to specific members of your team, but opening the door to further education provides a big boost in morale.
- Mentorships – Let the most experienced members of your team pass on their knowledge. With a mentorship program, the newest hires can gain the wisdom of your most senior members, while the senior members gather unique insights from their fresh-eyed apprentices.
Why is Team Morale Important?
Need more inspiration to start boosting morale?
Team morale means a whole lot more than friendly emails and smiling faces during video conferencing and chats; it has some real-world effects on businesses and employees.
With strong morale, you can expect benefits like:
- Reduced turnover – Even your best employees may seek alternative employment options if their overall morale is low. Keep your team together and avoid the costly effects of frequent rehiring and retraining.
- Increased productivity – A morale boost can have a powerful effect on productivity and efficiency. You could see your products and services reaching their full potential by cultivating positive energy in your workplace—even when it’s remote.
- Healthier employees – Mental and physical well-being are directly linked, so a team that’s in good spirits should experience fewer sick days, less fatigue, and clearer heads when tackling the next challenge. Prioritize your staff’s well-being by doing your part to boost morale.
There are plenty of long and short-term benefits of cultivating morale for your workers, and there’s no reason to let distance dampen the possibilities.
Start Boosting Office Morale with Teamflow
Are you feeling good about boosting team morale remotely? These ideas are a perfect jumping-off point for those looking to excite and invigorate their employees, and there’s one tool that can really get the ball rolling: Teamflow.
Teamflow is more than a virtual office. It’s a place to chat, collaborate, and boost morale one-on-one or with your entire team, no matter where they are. With Teamflow, you can look forward to seamless meetings, spontaneous communications, and a truly simple way to work together. Visit Teamflow today to start working smarter and establish a high morale work culture.
Reviewed by James O'Sullivan, Director of New Client Experience
Jamess O'Sullivan has over 20 years of experience building and scaling companies. With diverse experience under his belt spanning everything from CareerBuilder.com to Uber, James is a well-respected thought leader, eccentric, and boundary-pusher who regularly contributes to industry-leading publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine.
1. Smarp. 8 Employee Engagement Statistics You Need to Know in 2022 [INFOGRAPHIC]. https://blog.smarp.com/employee-engagement-8-statistics-you-need-to-know
2. Know Your Team. How to build team morale remotely. https://knowyourteam.com/blog/2020/10/29/how-to-build-team-morale-remotely/
3. Forbes. 16 Effective Ways To Boost Morale Among Remote Team Members. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2021/02/02/16-effective-ways-to-boost-morale-among-remote-team-members/?sh=4fa443bc3033