How to Manage and Motivate your Team, Remotely

How do you manage and motivate your team from a distance? Living in the era of Covid-19 has proven that managing a remote workforce is becoming a norm on a mass scale. Managers, business owners and HR departments need to create incentives for virtual employees, especially if you want them to stay connected, motivated and progressive. The good news is that we’re spoiled with resources that are available on the world wide web. Beyond the office environment, it’s not difficult to energize a team remotely and in fact, it matters more than ever these days.

Motivating your team is about realizing their potential and supporting them in between their day to day deliverables until they see it through.

Beyond the key performance index perimeters and profitability (which goes hand in hand), team motivation is about making sure that your team member performs well for the overall effectiveness of the company, regardless of your industries as well as shaping the kind of mindset that is proactive for the rest of the team. Every organization wants employees that are driven towards a collective goal because when you think about the money and time invested in one’s career, you have got to ask yourself – is it worthwhile? And more importantly, are you happy doing the job that you’re doing, and is it aligned with your greater purpose?

The truth is every person is built differently which subjects them to different types of motivators.

While a CEO or employer can’t dictate an employee’s happiness, they can however play an important role in encouraging them to be self-motivated in fulfilling their responsibilities. This is where having a shared vision comes into play. Inspiring each member to work towards a better future will enable a relationship that is built on trust and loyalty.

Here at Wavemakers, we’ve been running our team remotely since forming in 2016. Through trials and errors between old and new team members – we experimented with different methods only to realize that every company has its own set of values and ways of operation. But one thing that keeps everything and everyone in the place is – culture.

If you’re looking for ideas on how to keep your team motivated while they are working from home, look no further. We’re here to share 5 ideas that have helped our operations as a 100% remote workforce.




1. Weekly Team Check-ins

Set a time and day at the start of each week, cap off the time at 30min and less than 1-hour. This is an ideal duration to keep people engaged and active at their primal state. The mindset at the beginning of a new week is typically positive and it makes sense to organize a brief and de-brief to keep your virtual employees accustomed to a routine of status updates and casual reporting. Giving an employee the power to speak and express is a way of empowerment – and it’s as simple as listening.

By hearing them out, the employee gains the opportunity to hone their skills while realizing their potential within their roles.

It is best to use a productivity tool to manage tasks and keep each employee accountable based on their roles and responsibilities. Use this task management list as a reference point for each member. This is a great way to structure their thought process and to facilitate a space that allows them to share their achievements, blockers and overall experience within the week. It is ideal to set basic rules like making it compulsory to have videos and audios turned on as if you were in a real-life meeting, face to face. This will get each member into the habit of creating a conducive work environment within their own homes because they would have to appear in front of the camera for professional matters.


2. One on One Check-ins

A private session with each team member is an effective strategy to tap into the personal development of each member. This could be delegated between HR or managers, where every employee receives a 10-15 casual catch up with the management team. These sessions are typically a fusion between professional and personal updates. It’s a way of being more hands-on with any blockers that are obstructing the team member from performing better or delivering quality results. Personalized sessions will not only keep your employee accountable for their general tasks but also tap into their personal psyche and blockers so that any manager can identify solutions to problems that they might have in their personal world that affect their professional output.

3. Virtual Co-working hours

Long gone are the days where companies need to invest in office spaces. The virtual world has brought upon a realm of possibilities that are beneficial to the running costs of having remote teams. The perks of saving rental money is that you get to reallocate that budget into online rewards or productivity tools in a way that improves your remote workforce processes. Co-working hours are great within mid-week just to remind employees that they have a team that is there to support them. It’s a way of coming online at the same time while knowing that your co-worker is live on a call for any urgent matters. This is extremely useful when you’re working on projects together.

It saves the time and hassle of having to go back and forth.

Between extensive WhatsApp messages or long email threads when you can just get your co-worker to jump on a co-working session to hash out a task productively. Between quiet co-working hours where you see each other in the background in your cameras, absorbed into your own world to having discussions in between tasks while eliminating blockers or while getting feedback that will lead to better decisions. Consider creating a collaborative music playlist of Spotify for the team and having music played in the background as concentration music. This is another great way to bond during working hours.



4. Online Office Party

When there’s work, there’s always play. Online office party get-togethers are about planning virtual experience that allows the team to bond and collaborate on activities that are non-work related. It’s a great method for character building as well, assigning different personalities within teams while having them work together towards achieving a mutual goal. Some of the activity ideas you can consider are storytelling battles, trivia, or quizzes or learning a new skill. Video tools like google hangout or Zoom are great for having everyone communicate within a safe space and using external sites like Slido or guess the movie for virtual charade games.


5. Virtual Team Building Activities

Long gone are the days where teams have to physically be together to get to know each other and improve communication amongst each other. From planning to problem-solving to conflict resolution, this is a time where each member can support each other in between their strengths and weaknesses.

Virtual team building activities should be fun, engaging and preferably, non-work related.

It’s also a great opportunity for management to observe how their team functions as a whole and the dynamics between each employee. Some of the online activities to consider are virtual experiences like knowledge-based exercises like drawing or cooking classes or mind games like treasure hunts. It’s also a good idea to get your employees to involve their friends/family/loved ones to join the bonding session.



Our exploration in motivating our teams from afar has been an exciting journey! We’re always on the lookout for fresh ideas. How do you keep your teams motivated while working from home? If you need help in brainstorming team building activities or to facilitate a session for big groups of people virtually, do reach out to us anytime