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Keeping Millennials Motivated in a Remote Workplace

Keeping Millennials Motivated in a Remote Workplace

These days, more and more companies are opting to move to a remote workplace where employees are free to skip the commute and work from the comfort of their own homes. Since Millennials make up the majority of the American workforce, it’s important to understand how to successfully manage this group from a distance. Does motivating a generation that is constantly described as lazy and entitled sound tough? Here are some tips to make it easier:

Collaboration Generation

The Millennial generation craves working in a collaborative environment, which can be challenging when employees are remote. Luckily, there are ways that managers can get around this location barrier. Remote companies should rely heavily on video chats to make Millennials feel as if they are still logging meaningful, productive time with other employees. If your remote employees work in the same general area, try to set aside an afternoon to meet in person for a team-building activity or brainstorming session. This personal contact will invigorate Millennial employees and keep job satisfaction high.

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Way to Go, Millennial

Sometimes referred to as the “participation trophy generation”, this group of employees thrives off of rewards and recognition from their superiors. It may be difficult for management to remember to acknowledge a job well done when an employee isn’t right down the hallway, but it’s important nonetheless. Did someone meet a tight deadline? Take on extra work when a peer was out sick? No matter the size of the accomplishment, be sure to acknowledge the effort. Anything from a quick email to say thanks or a shout-out on the next conference call will light a fire under your Millennial employees.

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In Millennials We Trust

A pet peeve of this generation is the feeling of being micromanaged. If a company is just switching to remote work, it may be hard for a manager to let go of the control of knowing that every employee is where they should be. However, Millennials will not respond well when treated as if they are not trusted. So, how is a manager supposed to walk this fine line? Set up structure. Give Millennials long-term goals to work towards; then, arrange a weekly or bi-monthly check-in to go over progress made. Fight the urge to spot-check what a Millennial is doing during the work week and the foundation for a positive, productive relationship will be in place.

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Allow Flexibility

A recent study showed that 45% of Millennials in the workplace are more concerned with job flexibility than pay. Millennials don’t see the value in the standard 9-5 structure of corporate America, and work well when given the opportunity to adjust these hours. Provide these flexible working hours to remote employees as long as it doesn’t impact the business or aggravate customers. Showing Millennial employees that you understand a work/life balance is needed will keep them engaged and motivated.

Provide Room for Growth

Millennials are infamous for not being afraid to job-hop, typically staying at a company for less than three years. In a remote work environment, it is even more of a priority to keep Millennials personally and professionally invested with the company. Talk to remote employees about their future careers and desired positions within the company. Research local events put on by organizations like the American Marketing Association or Chamber of Commerce and encourage employees to attend to learn new professional skills. Millennials appreciate companies that have an impact on the world outside of the product or service being offered. Encourage these employees to take time off to support events or causes that work to better the community. Personal growth is just as important to Millennials as professional growth, so a company that offers both will be sure to keep Millennials around, even from afar.

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Joel Goldstein

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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