Remote Work
September 2, 2021

How to Keep Staff Accountable and Motivated when they are Working Remotely

Working remotely has a lot of benefits – a better work/life balance, no commute time, and unsurprisingly, pajama pants. However, making sure that staff remain accountable and motivated can be difficult for businesses when staff aren’t coming into the office. 

Working from the same place that they sleep and relax in can leave staff in the wrong mindset, so here are some ways for businesses to keep their staff accountable and motivated when working remotely.  


Accountability means taking responsibility for actions and being answerable for outcomes. Staff are most accountable when they feel engaged, appreciated, and trusted, but more importantly, when their leaders are accountable too.

Some ways to accomplish this are:

  1. Clear policies

Businesses must create a remote working policy that will let employees know clearly how the remote team will work and what exactly they will be doing. Employees can only deliver high quality work when they know what they have to do. Prospective employees also really appreciate clear remote working policies because it can help them decide on whether or not they want to join a company. 

The ideal policy would let employees know:

  • Which employees can work remotely
  • When and how often can work be done remotely
  • Who to seek remote work approval from
  • What is required for working from home (equipment, amenities)
  • What kind of security and privacy measures should be taken
  • If the schedule is rigid or flexible
  • What standards should be met

  1. Thorough documentation

Documentation can help a business see how teams carry out tasks and get jobs done. Not only does this increase visibility and make managers’ jobs easier, but it also means that giving tasks from one worker to another is far easier as well, making business continuity a breeze.  Documentation also makes information a lot easier to share. 

Some handy types of documentation are:

  • Blueprints
  • Checklists
  • Flowcharts
  • Process maps
  • Note-taking

  1. Team happiness 

Accountability means that businesses don’t need to be strict with their teams because the teams will do what they must and do it well. Accountability can come from simply keeping teams happy. 

Giving teams the autonomy and space that they need to do the job they were hired to do helps them feel capable, and listening to and using feedback to make staff happier will result in a team that does well because they can and want to.

  1. Strategic communication

Staff chatting shouldn’t be discouraged during remote work because it builds relationships, keeps lines of communication open, and makes asking for and giving work-related items easier. 

Whatever platforms are being used for communication should have clear, separate work and casual channels, for example one group chat that’s just for catching up and one that’s dedicated to project work. 

  1. Use technology 

There is no shortage of technology that makes remote work easier (just look at us!). Business can leverage all kinds of technology to make remote work easier and better for their staff. This includes technology that makes the following easy and effective:

  • Payroll
  • Documentation
  • Communication
  • Monitoring productivity
  • Privacy and cybersecurity
  • Invoicing clients
  • Bookkeeping
  • Project management


Motivation can come from employees themselves, but businesses should be doing everything they can in order to make sure that their staff want to work. 

Business can do the following to help their staff feel motivated:

  1. Really care

Companies should build a human connection with their staff. Leaders, managers, and executives should interact with and make their faces and voices known to their teams, and employees should be listened to and prioritized.  

When employees can tell that their leaders and company truly cares about them, they will want to do the best that they can for their company; no one wants to perform well for a company that treats them poorly. 

  1. Offer the best tools

Not only will the right tools boost accountability, staff will feel motivated when they have all the right tools to get their jobs done. This goes beyond just software, but if staff need hardware to accomplish tasks then they deserve high-quality, reliable hardware too. 

  1. Provide incentives

Incentives could be anything from money, to holidays, interesting projects, or even leisure time. Companies can give their employees a month’s subscription to a streaming service, provide discounts on popular retailers, or even gift cards for a certain store.

  1. Challenge 

No one can stay motivated doing the same thing over and over again. Employees should constantly be challenged so that they stay interested and invested in the work that they’re doing. Each employee’s abilities are different and so what exactly to challenge them with will come from their team leaders knowing their strengths and weaknesses. Learning how to challenge employees can also come from self-assessments.

  1. Team build

Employees should know each other even when they don’t meet in real life. Team building activities can absolutely be done remotely, like a game of charades over Zoom or playing a game like Taboo online. If employees know each other and form bonds, they will perform better because they look forward to working with their teammates, impressing them, and producing something that they’re all proud of. 


Remote working can be a challenge when keeping staff motivated and accountable, but with some care and effort, businesses can definitely do it. 

Here at Remotepass, we know that remote working needs a unique approach. That’s why we streamline hiring, onboarding, and payroll for global remote teams. For more info on how we can help your remote team, get in touch with us today. 

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