The Virtual Office

How can organizations motivate virtual employees who work away from the traditional office?
Managing workers are particularly challenging, especially if they are not physically located near the central office.

Motivation determines how an individual engages in work-related behavior. It is need-based, job-based, cognitively, and behaviorally based.

Therefore, managers must find a systematic tool to help them determine employees’ motivation compared to the standard in-house employees.

Looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, remote employees’ social and ego needs would not be satisfied if these workers do not feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, whether, from office culture or small social connections such as close colleagues, they will be unmotivated and dissatisfied with their job.

This need for belonging gives them a sense of control.

An approach to solving this problem is applying the path-goal leadership theory.

Leaders can adopt one of the four behavioral leadership styles to handle each situation.

Instrumental style includes planning, organizing
Supportive style shows concern from workers.
Participative style shares information and asks for employees’ input
Achievement-oriented style sets challenging goals and rewards performance.

These four different styles assist the leader in any situation and allow workers to have a cushioning system that encompasses guidance and support.

A guest post from Nadia Fadonougbo – an Organizational Psychology Graduate Student