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Since March 2020 and the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the majority of businesses switched to remote working and have continued to do so since. Although restrictions are beginning to lift, employees are still being advised to work from home where possible until at least the summer – and to maintain social distancing when in the office. So, after a year of remote working, how do you continue to keep your employees engaged and productive?

According to the Harvard Business Review there are three positive motivators that lead to an increase in motivation and productivity. These are play, purpose and potential. Below we take a look at how to implement these into your work force to keep them motivated whilst working remotely.


Send small perks to let your employees know you’re thinking of them. This could be a beer or wine for (virtual) Friday drinks or a pamper package to help them unwind after a busy week. It doesn’t need to be expensive – it’s the thought that counts!

It’s important to still celebrate the good times - someone’s birthday, a good outcome for the business or someone’s achievement in their personal life. Let everyone know about the positive things that happen - this will help to keep a strong company culture of connected individuals.

The best way to create ‘play’ is via company-wide fun and games. We've listed some slightly different suggestions if you're getting bored of the usual virtual quizzes:

  • Pizza party – order everyone a pizza for lunch and get together on Zoom to enjoy.
  • Friday drinks – send everyone a small beverage to enjoy over a virtual catch-up.
  • Pictionary – bring the team together on Zoom and get drawing.
  • Weekly challenges – try a virtual company Bake Off or ask your team members to recreate an iconic movie scene. Use your social media channels to ask the public to vote for their favourite.
  • Coffee mornings / Fika – pop the kettle on, grab a biscuit or cake and have a brief catch-up while avoiding discussing work.
  • Someone’s birthday coming up? Ship everyone party hats and balloons and surprise them on Zoom.
  • Loads of businesses are offering virtual events too, from gin tasting and cookery classes to escape rooms and popular TV games shows (we recently did a virtual Deal or No Deal). 


It’s important to regularly touch base with your team so they understand their sense of purpose within the business and how they’re assisting with the company’s cause. Without seeing this, they’ll quickly become unmotivated to work to their full potential.

Hold a group meeting on a Monday to look back over the previous week and discuss how you can help one another with any upcoming tasks.

Use Tuesday to Thursday to have individual telephone or video meetings with each of your team members to genuinely check in with them. Ask them how they’re getting on both with work and in their personal life. Motivate them through these catch-ups and help them to focus on tackling any challenges they may be facing. Fridays are for reflecting on the week and tying up any loose ends.

Praise individuals for the work they’re doing and share with everyone any wins across the company, no matter how small. At times like these it’s important to really shout about your successes. If not doing so already, think about implementing a weekly or bi-weekly internal newsletter to keep everyone up-to-date on the business. 


It’s vital your employees still see their potential during these disrupted times – or else you risk losing them to a competitor. You can show them this and keep them motivated remotely in a number of ways:

  1. Showing trust in your employees will help them envisage working in a safe and secure work place where they feel valued and recognised. Do this by allowing them to work autonomously and by trusting them to work a slightly different routine to usual, knowing they’ll still be putting in as much as effort as usual.
  2. Set goals. The workload and expectations may be a little different to usual, but this doesn’t mean you can’t still set your employees goals to work towards. This will keep them motivated and engaged in carrying out high quality work, especially if the outcomes will go towards their personal development plan. Ensuring your team members still feel challenged will help to prevent them from switching off from the work they’re doing.
  3. Actively encourage extra training. One of the good things to come out of lockdown has been the amount of online (and often free) training courses that have exploded onto the internet. By participating in training courses, employees will be offered the chance to continue to develop their skills without physically attending a training course or session.


Employers may also find our remote onboarding guide useful - especially if you’re looking to expand your team but are unsure how to go about this during Covid-19. For any further assistance with your recruitment needs over the coming months - or for advice on how to keep your employees motivated whilst working remotely - please contact us today. We’ll be more than happy to put you in touch with one of our specialist consultant – enquiries@carrotpharma.co.uk / +44 (0)1625 541 030

Or to find out more about the roles and sectors we cover within Pharma and the Life Sciences click here.

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