"About 43 percent of HR professionals predict that the demand for workplace flexibility will have a strategic impact on operations in years to come, according to the February 2011 Workplace Forecast by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM )." One option for workplace flexibility is telecommuting, which is most often associated with working from home. It could also include offices that accommodate employees who don't need permanent desks. Examples include hoteling where mobile workers reserve workstations at the office and reserving telesuites with videoconferencing technology to meet virtually with clients and fellow employees in other locations. Past growth is depicted in the graphic below. The Vaya Group , a talent management consultancy, recommends the following tips for motivating virtual teams: Invest time upfront to form relationships, despite the distance - Getting to know team members is critical, even when face-to-face interaction is limited. Take time to learn about each worker's career aspirations, strengths, development gaps and style. Recognize accomplishments in unique ways - Recognition is a powerful driver for keeping employees engaged in their work. Consider creating a team newsletter that highlights individual efforts or host yearly award banquets over the web. For both personal and professional milestones, send employees customized gifts, whether it's a gift card, flower arrangement or gift basket. Schedule regular coaching sessions - Frequent phone or video conferences with employees will allow you to present new assignments that align with their interests and strengths. Remember to use these or separate conversations as a way to gather feedback. Listening provides an opportunity to learn more about remote workers and ways their work experience can be improved. Create interactive ways for teams to communicate - Allowing work teams to engage across distances can lead to higher career satisfaction and sense of belonging. Go beyond email to develop an interactive team intranet that allows individuals to share ideas, post accomplishments and ask questions. Utilize web conferencing, web cameras and other virtual systems that permit more real-time conversations. Enable opportunities for periodic face-to-face interaction - Schedule face-to-face team kick-off meetings and regularly scheduled subsequent live meetings. These face-to-face meetings can be incorporated with team-building exercises to give staff additional opportunities to develop a personal connection and build camaraderie. If meetings are infrequent, create virtual team-building games, such as having everyone send in little-known facts, then displaying it for the group to guess who it describes. Read the attached Vaya Group whitepaper. Which ideas do you think would motivate a remote team? Explain.