As “work at home” is on the rise, the common assumption is working from home takes its toll on employee engagement. With the number of remote employees jumping from 15% to 20% in the last four years, this could be cause for concern. The bad news is that it's not a matter of location that impacts engagement, because neither home nor office workers feel engaged.
Gallup reports that 30% of “fully remote employees” in the U.S feel engaged, compared to 33% of all employees in the US who reportedly feel that way. So, no matter where people work, they don’t feel engaged with their organization. And working from home only sees a slightly discernible engagement dip. This is glass “half full” news as more and more employees work remotely.
We can't assume working from home is instrumental in creating a sense of engagement. Consider that the same number of employees (30%) feel engaged who work in the office 100% of the time.
As the founder of a company with a 100% remote workforce, I found it interesting the report had three distinct areas where a virtual work environment has its advantages, including:
Remote workers are 27% more likely than nonremote employees to “strongly agree” that they have the materials and equipment they need to do their work right
Nearly a third (31%) more say they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day
A slight increase (17%) in those who say they have a clear job description
No matter where they work, most Americans do not feel engaged with work. As HR professionals this creates an issue for us to solve. We must equip managers with the skills to engage with their employees remotely by creating a thriving “virtual” community. And we need to ensure that in-house employees are engaged as well.