New analysis shows remote workers are not becoming less engaged

New analysis shows remote workers are not becoming less engaged

Worker retention is one of the most underrated factors contributing to a company’s success. It ensures that the business does not run out of skill, talent and strength in numbers. Employee engagement is key to this, but do the current norms of remote work make workers less engaged? Andrew Brodsky and Mike Tolliver of Harvard Business Review beg to disagree

It’s not with the setup

Flexible work conditions are gradually becoming all too common in the modern world of work, thanks to technologies that make for well-connected, highly-collaborative virtual workspaces. However, some might argue that engagement declines in the absence of in-person interactions. Unsurprisingly, this prevalent mindset is what drives many companies to promote a return to the physical office. 

Brodsky and Tolliver believe this is not the case. Through their collaboration and with the backing of data, they found that disengagement and quiet quitting did not result from the lack of personal engagement between workers and their managers and colleagues. 

On the contrary, the rise in the volume and spontaneity of online meetings actually resulted in a higher level of employee engagement. The number of quiet quitters was seen to correspond with significantly fewer meetings compared to those attended by well-engaged remote employees.

Keeping employees engaged – 3 effective ways

One thing that we can learn from Brodsky and Tolliver’s research is that remote employee engagement has a lot to do with how companies structure their online meetings. Here are three effective ways you can use online meetings to engage your people:

  • Meet frequently

Hold frequent, regular meetings in lieu of in-person interactions. More meetings mean more engagement, but be careful not to do too much so you don’t hurt your team’s productivity. You can do team meetings once or twice a week and have one-to-one meetings with your workers as needed. 

  • Keep it short

No one wants to be held up for too long, so you might want to keep your meetings short. Fifteen minutes should be long enough for a one-to-one, so be sure not to extend the time unless absolutely necessary.

  • Hold spontaneous meetings

Think of spontaneous meetings as a quick catch-up with your colleagues in the hallway. They don’t have to be scheduled and only come up during convenient moments. This makes for an organic way to interact with your employees, improving your engagement numbers.

Pro tip: Maintain a healthy work environment

While meetings are key to improving remote employee engagement, all your efforts will go to waste in the absence of a positive company culture. It pays to set up a work environment that allows for a free exchange of ideas and where everyone’s needs are met. This will easily result in more productive meetings that, in turn, you can use to further create a worker-centric culture for your organisation. 

In conclusion

Brodsky and Tolliver’s data shows a clear correlation between the quantity and quality of meetings and worker engagement in a virtual workplace. However, it should be noted that correlation does not equate to causation; productive meetings always result from a positive company culture where everyone can say their piece and is heard.

About Sam P

EnterpriseZone Staff Writer

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