6 Reasons Why Remote Employees Have Lower Engagement In The Workplace

Remote work has become increasingly popular in recent years. While there are many benefits, such as flexibility and work-life balance, remote employees often struggle with lower engagement levels. Here are 6 key reasons why:

1. Lack Of Social Connections

When working remotely, employees miss out on social interactions and bonding opportunities that naturally happen in an office setting. Water cooler chats, team lunches, and face-to-face conversations help people connect on a more personal level. Without these social connections, remote workers are at risk of feeling isolated and disengaged from the company culture. 

2. Communication Challenges 

Collaborating with co-workers can be more difficult remotely due to reliance on digital channels like email and messaging platforms. Communication can feel more transactional and less personal through these mediums. Important context and social cues also get lost electronically. Miscommunications or delayed responses can cause frustration and disconnect for remote workers.

3. Distractions At Home

Distractions like household chores, pets, and family members can compete for a remote worker’s attention throughout the day. Juggling personal and professional responsibilities under the same roof can directly impact productivity and engagement levels. Without physical separation between work and life, remote employees struggle to set boundaries.  

4. Lack Of Unplugging 

The innate flexibility of remote work makes it easy for employees to work odd hours well past traditional office times. Remote workers are more likely to overwork with longer hours and fewer real moments for recharging. This pace is unsustainable long-term and leads to burnout and poorer engagement.

5. Reduced Access 

Not being in the office can cause remote employees to feel left out of the loop. Impromptu meetings and hallway conversations move company decisions and projects forward in real-time daily. Without physical proximity and face time, remote workers miss out on this access. Over time they may feel peripheral, rather than integral, to the company. 

6. Lack Of Promotion Visibility  

Advancement into more senior level roles often depends heavily on visibility within an organization. Remote employees have fewer organic interactions with management to showcase talents, skills, and promotion readiness. Out of sight can lead to being overlooked when management is making decisions around growth opportunities. This lack of visibility is discouraging for career-driven remote employees.

How to Boost Employee Engagement with Employee Communication Software

Employee communication software tools provide remote workers essential connection points. These platforms enable employees to chat openly, collaborate on projects, share knowledge, and build relationships with co-workers across multiple locations. Taking full advantage of their community features is key. For example, creating dedicated channels around common interests, hobbies, diversity groups or company-wide initiatives gives remote workers a space to bond around shared experiences. Senior leaders hosting regular video AMAs humanizes leadership and makes them more accessible too. Investing in these types of digital interactions keeps remote workers informed, networked and engaged.

The unique challenges of remote work require proactive effort from both employees and leadership to foster connectivity. While remote flexibility is here to stay, overcoming these common engagement pitfalls will allow these hybrid workforces to thrive. Investing in collaborative digital tools, creating remote social interactions, discouraging overwork, and offering equal growth opportunities can help remote employees feel productive, included, and valued.

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