Why employee experience matters: Understanding the ROI
Despite layoffs and economic uncertainty, the stiff competition for talent can be felt across nearly every…
It’s no secret that the rise of remote work has changed the way many organizations operate. Some managers adapted with ease, implementing swift and efficient new communication channels to keep the pulse on how their people feel, while others found it challenging to maintain regular contact with their newly distributed workforce.
If you’re feeling disconnected from your remote or hybrid employees, it’s important to check in often to ensure your teams feel supported. Sending your employees tailored survey questions is a great way to measure engagement levels and nip any potential issues in the bud.
Best practices for surveying your remote workforce
Most companies have realized that happy workers are productive workers and have started investing in creating a positive employee experience in the workplace.
One fundamental way to understand the employee experience is by collecting information directly from the employees themselves. Whether through one-on-one feedback sessions, team meetings, or anonymous surveys, creating a feedback culture allows managers to gather details about how employees feel about working for their company.
The rise in remote work has created specific challenges that affect employee engagement and productivity. As the trend of remote work shows no signs of slowing down, understanding how remote employees feel about their situation is vital to their continued productivity and success.
Despite offering great benefits, remote working survey questions can be tricky to formulate correctly.
A major challenge facing many remote employees is the blurring between their personal lives and work. You need to tread the fine line of asking personal questions that impact productivity, mental health and well-being, and unique difficulties without delving into specifics.
It’s a good idea to keep these surveys anonymous, as this allows employees to feel more comfortable in sharing potentially personal concerns. It also prevents retribution from unhappy managers, giving employees the confidence to provide honest, genuine feedback.
Some people thrive in a remote work environment, while others may need additional support. Finding out how employees have reacted and adjusted to their new situation offers valuable insight into how you can help them make the transition.
Some question examples include:
Many decisions happen spontaneously during office discussions, and remote work can make team communication challenging. It’s harder to have insightful conversations as a team, but it’s also harder to keep everyone in the loop. Here are some questions to hone in on common communication issues:
Many people struggle to engage with text-based or video-based communications, leading to missed contexts and increased conflict between remote team members. It’s vital to build strong bonds between employees, even if they don’t share the same space.
As more organizations move towards remote working and hybrid models, consulting employees is a great way to get ideas on how to implement these strategies effectively.
Various aspects of working from home will affect employees differently. However, some practices will make everyone’s life easier, and it’s vital to implement them as early as possible to keep productivity high.
It may be tempting to assume that managing a remote team works the same as managing people in the office. However, the shift to remote working has raised new questions and challenges for employees and managers alike.
According to Officevibe’s State of Employee Experience report, almost 30% of employees have to deal with unmanageable stress levels, despite having the flexibility to work from home.
Understanding the challenges of working remotely can be tricky, especially if managers and executives remain in an office environment. That’s why employee feedback is essential in providing the proper support necessary to address the specific concerns of a distributed workforce.
The biggest challenge for managing remote employees is supporting a good work-life balance. Many people don’t have a dedicated office space at home, leading to a blurring of lines between their personal life and job.
It can be very tempting to “just finish up this one task” before logging off. Some people also struggle to get going in the morning simply because they don’t have the clear transition of going to work that gets them in the working mindset.
Even if your team members aren’t best friends, the office fosters constant small-scale social interactions. Even simple banter between team leaders and colleagues is enough to create a feeling of camaraderie and social well-being.
Working in a remote environment eliminates almost all of these social interactions. Many remote workers find that they can spend an entire day working without speaking to another person, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
People communicate in a whole host of ways, including body language and other non-verbal cues. These cues give everyone context for communication and can dramatically alter the meaning of spoken words.
Text-based communication lacks the ability to accurately convey these non-verbal cues. You may think you’re writing an informal, casual email, while the recipient may think you’re being sarcastic or too informal. Since you can’t adjust your tone on the fly, both parties lack the necessary context for effective communication in the workplace.
While video calls may alleviate some communication issues, they lack the spontaneity and real-time insights that make for a successful team.
Working in a dedicated office space fosters an environment without distractions where employees can focus on their work. Working remotely opens up a host of distractions, from pets to household repairs and even administrative tasks that interfere with an employee’s concentration.
Many people have started going to coffee shops or renting coworking spaces to work remotely while avoiding household distractions. Unfortunately, these may not be the right solution for every team member working remotely, and it’s vital to provide the right support to help hybrid or remote employees focus on their tasks.
An isolated remote environment can make it incredibly difficult for people to self-motivate. Usually, an entire team will motivate itself to push harder, but the lack of constant communication can lead remote staff to feel like their contributions aren’t important. While it’s up to the team leader to ensure that their team stays motivated throughout a project, working remotely can make the task significantly more difficult.
Another major barrier for any distributed team is when individuals log in from different locations. Different time zones introduce a layer of administrative challenges, and getting remote teams together requires a lot more planning than simply calling an impromptu team meeting.
Not everyone that starts remote working has the resources necessary to work from home. Some people may rely on their work laptops, while others need high-speed internet access. Ensuring that everyone has what they need is a key component of helping remote teams get up and running as quickly as possible
The goal of any short-form Pulse Survey is to get a snapshot of employee engagement in your organization. To get the most out of the survey, stick to topics that:
Pulse Surveys give the best results when limited to a specific topic. For instance, if you want to get an idea of how employees feel about returning to the office or a hybrid model, a short Pulse Survey may look like this:
Managing remote employees requires identifying general problems of working remotely while also helping individuals deal with specific challenges. Surveys are great at detecting general trends but may feel impersonal, leading to greater feelings of isolation and lack of communication.
Combining a wide range of surveys with one-on-ones and active listening will allow employees to feel connected and managers to set expectations. These meetings allow employees to bring up personal concerns affecting their well-being that aren’t suitable as remote working survey questions.
Asking the right remote working survey questions is as important as sending out the survey in the first place. The questions you ask have a huge impact on the quality of the survey data and participation rates.
As remote working raises unique challenges, it’s important to focus on these aspects. You can still use other anonymous surveys to monitor employee engagement for on-site workers or hybrid workers, but remote work surveys for fully remote employees should focus on their needs.
When optimizing your survey questions, remember to:
It’s also important to use the survey results effectively, which means understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for remote working. Short surveys will reveal trends with remote work that you can explore further in one-on-one meetings with individual employees.
As employee spaces and work practices change, organizations need to adapt to keep up. Officevibe offers a host of useful employee engagement tools and resources to help you establish a feedback culture in your organization. From short Pulse Surveys to long-form questionnaires, we’ll help you keep your employees motivated, happy, and productive.
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