Custom Poll Templates
Employee survey

Distributed teams

Written by: Julie Jeannotte | Edited by: Ana Collantes | Published on: January 18, 2022

This image is a screenshot of Officevibe's Distributed teams employee survey template. It shows the template's title which is Distributed teams, and gives 3 examples of questions comprised in the survey template.

Why use this template

This survey template was put together to give you rich insights on your team’s distributed work experience.

With it, you’ll be able to:

  • Get a general vibe of how your team members feel about their current remote working conditions.
  • Determine whether your team is able to perform while working from home, and still maintaining well-being.
  • Understand to what extent the differences from a physical office affect your team as they work remotely.
  • Understand in which areas there’s a need for different methods, tools, or ways to connect on a human level, to help you refine your remote work rituals as a team.
  • Identify the challenges worth solving, and how your team suggests going about it.

Using the Officevibe method

Our employee survey template includes a total of 10 questions that were developed by our own employee experience experts. These strategically written questions will help you answer all you need to know to better your team’s remote work experience. In fact, all questions were born from the findings of a research project we conducted to better understand the impacts and challenges of distributed work.

Here are some sample questions included in the template:

  • What is your biggest struggle working in a distributed work environment?
  • What’s one thing the organization could do to improve your work experience?
  • What obstacles prevent you from doing your best at work (i.e. professional factors or personal factors, if you want to share)?

What’s great with Officevibe’s Custom Survey feature is that you can play with our templates as you like! Don’t like some of the questions or some don’t apply to your context? Delete, add, or replace them with your own.

Everything starts in knowing what and how to ask, and that’s where Officevibe helps the most. So, in case you need more inspiration, here are some other questions you could use in your Custom Survey:

  • On a scale from 0-10, how much do enjoy your experience working from home?
  • Do you feel we have all the tools and rituals we need to work well as a distributed team?
  • Do you have all the tools and winning conditions you need to do your work?
  • Can you do your work as well as you would in an office? If not, what’s missing?

OK, so you send out your Custom Survey and get your results. Here’s where it gets interesting.

Starting point

After you send the survey to your team, Officevibe takes care of collecting and organizing the results. We present them in a way that is simple to analyze so that your next steps are easy to determine.

You’ll get the chance to read through your team’s anonymous answers, both quantitative and qualitative. We suggest you jot down anything you feel needs clarification as well as any follow-up questions that come to mind. These notes will come in handy in your next steps.

Makes sense of your direct impact vs. company-wide issues

With your Custom Survey results and qualitative feedback in hand, you’ll be able to identify and scope how much of the findings are in your control as a manager (direct team dynamics and individual needs) vs. how much will implicate reporting back outside of your immediate team (business practices/goals, cross-team projects, and your own interactions with fellow managers and organizational leaders).

What’s great is that the input from your team will enable you to do all this – this is what the Officevibe method is all about. I explain how to go about this below.

Don’t stop there

Your regular Officevibe Pulse Survey results combined with those of your Custom Survey provide signals and red flags of the main areas your team is struggling with. You shouldn’t feel any pressure to make conclusions and jump into solutions. The next step should be real talk with your team with a focus on digging deeper to understand root causes. One-on-one and team discussions are a perfect way to do that. Remember the clarification notes and follow-up questions you took before? Here’s where you’ll need them.

Let’s now explore how you can go about it.

Closing the loop: taking action on your Custom Survey results

Common challenges of distributed teams are many, and while some solutions make sense for most, nothing can ever replace the impact of involving your team in understanding the issues and committing to solutions together.

Some of the questions in our template are directly connected to your team’s reality. They refer to your team’s personal culture and experience, and to relationships within the immediate team. Data and feedback from these questions will surface things that are in your control as a manager. Other questions could obviously yield issues and opportunities that are outside of your circle of control, such as organizational practices and policies. Take the time to discuss all results with your team to find common patterns and issues.

Team and one-on-one meetings are perfect tools to help you dig deeper and understand what’s behind your Custom Survey results. I share guidance on how you can run these meetings below and in this article. Just remember to take lots of notes and examples of situations that have occurred, especially when actions to resolve the issues will involve reporting outside of your immediate team.

All in all, my advice is simply to remember to focus your time, attention, and energy on the most stressful and impactful issues – those that are getting in the way of your team’s engagement, dynamics, and performance. Identify the gaps, and what you can’t fix on your own, involve key players in your wider leadership team – your own manager, HR leaders, and executive leadership – to surface issues, explain causes, and outline potential consequences if these aren’t addressed.

Additional resources: following the Officevibe method

How to take action with your team

How to take action from Pulse Survey results

How to respond to feedback

How to host one-on-one meetings that generate real talk and bring business change

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