Remote Employee Engagement: Strategies For Maximizing It

Strategies For Maximizing Remote Employee Engagement

How Social Distance Affects Remote Employee Engagement

When employees work in the same space, they form interpersonal relationships, getting to know each other’s preferred communication style and building healthy team dynamics. However, when physical distance is added to the equation, communication barriers form, and remote employee engagement suffers. Also known as psychological distance, not sharing the same workspace can make teamwork harder and may affect efficient communication. As a result, professionals can feel disconnected and lonely, as they don’t get any satisfaction from team bonding. These drawbacks don’t mean that remote or hybrid work should be tossed out, but organizations must find effective solutions. As flexibility becomes highly popular, disengagement and peer disconnection should be addressed promptly.

The Challenges Of Working Remotely

1. Distractions

Employees may not have to deal with colleagues dropping by their desks to have a casual chat but they have to face other distractions at home. A family member or pet may require time and attention and, therefore, push them to interrupt their work. Or a delivery person may arrive with a parcel, creating additional intrusions. Additionally, many people find it hard not to do house chores during work. Who hasn’t loaded their washer or cooked a quick meal during their work hours?

2. Loneliness

Feeling lonely and unhappy is far more dangerous than smoking 15 cigarettes a day and those suffering from it have a 29% increased risk of heart disease and 32% risk of stroke. Remote employee engagement can suffer severely when people can’t have an informal discussion with their colleagues or can’t meet them after work for a meal. In cases where people choose to work remotely while the rest of the team members work in the office, their fear of missing out (FOMO) skyrockets. They feel like they’re standing outside of their workplace circle.

3. Poor Work-Life Balance

Some people find it hard to unplug when their work hours are over since they don’t have any physical distance from their office. They don’t have to get up, leave the office, and take a commute back home. They keep working for much longer than they should and even when they stop working, their brains can’t stop thinking about work-related matters. They may also forget to take frequent breaks and continue answering messages and emails even late at night. Consequently, they might experience burnout and not be able to enjoy life outside of work.

4. Communication Hardships

Remote employee engagement is also affected by poor communication between colleagues. When emails and personal messages are the most commonly used methods, misunderstandings occur easily. Face-to-face discussions are much more efficient and visual cues help everyone convey the right message. Also, different time zones may create delays and affect a collaborative project negatively. Hybrid workers may be left out of important office discussions and feel like their colleagues are making decisions without their input. Likewise, managers may not trust employees to be productive from home and check in on them relentlessly, interrupting their flow.

5. Bad Health Habits

Two negative things regarding food may happen if you work from home. Either you might not be able to stay away from your kitchen and go there all the time to pick up snacks, or, maybe you overwork, forget to take snack breaks, and don’t eat properly. In both cases, your physical health suffers, especially if you also don’t allocate time for exercising. Lack of physical movement may affect your mental health, too, as you don’t blow off steam and let all the stress get bottled up.

Techniques To Increase Remote Employee Engagement

1. Prioritize Mental And Physical Health

To increase remote employee engagement levels, organizations must actively show interest in people’s health. Flourishing team members are productive and don’t feel the need to be absent frequently. So, companies should ensure everyone is taking necessary breaks throughout the day, disconnecting when necessary, not overworking, and maintaining their limits. Moreover, employers can offer development and growth opportunities so no one feels stagnant. To encourage physical activity, companies may suggest 30-day challenges and push everyone to participate and win a prize after completion. Lastly, if their budget allows it, an organization may offer health benefits, including therapy.

2. Arrange Short, Frequent Meetings

Communication goes way beyond emails and messages, as video calls should be conducted weekly to help team members connect. Everyone should feel comfortable sharing their ideas and collaborate effectively. Managers should discuss each person’s yearly goals and provide feedback transparently. One-on-one meetings are great for this, as written messages don’t provide sufficient clarity. However, meetings should not be too long, maintaining an average duration of 30-40 minutes. Also, managers can arrange spontaneous gatherings even if they are for five minutes. It’s a great idea, too, to gather the entire team for a nonwork activity and bond over playing virtual games.

3. Avoid Micromanagement

Micromanaging your team members may feel like the only way for managers to oversee projects and ensure everyone is putting in the work. However, professionals may feel like their managers don’t trust them or doubt their abilities and integrity. They might also feel pressured to finish their tasks quicker than originally discussed. To avoid losing remote employee engagement, leaders should explain clearly what the expectations and the end goal is. They can conduct weekly meetings to discuss any questions and struggles. Therefore, everyone feels free and trusted to do their job without interruptions.

4. Encourage Participation

Duplicating the office atmosphere in remote settings may be impossible but you can try increasing participation by asking for everyone’s opinions and ensuring they feel heard. Managers should make themselves available to all team members. Maybe someone needs to talk about something in a one-on-one meeting for a few minutes. When they feel valued, employees are more likely to speak up during team- or company-wide meetings as they feel that they are important and their opinions matter. Setting up after-work activities can also help employees bond and, therefore, feel more confident speaking in front of others.

5. Exhibit Your Appreciation

Recognition and appreciation shouldn’t be showcased only once a year in the form of a raise. Monetary incentives aren’t always enough to keep remote employees engaged and motivated. Provide regular feedback and congratulate someone on their good work. A simple “great job” or “thank you” goes a long way in making employees feel appreciated and valued. You may also send out personalized gifts or messages on birthdays and work anniversaries. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to hand out company merch or gift cards. Recognition can be offered both during one-on-one and team meetings, encouraging other members to acknowledge someone’s accomplishments.

6. Measure Engagement Regularly

No matter how effective their engagement measures are, organizations must ask employees for their opinions. Through the use of Employer Net Promoter Score (NPS), surveys, feedback sessions, and performance metrics, they can receive invaluable insights. They can notice which areas of remote employee engagement are lacking and require attention, and where their measures are working nicely. Sometimes different professionals are motivated and engaged by different things, based on the stages in their careers.

Useful Statistics On Remote Employee Engagement

  • 90% of respondents mention that they are as productive working from home as they would be from the office.
  • 55% of them responded that they work more hours remotely.
  • 72% of employees feel valued and appreciated while working from home.
  • 57% of the global workforce prefers working from home rather than returning to a physical office.
  • 87% of people are interested in working 10-hour shifts for just 4 days a week.
  • When required to work alone, respondents say that they are productive 75% of the time working from home, compared to 62% when working from the office.
  • 69% of remote workers are very happy with their overall well-being.
  • Collaboration appears to be preferable while working in the office (90%) instead of working remotely (63%).
  • On average, people lose 43 minutes per day due to distractions at home and 78 minutes in the office.


It’s quite easy for remote employee engagement to fade away if companies don’t actively try to keep everyone motivated and show their appreciation. There is no better way to know the issues professionals face than by asking them about the troubles that affect their daily work. Maintaining open communication channels helps leadership get a sense of what motivates each team member and offers them personalized development opportunities. Consequently, no one feels left behind whether they work from home or the office.