News & Insights | 24th July 2020
6 Min Read
Almost three in 10 (29%) UK employed adults are now working exclusively from home, with a further 8% splitting their week between home and their place of work, according to the latest ONS data. For some, remote work has shifted from a necessary knock-on effect of lockdown to the status quo, with employers like Google and Facebook extending work-from-home policies until at least the end of 2020.
For those leading majority-remote teams, working out how to engage people from afar has quickly become a priority given disengaged workers are known to be less productive, more likely to be absent, and at higher risk of leaving (Gallup). By contrast, companies with the most engaged workers enjoy higher sales, profitability and customer ratings, as well as lower staff turnover, fewer safety incidents and lower shrinkage.
One recent study based on historic data found worker positivity may be key to businesses doing well under challenging economic conditions, after finding the link between favourable employee job attitudes and business success to be substantially stronger during recession years. In short, achieving more in troubled times rests heavily on people doing more than the bare minimum.
Yet, long before coronavirus and the resulting explosion in remote work, employees were overwhelmingly “just showing up” for their jobs. In 2018, Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace revealed that only 11% of British employees were psychologically engaged in their work. This means engagement ought to be a priority for all, not just leaders of remote teams.
What many continue to overlook is the strong link between employee engagement and benefits. Well-matched benefits can add real value to people’s lives, as well as signalling to workers that they are truly valued. But, to be effective, these must be relevant to individuals who are increasingly free to choose where they work from.