News Article

NEW NORMAL - No, Remote Employees Aren’t Becoming Less Engaged

Posted 8th December 2022 • Written by Andrew Brodsky and Mike Tolliver on •

Can remote work truly be a replacement for in-office work? Many organizations are betting their future on their answer to this question. Some are gambling on remote work, while others are insisting on a return to office. Although there has been significant research on the pros and cons of remote work, many questions still remain unanswered.

In particular, one of the major driving arguments for bringing employees back to the workplace is that remote workers are becoming less engaged over time, resulting in less frequent and spontaneous interactions with colleagues that are vital for both organizational performance and innovation.

To understand the degree to which this kind of employee engagement — and, relatedly, how the frequency of remote meetings have changed since the start of Covid-19 — one of us (Andrew) partnered with the other (Mike) at Vyopta, a software company that provides remote meeting and collaboration analytics for large organizations. (In our research, “remote meetings” refers to meetings that used remote video/audio conferencing software, meaning that at least one person was remote from the others in attendance.) Given the anecdotal evidence of workers recently disengaging or quiet quitting, we had originally predicted that one of the easiest ways to observe this effect would be a continual decrease in the number of times remote or hybrid coworkers were engaging — or meeting — with each other. However, we found quite the opposite.

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