Despite the belief of many business leaders, remote workers are still engaged — sometimes even more than in-person professionals.
Although companies have warmed up to the concept of giving employees choice in when and where they work, several organizations are still torn about the arrangement and ushering employees back into the office.
The main reason for doing so? Leaders are claiming that remote workers are less engaged, therefore, less likely to collaborate with colleagues.
But there’s a problem. Research doesn’t support this notion.
Gathering data from various virtual meeting platforms, such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom, remote meeting analytics software company Vyopta and the Harvard Business Review were able to determine the actual impact these arrangements are having on employee engagement.
Unsurprisingly, remote meetings saw an uptick from pre-pandemic levels. However, the data also showed remote meetings in general have become more frequent, shorter and spontaneous.
According to the findings, just 17% of one-on-one virtual meetings in 2020 were spontaneous, but 2022 saw this number grow to 66%. Even more, the analysis finds that remote interactions are reflective of in-person meetings, negating the belief of remote work opponents.
Moving into the new year, many business leaders are likely to keep pushing for a return to the office as they have since the onset of the pandemic. But companies that embrace change not only ensure that engagement levels remain the same (and even grow in some instances), they will fare better in the competition for talent.