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7 Min Read

Debunking 6 Myths of Remote Work Engagement

Kaylyn Carter

Remote work is on the rise in the professional landscape, with more companies embracing flexible work arrangements, and for good reason. However, along with its rise, misconceptions about remote work have also surfaced, particularly regarding employee engagement.

In this blog, we’ll debunk some common myths surrounding remote employee engagement and explore the reality behind them. From debunking the belief that remote work leads to disengagement to dispelling the notion that remote teams lack camaraderie and career growth opportunities, let’s uncover the truth and explore strategies that managers and people ops can use to foster a thriving remote work environment.

Let’s debunk some common myths about remote employee engagement:

1. Myth: Remote work leads to disengagement.

Reality check: Despite common beliefs, remote work champions engagement. According to a survey by Owl Labs, a whopping 83% of respondents reported feeling more engaged or just as engaged when working remotely compared to being in the office, which shows that distance doesn’t necessarily mean disconnection.

Plus, remote work brings a sweet perk of flexibility, allowing employees to juggle their personal and professional lives more easily. In fact, research by FlexJobs reveals that 82% of employees believe they would be less stressed with more flexible work options, contributing to higher engagement levels.

If you want to keep a pulse check on your remote employee engagement, 15five offers many employee engagement survey templates and other data-minded tools to help you track your team’s various engagement levels.

2. Myth: Remote teams lack camaraderie and connection.

Reality check: Despite what you might have heard, remote teams can foster camaraderie and connection just as well as in-office ones. It’s all about getting creative with your approach. To bring camaraderie to your virtual teams, try implementing these popular strategies: 

  • Set aside dedicated time for virtual coffee chats.
  • Encourage team members to share personal anecdotes or icebreakers during meetings to spark conversation. 
  • Use occasional team challenges or competitions to ignite friendly rivalries and team spirit. 

With the right tools, remote teams can form bonds that are just as strong – if not stronger – than those formed in the office.

Platforms like Confetti specialize in orchestrating virtual team building events tailor-made for hybrid and remote teams, including interactive hosted games, engaging learning & development workshops, virtual happy hours, arts and crafts sessions, and more. These activities aren’t just about fun; they’re about forging meaningful connections.

3. Myth: Offsite experiences are exclusive to physical workplaces.

Reality check: Planning a team offsite experience might sound exclusive to physical workplaces, but nothing is stopping remote teams from tapping into the magic of offsites too. It’s all about thinking outside the box and embracing virtual opportunities for team bonding and innovation.

Engage remote employees and foster a culture of collaboration with these creative offsite ideas:

  1. Virtual Retreats: Set aside dedicated time for a virtual retreat where team members can disconnect from their daily tasks and focus on team building and strategic planning. Use video conferencing platforms to facilitate workshops, town halls, and brainstorming sessions.
  2. Remote Workshops: Invite external facilitators or industry experts to conduct virtual workshops on topics like mindful leadership, communication skills, and more. These sessions provide valuable learning opportunities while also fostering team camaraderie.
  3. Virtual Tours: Take your team on a virtual tour of famous landmarks, museums, or cultural sites around the world. This not only provides a welcome break from work but also sparks conversation and curiosity among team members.
  4. Online Escape Rooms: Book an online escape room where teams must work together to solve puzzles and challenges. It’s a fun and interactive way to promote teamwork and problem-solving skills.
  5. Remote Team Building Games: Organize virtual team building games like rounds of trivia, online puzzles, or other multiplayer games. These activities encourage friendly competition and collaboration among team members.

4. Myth: Remote workers are less productive and committed.

Reality check: Research shows that’s far from the truth. A study by Stanford University discovered that remote workers experienced a whopping 13% increase in productivity compared to their in-office counterparts. Impressive, right? This increased productivity can be credited to factors like fewer interruptions, skipping the dreaded commute, and the freedom to set up a personalized work environment that screams “productivity zone.”

Remote work isn’t just about getting more done; it’s about fostering a deeper sense of commitment to the organization. Research by Global Workplace Analytics found that 76% of employees would be more likely to stick around if they could work remotely even part of the time. Remote work means more productive employees who are in it for the long haul.

5. Myth: Remote work isolates employees and hinders collaboration.

Reality check: Advancements in technology mean remote teams can collaborate effectively and stay connected like never before. Platforms like Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams have become lifelines for remote teams, enabling seamless communication and collaboration regardless of everyone’s location. Need to hash out ideas for that upcoming project? Just hop on a video call! Want to share updates in real time? Drop a message in the team chat!

But here’s the real kicker: research by Harvard Business Review has shown that remote teams can actually outperform co-located teams when armed with the right technology and support. That’s right – outperform!

So how can you combat this myth? Encourage regular virtual check-ins and team meetings to keep everyone in the loop and foster a sense of belonging. Embrace collaborative tools and performance management platforms to streamline workflows and keep projects on track. And don’t forget to celebrate wins and milestones, whether it’s virtually raising a toast, dropping some peer-to-peer recognition in a dedicated gratitude channel, or sending out digital high-fives.

6. Myth: Remote work lacks opportunities for career growth and development

Reality check: That couldn’t be further from the truth! Remote work opens up a whole new world of opportunities for employees to level up their skills and advance their careers.

With the vast array of online learning platforms, webinars, and virtual workshops available, employees can access professional development opportunities from the comfort of their home office (or favorite coffee shop). Plus, remote work has paved the way for specialized programs to upskill your remote leadership. These programs equip managers with the tools and techniques to effectively lead remote teams, like remote communication strategies, team management tactics, and virtual collaboration techniques. By investing in remote leadership development, organizations empower managers and create an environment ripe for career growth and advancement.

The wide array of virtual learning and development opportunities provides remote employees with invaluable guidance, feedback, and support from seasoned professionals in their field – no matter where they’re located. It’s like having a career coach right at your fingertips!

Keep remote employees engaged with 15Five

As you can see, remote work is not the isolating and disengaging experience that some might believe it to be. By utilizing technology, creativity, and a supportive organizational culture, remote teams can thrive, collaborate effectively, and achieve their goals, even when they’re not under the same roof.

Whether you’re a seasoned remote worker or considering implementing remote work in your organization, remember that distance doesn’t mean disconnection – it can lead to a more engaged, connected, and empowered workforce.

Book a demo to learn how to retain employees better, keep your remote employees engaged, and help your leadership thrive with 15Five.