Employee engagement decreased when working from home

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A new study commissioned by global software company Achievers has shown faltering engagement among employees who work from home – and a lack of awareness from top managers.

Achievers’ Asia-Pacific branch asked Australian market analysis firm StollzNow Research to investigate more than 1,500 employees in Australia and Singapore – for insight into how organizations in the region are doing. have been emerging for more than a year in a new work paradigm.

Virtual work started as an emergency response in early 2020, although the benefits it has brought to employers (cost savings, etc.) and employees (flexibility, etc.) have prompted many to consider work from home permanently – at least for some. days a week, in what is now called the hybrid model.

That said, one of the main drawbacks of the virtual working model, even last year, was that employees felt isolated and disengaged, contributing to a host of mental health issues while affecting the quality of work. The Achievers study surveyed organizations on current engagement levels, and little improvement was made.

Over 35% of Australian employees feel less engaged when working from home, compared to less than 25% who feel more engaged. The others were ambivalent about the paradigm shift. Disengagement in Singapore was even higher: almost 50% feel less engaged compared to only 12% conversely.

One explanation is the lack of facetime – as expressed by APAC CEO of Melbourne-based Achievers Matt Seadon. “Remote and hybrid working has been the mainstay of the region for much of 2020, and it can be assumed that the alignment between managers and employees has taken an understandably hit due to the lack of interactions. face to face. “

I feel committed to my overall work experience

Not only has this affected employee engagement levels, it also appears to have put managers out of touch with their employees’ feelings, even in conventional work environments. The researchers interviewed both cohorts and found a clear disconnect in perception.

In Australia, 72% of employees feel involved in their overall work experience (virtual or otherwise) – compared to almost 90% that management feel involved. A similar (albeit smaller) gap can be seen in Singapore – where 77% of employees feel genuinely engaged versus 84% ​​from a manager’s perspective.

While perceptions of engagement differ by industry, there is some disconnect in the two markets. “Managers misinterpret levels of engagement in organizations as pretty large multipliers,” Seadon said.

Sector breakdown of disconnection from commitment

“As a manager, you might think you are doing a good job, but our research shows that there is a disconnect between what you think and what your employees are feeling. “

And this can have disastrous consequences: a lack of motivation, satisfaction and ultimately low productivity; to a lack of a corporate culture and coherent objectives. The results range from small manifestations of absenteeism and a tense environment to critical impacts on revenue and turnover.

Management needs to take control, Seadon says. “Disconnect validates the need to better measure engagement, improve employee voices, and get real actionable insights into your team that you can recognize and reward appropriately. “


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