A large majority of remote employees feel unappreciated by their employer and that’s putting both parties at risk.
At least that’s the finding of a new survey conducted for PromoLeaf, a seller of promotional products.
It shows that even if about two-thirds (79 percent) of U.S. remote workers believe that they are “somewhat or very engaged” with their current employer, 59 percent feel “at least somewhat” unappreciated by the employer.
When asked if their organization should be doing more to show appreciation to employees who work remotely, 54 percent said “Yes, definitely,” and another 26 percent responded “Yes, probably.”
What’s driving the sentiment that employers are not showing enough appreciation for their remote-work efforts?
About 46 percent of those surveyed cited lack of support.
“Often while my peers are easy to reach, my supervisors disappear or show ‘away’ on Slack with no alternative way to reach them,” the survey cited a remote employee, who wished to remain anonymous, as saying. “We can’t see if they are in meetings or elsewhere, and often we are wasting time just ‘waiting’ rather than working.”
In addition, 45 percent of respondents reported feeling overworked and 44 percent attributed a lack of recognition to their feeling unappreciated.
About 30 percent of remote workers said they are “micromanaged” and another 30 percent feel they have insufficient contact with their management team.
The lack of appreciation for remote staff can exact negative consequences for both worker and employer, the poll showed.
Thirty-six percent of remote employees who felt unappreciated reported a decline in the mental health, and 33 percent applied for jobs elsewhere, the study found. Workers with depression see a 35 percent drop in productivity, on average, according to the American Psychiatric Association.
In addition, 29 percent said their productivity slipped, 12 percent left the organizations they worked for and 8 percent encouraged colleagues to leave, the report revealed.
To be sure, remote employees have limited patience for this lack of appreciation, the survey showed.
The amount of time that a remote worker will tolerate not being appreciated is about nine months, while 44 percent of employees would last six months or less, it said.
So what would make remote employees feel more appreciated?
According to the poll, a few simple gestures would do the trick. Half of survey respondents said gift vouchers would make them feel appreciated, while 41 percent mentioned small gift items such as apparel and household items (like mugs, drinkware, and similar items) would work. Online learning, virtual happy hours and one-on-one recognition meetings with a manager also made the list.
PromoLeaf ‘s survey, conducted on June 2, 2021, polled 1,012 U.S. employees who indefinitely work remotely full-time since the pandemic.