Remote Working contributes to employee engagement

Back in June, Gallup put out their “State of the American Workplace Report”, which has belatedly come to my attention in one particular regard: their findings on how remote working affects employee engagement.

First, then, what do Gallup mean by the term “employee engagement”? I’m sure that we all have our own view of what this should mean – individuals actively communicating with their colleagues in order to work as effectively and efficiently as possible, perhaps – but Gallup get their data from surveys and so distilled the essence of the theme down to a set of 12 questions which they know as “Q12”. Those questions are at the back end of this post.

But before getting to them, let’s look at the results.

Working Remotely and Employee Engagement


These results highlight that employees who do not work remotely at all are the least engaged segment. I’m not sure how much the rest of the results tell us – we don’t, after all, know what guides each individual who responded in their decision over how much time to spend working remotely. Is it their own choice, or a factor of their role – salespeople being with customers a lot, for instance. What sort of job do people who work remotely all the time do? It might not be a very engaging role, and/or they might not even have an office to travel to, or colleagues to work with.

The encouraging lesson, then, is that working remotely appears to improve employee engagement rather than reducing it. This fits with other reports which have suggested that remote working can actively improve individual efficiency – depending upon how the business caters for it. I have no doubt that giving employees the freedom to work where and when they like, whilst of course still being expected to meet objectives (including good scores from colleague feedback) , empowers individuals and encourages them to work with greater dedication. Trust people, and they will reward that trust.

So what about those questions? Gallup seem convinced that they are the cutting-edge of scientific research but, to be honest, I’m not convinced. None of the questions appear to address active collaboration, which surely is a mainstay of most office roles? However, as I am certain that I could not provide a better set of questions I will leave this to the professionals.


01 I know what is expected of me at work.

02 I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.

03 At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.

04 In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.

05 My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.

06 There is someone at work who encourages my development.

07 At work, my opinions seem to count.

08 The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.

09 My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.

10 I have a best friend at work.

11 In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.

12 This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.