disconnect among virtual workersAccording to a new survey from Interact, 69 percent of American employees who work virtually feel that their level of engagement suffers due to a lack of communication from management.

“Unhappy employees who are disconnected from their managers and the company cannot take ownership of the mission, goals or big picture, which is the minimum requirement for the kind of engagement that impacts a company’s bottom line,” said Lou Solomon, CEO and founder of Interact. “Today it is standard practice for corporations to have people scattered across the country and around the globe, but the success of any culture still rests on relationships and human engagement.

Other findings from the online survey include:

  • 61 percent of employees who ever work virtually think those working in the office/workplace feel more engaged with management than they do.
  • 50 percent report feeling disconnected from their colleagues.
  • 53 percent of employees who ever work virtually indicate they have to work twice as hard as those in the office/workplace to make connections within their organization.
  • 55 percent of American employees who ever work virtually say their boss communicates with them almost exclusively by email.

In order to keep team members engaged and ensure productivity, Interact recommends that executives be intentional and strategic about building a sense of connectedness with virtual workers. Leaders can find ways to stay close to employees including methods such as:

  • Holding in-person town hall meetings, allow people to ask questions, and telecast them to the entire organization.
  • Shrinking the number of people on project teams to allow for intimacy and trust.
  • Discouraging an email-only culture, instead relying upon programs such as Skype and phone calls.
  • Investing in high-quality video conferencing equipment.

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