Remote workers are missing the memo, study says
- The U.S. workforce includes 3.7 million people who work from home, but nearly a third (27%) of employers communicate important news to staff through posters, according to a study by software firm Kollective. The Generation Now report, which surveyed 2,000 workers in the U.S. and U.K., found that remote workers feel "out of the loop."
- According to Kollective, workers have on average 121 emails a day, plus scores of instant messages, most of them unimportant, to dig through. Yet, U.S. businesses still send mass communications via email and printed memos circulated around the office.
- The study also found that 45% of U.S. workers are dissatisfied with senior management's way of communicating with them, while 62% said they preferred face-to-face updates from the CEO.
Many employers still aren't getting it right when communicating with workers. With multiple ways of connecting — thanks to technology — all employees should be getting "office memos" wherever they are and by whichever means they prefer: email, chat rooms, instant messaging, social media, video-conferencing, etc. Employers must leverage these options.
Despite technological advances, employee communication remains a problem in too many workplaces. In an earlier Generation Now report, 79% of workers said they received company information through the office grapevine. Too often, external sources like the media are the main source of information for many workers. Employers should keep in mind that whatever information they don't but should share with workers can get quickly supplanted by gossip and rumors.
Employees want not only face-to-face communication with their CEO, but they also want more direct communication with HR, according to a recent EmployeeChannel, Inc., study.
Remote workers need to be kept in the loop. Although working from home or some other location might offer work-life balance, remote workers can feel isolated from the office hub of activities, events and information-sharing. More importantly, remote workers can miss out on critical announcements concerning their employment, including their benefits.