Engaging and Remote Workforce

Remote Workforce Engagement – A Guide for Businesses

Overview of Remote Work Challenges

Over the pandemic, we saw a huge shift to the number of employees working remotely. Even today, the number of remote and hybrid workers far outstrips those from before. However, employee engagement is a painpoint among remote talent and something many companies struggle with. How does your company engage with and include people not in the office?

In this video we share our advice for companies looking to better engage remote workers through an inclusive culture. Featuring Brandon Kline from our Disability Inclusion Management team.

The Changing Landscape of Remote Work

Prior to the pandemic only 6% of workers were remote. At the height of the pandemic, as many as 35% of the workforce was working remotely, and that has since dropped to 26% (December 2022). However, this still poses a five-fold increase in the number of remote workers.

Furthermore, remote work is one of the most in-demand job types out there. Many employees are even willing to take a lesser paying job for the flexibility, comfort, and work-life balance that remote work can afford. With our modern technology, remote work is not going away.

Remote Work – A Range of Employee Experiences

While remote work is very popular, many express feelings of loneliness or trouble engaging with with the company. While some workforces feel fully integrated, others feel fragmented with remote workers gaining less visibility and less recognition for their hard work.

Thus, as a company who hires remote workers, you want to make sure that you’re creating a consistently positive experience for all of your employees no matter where they are.

What Can You Do?

  • Regular check ins – just as you would with any other employee, its important for managers to have a cadence of regular check ins that are given the same priority as in-person check ins.
  • Respecting their time – it’s important to make sure that when you schedule time with remote workers that you recognize their time is valuable and seek to prioritize showing up for those meetings the same as you would for employees in your building.
  • Show your face – its important to utilize video chat in order to build rapport and have deeper engagement. This is especially important if you schedule a meeting and they show their face but you don’t show yours. Face time, even if 1,000 miles away, is still important.
  • Show your support – make yourself always available to chat and consistently provide them feedback. It’s also important to remember to build relationships with your remote staff the same as you would in-person staff. It’s also important to remember to help ensure they take breaks and disconnect the same as on-site employees. Finally, provide recognition company-wide so everyone to celebrate their accomplishments.
  • Host virtual events – it can be disappointing when an employee can’t join you for in-person event. Try alternating between on-site and virtual after-hours and team building events.

Respecting Boundaries

Many remote workers can feel challenges with being able to disconnect. If their bedroom is their office and if their phone and email goes off all hours of the day, it can be difficult for them to take necessary time away. As employers we need to be respectful of and honor those boundaries.

Finally, understand that differences in time zones may make it difficult for people to attend certain meetings scheduled earlier or later in the day.

Nobody wants to work any more

“Nobody Wants to Work Any More” Discussion for Businesses

Overview of Recruiting and Hiring Challenges

When the labor market gets tight, this becomes a familiar refrain. But actually we find there’s nothing different about the work ethic of people working right now compared with times past, and this refrain is actually quite an old one.
Many companies are now worried what if “nobody wants to work for ME any more?” So let’s talk about some of the hiring fatigue you’re experiencing and what you can do about it.

Join Peak Performers and guest Brian Crawley to for discussion on the hiring challenges companies are facing and why so many of us are saying “nobody wants to work any more.”



Not a New Phenomenon

The challenges companies are facing are turning them towards a familiar phrase “nobody wants to work any more.” This phrase dates back to newspaper clippings going to 1894.

In periods of difficult hiring, the people doing the hiring and interviewing often become frustrated in doing so and take out their frustration by minimizing the work ethic of the current workforce.

Let’s Talk about Hiring Fatigue

The average person stays in a job is around one year. This means that all your new hires and longtime employees are more likely to turnover, further frustrated hiring managers and recruiters. Hiring managers and recruiters are tired from the churn.

It can be exhausting to spin your wheels trying to recruit people only to not have them ghost you on interviews or not show up on their first day. It’s even more exhausting when those employees you work so hard to bring onboard leave soon thereafter.

What if “Nobody Wants to Work For ME Any More?”

This has caused a reckoning among hiring managers and companies as they realize that the problem may be with their jobs and company.

In times of a strong labor market, it can be difficult to make your job stand out. In times where pay is going up, it can be hard to retain your workers without doing the same. And when you’re short staffed, your existing staff feels more pressure and is more likely to burn out and leave. Meanwhile, all your employees begin to reevaluate the work culture of a company and how much they actually want to stay where they are.

What Can I Do?

For starters, its important to not externalize the problem. The talent is not less qualified or lazier than they used to be. They’re just shopping around for the best deal. So how do you make your job more attractive?

Once you find great talent, the single greatest barrier that can arise is a long onboarding process. Your hiring team needs to move swiftly to identify talent, interview them, make an offer, and get them started.

Once they’re there, focus on building an inclusive culture where people want to work.

What are Employees Looking for?

Besides pay and benefits, the single biggest consensus among job seekers is the desire for remote work. Many employees are even willing to take a job that pays less if it allows them to work from home at least some of the time, as we see with hybrid roles.

This matters since during the pandemic many people were forced into remote work and realized the advantages of being able to better manage their work-life balance.

If your competitors allow remote work and you do not, you may continue to face hiring and retention struggles.


Remote work drawbacks

Considering the drawbacks of remote work

Is remote work good for my career?

I’ve worked remotely before so I get it: rolling out of bed right before work, looking out your kitchen window at the sunrise while you check email and sip coffee, taking a neighborhood walk to break up the work day—it’s pretty nice. For many other people, such as those with kids or those with certain disabilities, this can be a godsend allowing them to have a schedule that actually works for them or a work environment where they’re comfortable and productive.

For these reasons, I think that remote work will always have a place, as it should. But I think it’s still relatively new and it’s important to point out some of the drawbacks. Also, if you’re considering remote work for the first time, be sure to check out our article here.

Remote work downsides:

1) The jobs are highly competitive to attain.

According to Google, there are twice as many people looking for “remote jobs” as there are people looking for “jobs.” This is pretty consistent with the job seekers I meet. They often ask about remote work and then only reluctantly agree to consider on-site jobs or hybrid roles. Also, its estimated by Zippia that only 15% of jobs are work from home. So, if you are only considering remote jobs, realize that you will be competing against WAY more people for way fewer jobs.

2) Remote workers may be more likely to get laid off.

In a survey of 3000 managers by beautiful.ai, 60% agree that remote workers are more likely to be laid off first (only 20% said this is unlikely). Laying off people is hard—but perhaps these conversations are made a little easier when the person is not sitting across the table from you? Perhaps its made a little easier when you don’t have lunch with them in the break room every day? 

3) You may be less likely to get promoted.

Face time matters for your work life: a lot of interpersonal relationships develop in the workplace and its easier for your manager to see the great work that you do when they can see it in person. That’s not to say you can’t get promoted but that it might be harder to develop rapport with your bosses and colleagues. Also, you might have to be more deliberate about demonstrating your hard work. This trend has been called by Fast Company the “Zoom ceiling” after their study found remote workers less likely to get promoted.

4) Your boss probably likes the office.

Odd are, your boss probably enjoys working on-site and got to where they are from going into the office. For many people, their work life dominates their social life. You may be able to tout evidence of remote worker productivity, of which there’s plenty of recent discussion, but that alone won’t overcome their natural preference. After all, when you work remotely, they now have to spend a large portion of their week talking you on on video chat.

5) It can be lonely.

I can personally say that I prefer working remotely on days where I need to deeply focus on a project. However, I nearly always find myself working through lunch, rarely take that afternoon walk, and at the end of the day I’m longing to talk to someone in person, to collaborate, and I find myself eager for validation on my work product. Some of my remote coworkers describe how they’ll go out to eat dinner at a restaurant, even alone, just to be around other people. 


We’re all going to have different experiences working remotely. My boss and many of my colleagues work remotely. Many of them HAVE been successfully promoted. I’ve worked remotely as well as in a hybrid environment. There can be some incredible advantages to remote work, but it’s also important to evaluate some of these drawbacks too.