The pandemic of 2020 redefined business and work operations in ways many people never expected. Although remote work was not new to the business sphere before the pandemic, it suddenly became mainstream as many businesses struggled to survive.
Important Survey Questions To Ask Remote Worker
- Are you more productive at home or in the office?
- Do you have a defined workspace at home?
- How can I help reduce the distraction?
- Do you have any ideas on how to improve the remote work experience?
For many companies, remote work presents many benefits and new challenges to business operations. However, those whose benefits have greatly surpassed any foreseeable challenge and have adapted the business to have employees work remotely.
How has this affected employees? As a company, it's easy to assume that employees enjoy and are more productive when they work from home.
However, although several remote employee survey questions have shown a significantly large number of employees favoring Working From Home (WFH), a lesser percentage of employees still prefer working from the office.
To ensure continued employee productivity and satisfaction, you must engage employees intentionally by occasionally asking remote employee engagement questions through surveys.
Ask these Remote Working Survey Questions. Know your remote employee's experiences, expectations, and challenges.
Using a remote work questionnaire to understand employees is an excellent step toward improving business productivity and inclusivity. It's also a great idea to let employees take part in surveys anonymously.
Suppose companies are proactive in conducting employee surveys. In that case, remote employee survey questions will provide honest responses as employees partake in them anonymously while having psychological safety to avoid critical issues with their employer or colleagues.
To better understand your remote workers, these are some questions to include in the survey.
1. Do you have the necessary tools and equipment to achieve the same quality of work?
A significant oversight many businesses make about remote employees is the assumption that work activities would be the same. For this reason, companies can often forget to provide adequate tools to help their remote employees work better remotely.
Responses to this question should be treated with high severity. For example, some employees would rather struggle to work with inadequate tools than complain to their team leader.
2. Are you comfortable working with the provided tools and equipment?
This is a good follow-up survey question to the one above. Having provided the necessary tools and equipment for your remote employees, what's the guarantee they have the required competence to use them?
It's easy to ask a colleague or teammate for help and assistance when working at the office. However, with remote work's somewhat isolation, employees may be unable to use the provided equipment. Soon enough, productivity and performance begin to decline.
3. How do you feel about working from home?
The answers will vary depending on how long employees have been working remotely, and that's a good thing! The truth is, not every employee is excited about working remotely, and for good reasons.
The response to this question gives a fantastic insight into the percentage of comfortable working remotely employees.
4. Do you have any experience working from home?
While it seemed the pandemic caused a change in work operations, some businesses have long adapted WFH situations or options for the employees.
Employees who have worked under such conditions are better suited, psychologically and otherwise, to adapt quickly to remote work.
In all honesty, employees who have only had experience working on-location jobs will struggle to adapt. The only difference would be the duration it would take to adjust to the new changes fully.
This remote employee survey question should be utilized to help employees with less remote work experience adapt to the new norm.
5. Do you take regular breaks?
First, there has to be agreed formal break hours for employees. Unlike working in the office, remote work can sometimes have remote employees lose track of time and space.
Scheduled breaks are mandatory to help improve the employee's mental, psychological, and physical abilities.
The question always proves you are genuinely concerned about the health of your employees. Encourage employees to take scheduled breaks to give their eyes and body some rest.
6. Are you more productive at home or in the office?
Although comfort can affect productivity, it's best to determine where employees are more productive.
It is possible to be comfortable working from home but experience a productivity decline. Several things can affect the employee's productivity in a different environment.
As an employer, ensure employee productivity is the same or higher at home as in the office. It will do the business a great disservice if most employees report a productivity decline working from home.
In light of this, try to implement the necessary to help them be more productive at home.
7. What challenges do you think remote employees can face?
Most employees work in teams and may have had discussions with one or more team members facing challenges. The question allows employees to help report or address challenges that they face or may have heard that others face.
One of the ways to achieve growth as a business is to continue to address and resolve employee challenges. A follow-up question could ask for ideas and solutions to address these challenges.
8. Do you have good communication with team members?
For most employees, it's easy to put up with co-workers in the office because they have to. However, working remotely gives employees a sense of comfort and control, and they may not always be able to tolerate other co-workers' excesses.
A break in communication would disrupt operations and lead to losses. Like in an office setting, team members should be able to get along just fine with themselves and with their team leaders.
If employees report communication problems with team members, take the initiative to bring this to the attention of the particular team members. You must also identify a solution to solve this.
9. How often would you want to return to the office?
Sometimes having options can be a motivation for employees. As much as many employees favor working from home, a large percentage of the number would not mind an occasional office visit.
Use this question to know where your employees stand about resuming or visiting the office to work. A good follow-up question should have employees highlight the frequency of office visits if they agree to that option.
However, rather than just giving them hope and disappear, ensure that your company is in the right position to provide in-office work opportunities if employees desperately need that.
10. Do you have a defined workspace at home?
Employees have a defined space or workstation in the office that helps them mentally understand boundaries and discipline. Remote work requires a lot more self-discipline than many employers are willing to admit.
There's often the tendency to stay over-committed to work or become more complacent with distractions at home.
The response to this question can help you, as the employer, know if your employees are better suited to work at home or in the office.
If you want to take things to a whole other level, you can grant a home-office budget to employees struggling to set up their remote workspace at home.
One-On-One Remote Working Survey Questions
Remote employee survey questions may be able to guarantee honest responses because of their anonymous nature, but they can feel impersonal and more generalized.
To establish a better connection with employees working from home, you can adopt a more direct, intentional, one-on-one survey session with them.
Some likely questions to ask in this remote work questionnaire include:
11. What's your biggest distraction while working remotely?
This question proves you understand that possible distractions exist when working remotely. Since distractions are bound to occur, allow employees to give specific details on what they consider the biggest distraction.
12. How can I help reduce the distraction?
This should be a follow-up to the above question. This should create an emotional connection with the employee.
Not only have you acknowledged distractions as a common WFH experience, but you can also get the employee to understand you are committed to improving their focus and productivity.
As you make suggestions about possible solutions, have them share insights into how it can benefit them. For example, a good work schedule can help maximize time and increase productivity.
13. Do you still feel like you're part of the team?
Working from home can be both exciting and overwhelming for employees. Acknowledging that these emotions can exist together puts you in a more sympathetic position to understand where the employee stands emotionally with their team.
With the back and forth of virtual meetings, some employees can sometimes feel isolated. Business teams are naturally made up of people with different personalities, and certain people are not as outspoken as others.
Ask the employee if working from home has created any disconnection between them and their co-workers or team leader.
14. Do you have any ideas on how to improve the remote work experience?
Every employee has a different and unique experience working remotely. Those with challenges should have solutions they probably never thought were important enough to share.
Sometimes, ideas and solutions may not affect the employee specifically but can help address and cater to the needs of others.
There's always a new way or an excellent way to improve things. As a result, employees are better suited to explain their remote work experience and should have ideas to improve or consolidate on.
15. Would you be willing to return to the office?
If not properly asked, the question can quickly come off as bait. So instead, put the employee's comfort at the center of the discussion to get them to provide an honest answer.
As much as employees may seem to favor comfort and peace, one committed to the growth of the business would tell where they're most productive. Next, try to understand the motivation for the decision to return or not to return to regular office work.
While productivity and performance should always be the focus, an employee who must undergo a stressful commute to the office daily would naturally favor working remotely.
This is why it is a good follow-up question that should enlighten you on why they chose to return to work or continue working from home.
As more employers look towards or begin to appreciate the benefit of working remotely, there is a reluctance to return to routine office work. While many assume employees love the remote work experience, there can still be challenges that can affect the employee's productivity and the company's overall success.
An excellent way to stay ahead and keep business operations running productively and smoothly is to conduct remote employee engagement questions routinely. As an employer, responses from such surveys give insights on ways to improve the remote work experience.
Anonymous surveys help employees provide honest and sincere answers that can help reshape the entire work-from-home system. However, notwithstanding the effectiveness of anonymous surveys, it's advisable to occasionally conduct one-on-one surveys to address concerns and issues that affect employees intimately.
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