Signs of employee engagement when working remotely

Measuring employee engagement comes in many forms. You’ve got formal tools like surveys and pulse checks as well as larger organisation-wide employment engagement tools with all the trimmings.

But when we look at employee engagement on a more granular level, there’s three key areas that are worth digging into to get a clear idea on how engaged your people are in their work.

In this article, we’ll explore a useful framework that you can use for measuring employee engagement while working remotely. Go on now, scroll down and let’s get to it.


A simple employee engagement check-in.


#1: Energy

It’s a pretty simple equation; engagement = energy. Look for signs of a lowered level of energy as you begin to assess people’s engagement in their work.

Now of course, lowered energy levels may not simply be about work, but might be related to home challenges, poor sleep or biological/hormonal factor, but regardless of the antecedent, energy is a key ingredient to someone being engaged in their work and if their general energy levels are low, even the types of work that would normally light them up will seem mundane.

Encourage employees with lowered energy levels to prioritise taking breaks, getting outside, eating well and finding time to exercise and sleep. By default, an energy rise will enable engagement in work.


#2: Activity

Has there been a noticeable decrease in output? If that’s a yes, it’s worth starting a conversation around reengaging in purposeful work.

However, it’s not always the work-related activity that you should be taking note of. Other signs of employee disengagement in a remote working environment include a drop in cultural contributions (not speaking up in Zoom calls, or even missing them etc) as well as a drop in discretionary effort and sociability with the wider team.

These are hardly deal-breakers – we should respect and realise that all people have rhythms and our good days/weeks and bad days/weeks, but activity levels are a useful indicator to track employee engagement nonetheless.


#3: Responsiveness

Latency has always been a really useful indicator to assess engagement. For example, when someone in a sales or customer service role is engaged they generally get back to clients and customers really quickly.

Getting stuff back to the boss today rather than by the end of the week or jumping on project work early rather than late are all positive indicators of active engagement in work tasks.

Obviously this tends to drop when people start to drift in their engagement levels. So if you notice a shift towards delays, extensions or simply not getting back, it’s probably time for a conversation.


If you’re finding that your leaders are struggling to navigate the new world of managing teams while working remotely take a look at our Virtual Leaders program. With remote working here to stay long term, it’s time we adapt our approaches to best serve our people.