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Are My Remote Employees Satisfied? Measuring Job Satisfaction in Remote Roles

Updated: Apr 10, 2024 | Published Apr 19, 2023

It looks like full-time office work is a thing of the past. Is your organization equipped with the tools to ensure your remote workers are satisfied?

Whether your company is fully remote, hybrid, or still mainly in-person – future-proof businesses must have the tools and strategies needed to excel in the digital workplace – and that means keeping their employees happy, engaged, and connected.

In this article, we’ll cover how to measure job satisfaction for your remote employees and explain what your organization can do to create a positive and productive virtual work environment.

Why Measure Job Satisfaction for Remote Employees?

Are your employees happy?

It’s a simple, but challenging, question. Knowing how each worker truly feels is next to impossible. Humans are complex, diverse, personal, and individual. But that doesn’t mean measuring employee satisfaction isn’t important. In fact it’s vital to give managers the sharpest insight into whether or not their team members are energized, engaged, and committed.

When it comes to remote work and job satisfaction, measuring dispersed and off-site workers poses an even bigger challenge. 

With remote workers, team leaders don’t have regular face-to-face, in-person interaction. There are fewer direct, observational indicators of emotion such as body language, casual conversations, or social encounters with colleagues. In a purely digital, virtual workspace, managers must rely on other tools to understand if their remote workers are satisfied.

That’s why measuring job satisfaction for remote workers is crucial for the future of work.

Having satisfied employees isn’t just good for them. It increases business productivity and your company’s success. Putting employee satisfaction first is a win-win for both employers and employees. 

3 employees giving each other a high five

How Do We Define Job Satisfaction?

Job satisfaction is the level of happiness or contentment that employees feel with their job. Satisfaction at work is derived from a few aspects from their day-to-day to their long-term development.

Career growth

Does your organization offer a clear path for growth? Many workers are determined to develop their skills and grow either vertically or horizontally through an organization. We’ve all heard the term “dead-end job”. That’s the last thing you want your employees to think they’re in!

Although not every worker has their eyes set on growth, it’s still a major factor in employee satisfaction.It’s important to understand the expectations of each individual and specifically cater their progression and employee journey to their wants and needs.

Work life balance

Luckily, we’re at a point now where work life balance is a part of the culture for most companies. Of course, depending on the industry, geographic location, and company structure, it’s still sometimes considered an afterthought.

The truth is, employees – and especially the next generation of workers – will continue putting work life balance at the top of their criteria when looking for employment. Without a healthy balance, physical health, mental health, family, and personal relationships may all suffer.

Stability

It’s an uneasy feeling to wonder if you’re safe at your job. Without stability, how can you plan for the future? 

Providing workers with a stable foundation eases anxiety about the rising cost of living and planning for the future. Satisfied employees don’t have to spend time worrying about next week, next month, or even next year.

Remuneration

Often the elephant in the room when talking about employee satisfaction – pay! It’s definitely important. People want and deserve to be fairly compensated financially.

Considerations for Job Satisfaction for Remote Workers

Job satisfaction for remote workers generally encompasses the same factors as for any worker, but there are a few other important considerations, including:

Flexibility to work when and where they want: People often choose work from home or remote jobs because they value a flexible lifestyle. They want to be able to work when and where they want. This means working from different locations and time zones that may be atypical relative to the traditional 9-to-5.

Ease-of-use and performance of technology: Remote work relies on technology. It’s imperative that your remote and dispersed staff are equipped with functional, intuitive, and bug-free software and devices. Without a direct connection to an IT department to troubleshoot issues, when technology fails, remote workers can be left scrambling.

Challenges of Measuring Remote Work Employee Satisfaction

Since 2020, most offices and workplaces have seen a massive increase in remote and dispersed staff.At first, it took a rushed and awkward adjustment to get used to this new way of working. 

After many ups and downs, organizations started developing their own digital workplace cultures. But still, the reduction of in-person, human connections significantly altered the way employees interact with each other, their management, and other stakeholders.

For managers, it might be less apparent when a remote worker is unhappy at work. In-person cues can be telling of someone’s general feeling. Do they always seem tired? Are they avoiding people? Do they seem angry or agitated?

For remote workers, using the human skill of intuition and reading body language is exceptionally difficult. Instead, the focus shifts to video and phone based conversation and written texts (like instant messaging and emails) to glean insight into someone’s temperament. 

Navigating the Virtual Workplace 

There’s no question that moving to virtual workplaces changed interpersonal dynamics dramatically. Face-to-face meetings were swapped for video calls. People were isolated from their colleagues.

Managing mobile workforces quickly became an essential skill for leaders across many industries. Adapting leadership skills to meet the changing demands on the future of work also means developing new initiatives to ensure your remote employees are satisfied.

Importance of Measuring Job Satisfaction Among Remote Employees

For workplace leaders, understanding how your employees feel at work is necessary to develop business strategy and optimize operations. Without a clear picture on general workplace satisfaction, you don’t have all the information required to make the right decisions.

In hybrid workplaces, where there is a mix of in-person and remote workers, it’s crucial to understand how both types of employees are feeling. That’s why measuring job satisfaction among remote workers is so important: you need to include everyone in decision-making to ensure equality and fairness for all employees.

Managing a mobile workforce and evaluating options? Download the buyers guide.

Finger On the Pulse of the Remote Workplace

When you understand your employees’ level of satisfaction, you’re in the best position to create an optimal work environment. Why has Martha from Marketing been late to meetings recently? Why is Finn from the Finance team skipping virtual team lunch? 

If you spend the time to understand how your employees are feeling, it will be easier to identify and resolve possible issues at work. And by working to improve remote worker satisfaction, you’ll be actively working on increasing employee retention.

How to Measure Job Satisfaction in Remote Work Settings

Now that we’ve gone over the importance of remote worker job satisfaction, let’s talk about some actionable insight into how to measure employee job satisfaction in digital and remote workplaces.

Measuring Job Satisfaction Among Remote Employees

There are a number of great ways to measure job satisfaction of your remote and dispersed staff. Depending on your company and your industry, some will be more suitable techniques than others. We’ll touch on the pros and cons of some of the most common satisfaction measurement methods for remote workers.

Surveys

Job satisfaction surveys can include questions related to any facet of an organization, from daily lives at work to long-term business strategy. 

Pros:

  • Easy and generally inexpensive to disseminate through digital mediums
  • Flexible in terms of content and types of questions asked
  • Results can be used to calculate an Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS), a highly useful employee satisfaction metric that asks how likely an employee is to recommend the company as a great place to work

Cons:

  • Employee satisfaction survey response rates can be low for some organizations
  • May cause distrust from employees, leading to biased responses and/or non-answers
  • One-way conversation with no way to discuss answers
  • Generally, employee surveys are anonymous, therefore there are no follow-ups with individual people

One-on-One Interviews

For remote workers, managers should make a point to conduct routine check-ins and chats with their employees. A video chat is a great way to gauge how your workers are feeling. 

Pros:

  • Direct, 2-way conversation to share feelings, ideas, positives, and negatives
  • Provides an opportunity to quickly identify any warning sign and fix problematic items on the spot
  • Allows for further elaboration and discussion to open-ended questions 

Cons:

  • For large teams, it’s very time consuming to conduct video calls with each employee
  • Many employees may feel uncomfortable in a one-on-one setting and keep pertinent information to themselves. 

Focus Groups

A focus group at work is a research tool that brings together a group of employees to answer questions in a moderated setting. For remote workers, a focus group can conveniently be conducted virtually.

Pros:

  • Group discussion can spark interesting debate and conversation
  • For large organizations, focus groups can be time efficient compared to individual interviews

 

Cons:

  • Only represents a sample of the entire employee body
  • Can be difficult to engage a large group, especially virtually

Employee Performance Assessment

One of the most omnipresent employee satisfaction methods is an employee performance assessment. Most organizations strive for annual evaluations, but many companies now try to conduct more frequent digital performance reviews, especially for remote employees.

 

Pros:

  • In-depth analysis and discussion provides detailed outlook on performance and satisfaction
  • Can be used to set goals, review targets, and directly address and discuss workplace satisfaction

 

Cons:

  • Time consuming for both the manager and employee
  • Can be nerve wracking for the employee to discuss happiness/satisfaction at work

Tools to Measure Employee Satisfaction for Remote Workers

Harnessing great technology is the key to a productive virtual workplace. Remote workers rely on intuitive and easy to use employee platforms to make their day efficient. 

There are many digital tools to measure employee satisfaction on the market. From tailored employee apps, to communication software like Slack and Microsoft Teams, and to survey tools like Google Forms or Survey Monkey, your organization has plenty of options.

For remote workers, the best way to continuously monitor and measure employee satisfaction is through an employee communication platform or a specialized employee communication solution for enterprise, healthcare, logistics or manufacturing. You’ll get a direct line of communication to your employees, plus the ability to easily hold polls, surveys, performance reviews, or even a digital suggestion box. On top of that, your employees will have a dedicated and consolidated place to interact with each other – accessible anywhere, anytime from any device.

Five Tips for Managers to Measure and Improve Overall Job Satisfaction

Managing remote employees certainly poses unique challenges. It takes continuous effort to be aware of each person’s workload, business operations, and team dynamic, all while building good relationships. But employee satisfaction cannot be left to fall by the wayside. 

Here are some best practices to ensure you’re always working to boost remote employee satisfaction:

  1. Conduct regular check-ins: Regularly check in with your remote employees to gauge their job satisfaction and understand their needs and challenges.
  2. Prioritize communication: Ensure that communication channels are open and transparent between you and your remote employees. Give regular feedback and support, and encourage open dialogue to build a sense of community and collaboration.
  3. Provide the right tools and resources: Make sure your remote employees have the necessary tools and resources to do their job effectively including software, hardware, and training.
  4. Promote work-life balance: Remote employees can struggle with balancing work and personal life. It’s important to encourage and support healthy work-life balance. This could include offering flexible schedules, encouraging breaks and time off, and setting clear boundaries around work hours.
  5. Recognize and reward achievements: Celebrate successes and acknowledge the hard work of your remote employees.

By using all of the tools available, you can actively foster a positive work culture that promotes employee satisfaction. It’s not always straightforward and there’s no one-size-fits all solution, but ensuring your employees are satisfied is the most important step towards a positive work culture for all.

Benefits of a Positive Work Culture

Creating a positive virtual work culture will help ensure that remote employees feel like they are part of the team and that their contributions are valued. It’s all about nurturing a company culture that values collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity.

For remote employees, a positive work culture means increased communication across the organization. When working remotely, it’s always nice to be able to easily reach out to colleagues. Placing value on the team – albeit virtual – helps create genuine bonds, boost employee engagement, and ultimately lead to happier workers. 

A positive remote working culture will also promote innovation, creativity, and idea sharing. Injecting positive energy and a sense of community across the digital workspace will break down barriers and unlock hidden potentials. Moving toward the future of work, organizations should embrace innovative workplace technology that brings people together and puts workplace communication first.

Happier Remote Workers

Remote work employee satisfaction evaluation is admittedly tricky. But with the right tools and strategy, any organization can boost the happiness of remote workers.

Using techniques like digital surveys, one-on-one video chats, and routine employee assessments can provide critical insight into how your remote workers are feeling. Allowing for open and transparent communication with the right digital workplace platform further enables remote workers to be engaged with their colleagues.

There doesn’t have to be a disconnect between remote work and job satisfaction. Workplaces of the future will be increasingly digital. Having strategies and tools in place to boost remote worker satisfaction now will best prepare your organization for the workers of tomorrow.

Streamline your internal communication tools. Learn more at iTacit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to measure job satisfaction in the remote workplace?

Depending on your organization, industry, and company size, we’ve covered several great ideas on how to measure job satisfaction of employees. Equipping your staff with the best workplace communication tools is the best way for business leaders to gain insight into the engagement of staff. And generally speaking, engaged employees are happy employees. From a technology standpoint, digital employee experience platforms make it easy to create surveys and polls that can be used to directly evaluate employee satisfaction.

Does remote work generally increase job satisfaction?

Remote work offers flexibility and autonomy, but it can also cause feelings of isolation for some individuals. For that reason, remote work does not directly lead to increased job satisfaction. What is known, however, is that employees are more satisfied when they have the freedom and choice of remote or hybrid work.

Managing a mobile workforce and evaluating options? Download the buyers guide.

Teri Maltais

Teri Maltais

Specializing in digital marketing programs for industrial and commercial technology solutions.

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