No, Remote Employees Aren’t Becoming Less Engaged | Harvard Business Review

Workforce Trends

As remote and hybrid work continues to take hold in many organizations, some leaders still express concern that remote work reduces spontaneous meetings and conversations with employees. But according to new research, data might not support this sentiment. The researchers gathered metadata from all Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Webex meetings (involving webcams on and/or off) from 10 large global organizations (seven of which are Fortune 500 firms) spanning various fields. They compared six-week snapshots of raw meeting counts from April through mid-May 2020 following the Covid-19 lockdowns and the same set of six weeks in 2021 and 2022. This dataset resulted in over 48 million meetings for more than half a million employees. The analysis identified five major ways remote meetings have changed since the pandemic first forced all employees to work remotely. A few of the findings are employees are increasingly having efficient (shorter), more frequent, and more spontaneous meetings than they did since the pandemic. While the research has limitations, it provides data to challenge assumptions about remote work. As a bonus resource, I am resharing Microsoft’s 111-page report—Future of Work Report 2022—that provides one of the most comprehensive reviews of various studies by researchers at Microsoft and elsewhere on the future of work through the lens of hybrid work and remote work.