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Decreased Job Engagement Not Related to Remote Work

Survey finds work location has no impact on self-reported work engagement levels.

November 1, 2022

According to recently released survey by business membership and research organization The Conference Board, a third of the surveyed employees reported their work engagement—the commitment and connection they feel to their work—was lower than it was six months ago.

However, don’t be quick to assume that pandemic work-at-home mandates are at fault. The survey found that work location—whether it be remote, on site, or a hybrid of the two—had no impact on the participants’ reported work engagement levels.

The survey, which polled more than 1,600 individuals in September 2022, also found that more employees want to quit, but few are doing so. Workers’ intent to stay at their jobs decreased 37% in the last six months, but only 12% were actively planning to leave. Fears of a looming economic recession had 29% reconsidering quitting.

Women, millennials, and individual contributors reported lower engagement than other workers, as well as less mental wellbeing.

“While these results show that a likely recession may slow some of the high turnover we’ve been seeing, engagement is eroding for many of those who remain,” said Rebecca Ray, PhD, executive vice president of human capital at The Conference Board. “For businesses to truly thrive, they should focus on improving employee engagement, no matter the employee’s work location or schedule. Especially during challenging times, previous research from The Conference Board has shown that it is important for leaders to reconnect all workers to the mission and purpose of the organization, as well as to lead with compassion.”   

Despite feeling less engagement with their work and more desire to leave their jobs, employees are still working hard. Only 18% said their efforts had decreased in the last six months. Half said their efforts had remained the same, while 31% reported that their efforts had actually increased.

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