Survey Reports Workers Slacking off at Jobs, Feeling Disconnected from Company Missions

01 Feb, 2024 Chriss Swaney


chriss swaney

Sarasota, FL ( -- In 2023, employees in the United States continued to feel more detached from their employers, with less clear expectations, lower levels of satisfaction with their organization, and less connection to its mission or purpose, than they did four years ago, according to Gallup’s most recent survey.

And the survey found that employees are also less likely to feel someone at work cares about them as a person, or 50 percent were not engaged in the workplace.

Timothy Maynes, associate professor of organization and human resources at the University of Buffalo School of Management, said lots of changes have happened in the workplace in the past six months from COVID to increased use of remote working.

“The survey reminds us that this is a good time to reiterate the business’s vision and purpose and to remind your team how your business connects to the greater good of society,’’ said Maynes.

“To better engage workers, it is a good practice to focus on the growth of  your company teams and strengthening the capabilities of individuals that can make the team more effective; this creates an environment of continuous innovation and initiative,’’ according to Maynes. “We are seeing that employees want companies to provide training and new experiences for them to stretch their skills,’’ Maynes added.

Because the nature of work has changed dramatically, the leadership skills essential to manage in this era have also changed.  “The old days of sharing creative ideas while gathering around the old water cooler are long gone,’’ said Paula Calabrese, owner of Writer for Hire.

“Technology has created the tele-worker, but humans still need to be able to communicate and working remotely often leads to people feeling like they are in isolated silos,’’ said Calabrese.

To help cushion the challenge of remote working, Maynes said some managers start Zoom meetings by asking how employees spent their weekends.

“In one Zoom meeting, the feedback was very rewarding as employees shared how they were juggling work and caring for elderly parents or taking care of a new puppy,’’ Maynes reported.  “There is simply no one-size-fits-all pattern to help remote workers or workers in general feel connected,’’ said Maynes.

In fact, the one-size-fits-all hybrid work policies are more likely than other options to have a negative impact on employee engagement, retention and the amount of work done each day, according to a new hybrid work research from The Hackett Group, Inc.  At the same time, giving employees greater choices drives improvements in all areas, the research found.

The Gallup survey found that organizational leaders are at a distinct disadvantage in getting work done and meeting customer needs if expectations are not clear. The research finds the vulnerability posed by unclear expectations exists across all types of employees in the new workplace. But that vulnerability is particularly acute among hybrid and fully remote workers who have experienced double the decline in knowing what’s expected of them compared with on-site workers whose jobs could be done remotely.

As of the last quarter of 2023, 12.7 percent of full-time employees work from home, while 28.2 percent work a hybrid model.  By 2025, 32.6 million Americans will work remotely or in a hybrid scenario.

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    About The Author

    • Chriss Swaney

      Chriss Swaney is a freelance reporter who has written for Antique Trader Magazine, Reuters, The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, the Burlington Free Press, UPI, The Tribune-Review and the Daily Record.

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