After surveying more than 19,000 workers across the globe, the researchers found that only about 16% of workers overall are fully engaged. (That doesn’t mean the rest are bad employees or actively disengaged. But it does mean that there’s plenty of room for improvement.)
However, some countries, policies, and behaviors have moved the needle. And some of the factors that companies focus on in trying to understand engagement — age, gender, where one actually works — aren’t all that determinative. But the researchers did isolate one factor that transcends all categories: whether the worker is part of a team.
This teamwork data raises an interesting question: Is engagement dependent on a worker’s physical proximity to other team members?
The data says no; in fact, largely the opposite is true. People who work remotely at least four out of five days in a typical week are almost twice as engaged as those who do so less than one day a week.
Regular communication with colleagues is important, of course. But as anyone who has worked in an open office can attest, the ability to minimize distractions is crucial to engagement.
The critical factor is whether virtual workers feel that they’re part of a team. If they do, they’re twice as engaged as their office-bound colleagues.