Bryan E. Robinson Ph.D.

The Right Mindset

What Remote Workers Want, Or Else

New study finds U.S. workers aren't taking it anymore unless one thing changes.

Posted Nov 20, 2020

Photo by JESHOOTS on Unsplash
Remote employees say they're underappreciated and are not going to take it anymore.
Source: Photo by JESHOOTS on Unsplash

A SWNS research study found that remote workers say they aren’t feeling the love from higher-ups as they toil from home, especially with the struggles of 2020. The study of 2,000 Americans conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Motivosity revealed over half of the employed respondents working from home said they haven't felt much gratitude from their job since they stopped commuting. It seems the lack of appreciation has added to an already strained workforce as 70 percent are working harder than ever before. Two-thirds (68 percent) of those working from home say they feel unmotivated to work since everything they do seems to go unnoticed.

What They Want

Three-quarters of the remote workers said their mental health would likely improve if they had more appreciation and recognition. And seven in 10 confessed the appreciation meant the most from a manager or executive. When respondents working from home were asked what they would love to hear more at work, a simple “thank you” topped the list. “I appreciate you doing that” and “that was helpful” came in second and third place. “Your time is valuable” and “you went above expectations on this” rounded out the top five. Four in five (79 percent) said knowing they were appreciated would be a big boost for their mental health on a daily basis.

What They Plan To Do

Without thanks, employees won’t be going above and beyond for long since two-thirds (68 percent) of those working from home said they feel unmotivated to work since everything they do seems to go unnoticed. Of those ready to cut back, 29 percent will only do what’s expected of them, and a quarter (26 percent) will just take their time completing assignments.

Adding Insult To Injury

The lack of thanks from the job, the study found, isn’t the only place where a little appreciation goes a long way. To add insult to injury, half of those surveyed feel like nobody around the house appreciates them anymore. Three in five (63 percent) confessed to feeling like they’re carrying all the weight with certain chores and no one cares. Respondents wished they got more appreciation from their children (44 percent), their spouse or partner (41 percent), and their friends (33 percent). Two in five (42 percent) feel like they don’t get credit for taking care of the laundry, while 40 percent haven’t heard a word of thanks for always cleaning the bathroom. Other pain points for appreciation around the home were going to the grocery store (37 percent) and loading the car with gas (33 percent).

What Companies Can Do

“Companies know that the mental health of their teams has become a significant concern,” said Scott Johnson, Founder and CEO of Motivosity. “More than 74 percent of employees indicated that their mental health is tied to how well they feel appreciated at work. Successful employers will have a meaningful plan to address that.” According to the survey, nearly half of respondents said words were their preferred method of appreciation. The top phrases that brighten an employee’s day are “I appreciate your help” (42 percent), “thank you” (71 percent), and “that’s so nice of you” (64 percent). A third would want to be recognized in front of others, 28 percent would rather have cash and 39 percent think a small gift is in order.

“Employees are happiest when they are appreciated at work and when they feel included within their work community,” Johnson said. “If you’re trying to improve your company culture, focus on gratitude and appreciation. Enable teams and individuals to be appreciative of each other. That’s the kind of culture that improves eNPS scores, keeps customers happy, and wins 'Best Places to Work' awards!”