Remote Working
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We didn’t get much feedback that the pandemic had impacted connection specifically. There was a sense that many workers have been with the organisation for a long time and therefore that could link to the feeling of connection, simply that there has been a lot of time spent together.

We didn’t ask this in the survey, but we have followed up with the organisations who have taken part, and it is a mixture of company and personal phones use.

We had two questions in the survey about apps. One was company apps where you receive news and the other was apps that you contribute to which would have been Teams or Slack. The increase in usage that we have seen since 2019 is in the apps where they receive news.

We didn’t hear this at all which is different to 2019 where people refused to answer the survey because the unions wouldn’t let them. No one mentioned unions to us, and we do think the technology and mobile phone use has shifted since the pandemic and broader societal shifts.

Yes and no. There has to be a digital strategy that addresses the needs of the deskless workers. A company app isn’t the answer here and WhatsApp functionality is needed but it needs to be worked through. It’s a conversation with IT, HR, and Communications to explore the risks and opportunities.
There has to be strategy here linked to change and behaviour change. The approach will depend on your culture, and you have to work through the managerial levels in the organisation to make sure everyone understands why – and you need to know this too. Why is this tool helpful for this group of employees? This has to be the core question – how is it helpful for them, not how is it helpful for the organisation.

It seems to be the ease of use and that it can be set up immediately by the manager or the team. Plus, it’s not a tool that does 20 other things – it’s just the ability to message each other to discuss shifts and work.

That would be the next phase which would be focus groups to drill down into what the survey results have said. The content themes were broad in this but where some said they received too little information about industry content, we would want to explore what they meant by that and what was missing. Each organisation that took part can see the gaps of too little or too much across the three content types we reviewed but there wasn’t a consistent theme for all.
We didn’t but we did research into line managers in 2021 and you can download that report to find out more about what they need to succeed: We have helped managers in the past with workshops on impactful communication too – there are some basic principles that would be helpful for everyone managing people.
Yes, they were using WhatsApp when the app was present. It’s different content types too. WhatsApp and text messages are for department content whereas apps are being used more for organisational wide content.
10% will be some admin for them to do around filing reports or other job related content. It comes back to why are you communicating with them and what about? What can the manager share verbally in a meeting or a briefing or what they can pass on quickly to each other. If engagement levels are stuck, we have to find out why and then address the root cause.

They are a verbal culture and not written, that doesn’t mean that text isn’t the best way to communicate with them, it just means that the way you write needs to be different and using their language and phrasing. We found in 2019 and again in 2023 that there isn’t one best channel for this audience.

This varies for every organisation and the type of work they are doing. For some they will have huddles or shift briefings and for others they won’t. This is the sort of question we would want to delve into with focus groups to get the depth and richer insights needed to be specific with action.
It doesn’t. We didn’t want to get that specific for the organisations and you’ll find some factory workers in retail environments – they are a guide to help you think about the connection being task or brand related and the content that they would need to be engaged or feel connected.

We aren’t specific in the question about Slack or Teams as for many on the frontline, these words don’t mean anything. We chatted about whether they had an app on their phone and a lot of them don’t.

This isn’t the case for everyone but also remember 90% of their time is doing the work so they aren’t on their phones anyway, even if they could have them with them.
We didn’t drill into the detail on this, but it was clear from the conversations with the researchers that where there was face to face time with their manager it wasn’t that formal. The structure office workers are used to with formal 1:1s etc. isn’t hugely replicated in this environment and in some organisations the relationship with colleagues who they work with on shift is stronger than the one with their manager.

We didn’t ask this, but we have followed up with the organisations who have taken part, and it is a mixture of company and personal phones use.

Infographics can be too complicated as it’s just replicating text in the same structure for written cultures but in a more visual way. More visual content is useful but ultimately you have to go back to what are you communicating and why. What do you need to communicate that cannot be shared verbally?
No one is getting any content from podcasts – it’s the top answer for ‘I have received no information form this source’.
We talked about this a lot on the webinar! The risks are high because the impact in untrained people leading communication is the unintended consequence of disengagement. If we over-communicate or we take an approach to using lots of channels and sharing everything everywhere, we just overload people and they switch off. The skill of the communicator in mapping content, channels and audience is needed for the organisation to succeed.

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