Remote working is an integral part of today’s world of work. No longer confined to traditional office spaces, an unprecedented number of people in the UK now have the freedom to work from home, the office, or a combination of both.
But in this flexibility, one burning question remains: what do employees really want?
Understanding team members’ preferences is key to creating an ideal work environment that fosters productivity, satisfaction and employee wellbeing. This is where remote work surveys come into play: this type of employee engagement surveys help business leaders like you figure out whether your team prefers remote work, office work or maybe a mix of both.
Let’s look at the type of feedback you can gather with remote working and work-from-home surveys, what questions you can ask, and how to ensure you draw the right conclusions from all of this data.
Want to go straight to our remote working survey questions? Download the full list here below:
What is a remote working survey?
Remote working surveys can help you collect insights into what your team considers the best work setup — whether that’s remote, in-office, hybrid work or anything in between.
These types of survey questionnaires became very common right after the Covid pandemic, when companies needed to decide whether to take everybody back to the office or keep working from home.
These surveys are still as relevant today – no matter the way you currently work at your company, you can use them to continuously assess your team's satisfaction and to spot areas of improvement
Are you working remotely? Use these surveys to gauge if your team is getting the right support and the right tools to be able to be productive while working from home.
Is your team mainly office-based? Run a survey to measure the team’s satisfaction with that set up and their potential appetite for more flexibility.
Why should you run a remote working survey?
The main reason why you should run remote working surveys with your team is to collect feedback on their experience of working at your company, whether that’s remote, in-person or a mix of the two.
You can gather invaluable insights into the best work setup for your employees — what type of workplace will best support their productivity, engagement and work-life balance?
But that's not all! Remote work surveys also help businesses tackle the practical challenges that come with remote or hybrid work. They provide a platform for team members to voice any obstacles they face while trying to do their best work.
This feedback mechanism allows you to fine-tune your work strategies, provide the necessary resources, and bridge any gaps in communication, collaboration or technology.
What remote working survey questions should you ask?
What questions to ask in a remote working survey depends on what you want to find out.
So, before you jump head-first into writing your questionnaire, try to define a clear goal for your survey:
- Do you want to check if your team has the right tools to be able to work from home?
- Do you want to measure the effects of remote working on team collaboration?
- Do you wish to track if remote work is impacting your team’s productivity?
Pick a couple of goals maximum and then ensure your questions will prompt the right answers to solve your problems.
Now, coming to the actual questions, I’d recommend including a mix of open and close-ended questions. For the most complex questions, leave some space for people to expand on their feedback.
At Charlie, we use a rating scale, with 1 meaning “completely disagree” and 5 “completely agree”.
HR systems like CharlieHR offer ready-made templates where you can choose from a list of expert-backed survey questions:
- Choose your survey template
- Pick which questions from the template you’d like to ask (or you can create your own from scratch)
- Launch your questionnaire to your team in one click, and track responses through our Charlie dashboard
Remote working survey questions to decide whether to go back to the office
Forcing your employees back into the office has a high chance of being an unpopular decision, so you may want to test the ground to check what impact it may have on your team’s engagement and on your ability to improve employee retention.
You can use a rating scale to measure how people feel about the following statements:
1. Overall, I’d feel good about returning to the office
2. I feel my views have been taken into consideration when planning a return to the office
4. I’m excited about opportunities to socialise with my team in our workplace
5. I feel excited about the opportunities hybrid/remote work offers
6. I think the opportunity to work remotely long-term will positively impact my productivity
7. I think the opportunity to work remotely long-term will positively impact my ability to collaborate effectively
8. I think the opportunity to work remotely long-term will positively impact my work-life balance
9. I think our company’s policies on flexible/remote work reflect changing attitudes to work
10. Company policies on remote and flexible working are important to me when deciding where I want to work
One thing to note is that, if you ask for your team’s opinion, they will then expect you to take survey results into account. Make sure you don’t completely ignore what your employees tell you: if you already know that is likely to happen, maybe it’s better to avoid running the survey.
Employee survey questions on remote working experience
If your team is already working remotely, you can ask them questions regarding their experience to spot any areas of improvement in terms of the tools and support offered to them.
- How would you rate your overall experience with remote work?
- Have you faced any challenges while working remotely? If yes, please specify.
- Do you feel that you have the necessary resources and tools to effectively work remotely?
- What improvements or additional support would enhance your remote work experience?
- Do you feel your professional growth and development are impacted by remote work? If yes, please explain.
- What additional measures or policies do you believe could enhance the remote work experience in our company?
Remote survey questions to improve hybrid working
If your team is following a hybrid working model where you are splitting your time between WFH and in-office work, you ask the following questions to gauge how people are finding it:
- Do you prefer working from home, the office, or a combination of both?
- What factors contribute to your preference for remote work or in-office work?
- What would your ideal ratio of remote and office work be?
- How productive do you feel working from home?
- How productive do you feel working from the office?
- List the main pros of working from home
- List the main pros of working from the office
Remote working survey questions on wellbeing and mental health
It’s important to regularly check in on your team’s wellbeing, especially when there are fewer occasions to see each other in person.
Also, while remote work offers a lot of flexibility, it can reduce the boundaries between work and personal life, which in turn can negatively impact your team’s wellbeing.
- How often do you feel stressed or overwhelmed while working remotely?
- Have you experienced any changes in your work-life balance since transitioning to remote work? If yes, please elaborate.
- Are you able to disconnect from work and take breaks when needed while working remotely?
- Do you feel that remote work has had a positive or negative impact on your overall well-being? Please explain why.
- What additional measures or support would you like to see in place to enhance your well-being while working remotely?
Remote working survey questions on teamwork
Without the ability to engage in face-to-face interactions, remote workers may face challenges in building trust, resolving conflicts and establishing strong working relationships with co-workers, which can have a negative impact on overall team collaboration and cohesion.
You can run employee surveys specifically to check if remote working is impacting teamwork – so you can prioritise tactics to minimise that.
Here are some survey questions you can include:
- Do you feel isolated or disconnected from your team or colleagues while working remotely?
- Have you noticed any changes in the frequency of communication and collaboration with your team members since working remotely?
- How well do you feel your team adapts to virtual collaboration tools and technologies?
- Do you feel that remote work has impacted the quality and efficiency of problem-solving and decision-making processes within your team?
- Have you noticed any changes in the sense of cohesion and camaraderie within your team since transitioning to remote work?
- Do you believe that remote work has had an impact on the creativity and innovation within your team? If yes, please elaborate.
- Are there any specific tools or technologies that you feel would enhance collaboration within your remote team?
Remote working survey template
We collated all the above questions in a template you can download for free here below:
Use it to select the questions that make more sense for your unique company context and the way you work.
How to automate remote working surveys
You can use HR software like CharlieHR to automate your employee surveys.
You can choose from a library of pulse survey templates built by qualified HR experts (one of which is especially built to measure remote employees’ engagement). Each template includes a list of questions to ask; if none of the questions meets your needs, you can also build your own employee engagement survey template from scratch.
Once you’ve chosen the questions you want to ask, you can pick a launch date and roll out the survey to your team in one click.
Our comprehensive dashboard makes it super easy to track completion rates and analyse the results of your surveys.
Want to see what Charlie’s surveys look like? Start a 7-day free trial now.