handling disengaged remote employees

A Manager’s Guide to Handling Disengaged Remote Employees

With the onset of the pandemic, businesses have shifted to the remote work culture to stay afloat. What started as a much-needed step towards flexibility for employees soon started showing a decline in employee engagement and productivity.

No employee is always 100% engaged at work and everyone has off days. But the number of disengaged remote employees is significantly higher than those who work in the office. This is because working in isolation is monotonous and can make employees feel lonely.

There could be various other reasons for employee disengagement some of which include lack of clear communication from the managers, micromanagement, or lack of growth opportunities. Regardless of the reasons, here are 6 ways to re-engage disengaged employees:

1. Regular communication:

One of the easiest ways to manage a disengaged employee is to talk to them more often. This means having more one-on-one meetings to build a connection and understand the root cause of their disinterest.

Avoid micromanagement by clearly delegating work and giving them achievable goals and realistic deadlines. This makes them aware that the decline in their performance has been noticed and their work is being monitored.

2. Organize fun group activities:

A lack of social interaction makes employees feel depressed and makes them lose interest in their work. It also causes them to procrastinate work which affects their work output. This makes it necessary to offer them ways to engage with their coworkers.

Creating opportunities for them to virtually bond with their coworkers is a great way to recharge and rejuvenate. With fun group activities they can interact with their coworkers and have healthy competition amongst themselves which enhances collaboration. 

3. Be an active listener:

Often managers want to know the cause of employee disengagement but don’t actually make the effort to listen to their concerns. You don’t want to come across as uncaring when an employee is trying to explain what they are going through.

Remote employees often struggle with multiple distractions and considering these are highly challenging times, it is crucial to be an active listener. Being empathetic and giving them the necessary support can help in re-engaging them.

4. Create a mental health awareness program:

The pandemic has adversely affected not just our physical health but also our overall mental well-being. Managers must remove the stigma associated with mental health by talking about it with their employees.

Instead of turning a blind eye to employee mental health, create a wellness program that educates them about the importance of mental well-being. With tools like Absorb LMS, it is easy to deliver an online course for the same. Moreover, the affordable Absorb LMS pricing makes it accessible for small & big businesses alike.

5. Involve them in the planning stages:

Not knowing who is responsible for what aspects of a project often leads to confusion in remote employees. If not offered clarity, they lose interest in collaborating and delivering work on time.

Make sure you involve employees in project planning and goal-setting. This makes them aware of their roles & responsibilities within the project and keeps them accountable. It makes them feel a part of the project and compels them to stay connected.

6. Appreciate employee efforts:

One of the top reasons for remote employee disengagement is managers failing to give due credit to their employees. Human beings thrive on appreciation and it motivates them to keep performing better.

However small the achievement, managers must acknowledge and appreciate employees for it. When employee achievements and efforts are recognized by the manager, it makes them feel valued and becomes a driving force in engaging them.


Ensuring your employees feel supported and appreciated is the key to remote employee engagement. Do you have any ideas to enhance remote employee engagement? Share them in the comments below.

Similar Posts