20 work-from-home survey questions to ask your team

Working from home is becoming more commonplace in many industries, including tech, finance, consulting, and even healthcare. However, having employees dispersed in multiple locations presents employers with unique challenges.

“There are people joining companies where they never meet the team in person,” says Miriam Groom, founder and CEO of Mindful Career, a career counseling firm. “This can make it difficult for them to feel integrated into the team. We have actually seen people bounce back to their old employer because they didn’t feel a part of the new team.” 

In order to make sure organizations are aware of how their employees are doing working from home, it’s important to ask work-from-home survey questions on a regular basis to get employee feedback on cultural, logistical, technological, and productivity matters.

The importance of work-from-home surveys

For many organizations and employees, the work-from-home environment is a major change from the office environment, and change can be difficult to adjust to. In order to make sure the transition from office work to remote work is smooth, it’s vital to get feedback from employees on a range of matters — from whether they have the technical setup required to do their job to whether they feel lonely and isolated during the workday.

“The in-person working experience prior to the pandemic literally kept teams together,” says Don Martelli, president and partner at The Belfort Group, an integrated digital marketing and public relations agency. “In a remote or even hybrid experience, some team members can feel separated from the company. Conducting regular surveys gives the company critical information around staffing issues, potential benefit changes, perks, and workflow challenges that should be addressed or ideas to make the virtual working environment better.”

Without getting this type of feedback from employees and acting on the information, organizations may start to see a drop in employee performance and satisfaction — along with higher turnover. However, if organizations can keep a finger on the pulse of employee sentiment, they can adapt more quickly to ensure employees have whatever they need to thrive in their new work arrangement.

“Work-from-home surveys are a great retention tool,” says Groom. “Things change and priorities change over time.” For example, employees may value work-life balance over salary or bonuses. Having a clear idea of what matters to employees can help organizations create more attractive compensation plans and retain their employees longer.

Work-from-home survey questions to ask your employees

“The types of questions employers should ask may vary based on the type of company, the products or services it provides, the size of the staff, and more,” says Martelli. “While quarterly surveys will create a cadenced feedback loop, it’s also important to do smaller one-on-one check-ins with your team so specific issues, challenges, and ideas can be discussed in depth.”

“Organizations can shape the questions in each survey based on the time of year it is,” says Groom. “April may be a more stressful time for accounting firms, and winter may result in seasonal affective disorder, for example.”

It’s also important to get the length of the survey just right in order to get employees to fill it out. “Don’t make it more than 30 questions,” says Groom. “Be clear at the very beginning of the survey how many questions there are and how much time it will take the employees to fill it out.”

Cultural work-from-home survey questions

An organization’s culture, including its values and accepted behaviors, can be harder to communicate when a team operates remotely — unless the company takes an active approach to ensure its culture remains vibrant. Groom notes that the majority of the questions she has seen in work-from-home surveys are in this category.

Be sure to stay in tune with your employees’ experience of the company culture by asking about areas like mental health, social engagement, satisfaction, and inclusion. Here are some questions to ask:

  • Do you feel lonely while working from home?
  • Are you able to make personal connections with colleagues and managers in this work environment?
  • Are you happy with the amount of times you interact with your colleagues on a daily basis?
  • Do you feel supported in all aspects of your job?
  • Is there anything you miss about the office that you can’t have at home?

Logistical work-from-home survey questions

Working remotely presents many logistical challenges that you don’t usually encounter in office environments. For example, in an office, an employee can walk over to a colleague’s desk and have a quick chat about a project, but in a remote environment, the same discussion might require scheduling a time to chat. Ask questions like these to learn more about how employees feel about the logistical aspects of working from home:

  • Can you reach your manager when you need to during the workday?
  • Do you have difficulty connecting with your colleagues during the workday?
  • How do you feel about the number of meetings currently scheduled in your workday?
  • Are you aware of all your project deadlines?
  • Are your daily objectives clear?

Technological work-from-home survey questions

The technological aspects of working from home are critical — without a fast internet connection and the right software and hardware, team members can watch their productivity grind to a halt. When discussing these aspects in the context of a survey, it’s important to get input from the IT team at your organization — and to have them ensure employees are aware of security policies. Ask these technology questions:

  • Do you feel satisfied with your remote work tools, such as VPN, laptop, and mobile phone?
  • In the past week, how much time have you spent troubleshooting technical issues?
  • Are you aware of the latest software security policies at our workplace?
  • Which necessary tools are you missing at home that you have access to in the office?
  • Have you purchased any additional tools to support your work-from-home productivity?

Productivity work-from-home survey questions

Productivity is an area that worries many employers when they’re making the move to the work-from-home model. When addressing productivity, it’s important to focus on employee outcomes instead of the amount of time employees once spent in the office. Ask these questions to gather employee feedback in this area:

  • Are you as productive at home as you were in the office?
  • Do you have the productivity tools you need to do your job effectively?
  • What is your biggest distraction while working from home?
  • How can your team support you to ensure you remain focused during the workday?
  • Do you feel you have a good work-life balance?

Final words of advice

Groom notes that some employees are hesitant to fill out work-from-home surveys because they fear backlash to any negative answers.

“You have to make sure people actually do the survey because companies need this valuable data,” she notes. “Offer positive reinforcement, such as a reward, for completing the survey. Make sure employees know they won’t be penalized for being honest.”

It can take a year to two years for organizations to see trends in their survey responses, so it’s important to collect the data in order to gain valuable insights from it. “In the end, making promises to your team is easy,” advises Martelli. “Delivering on them can be hard and costly at times. However, investing in your team is never a bad decision.”

You can make the process easier by creating work-from-home surveys with Jotform and polling your employees on a regular basis. Jotform is intuitive and easy to use, and it comes with thousands of business templates you can customize for your organization.

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