Recognise This! – All employees, regardless of location, benefit from having a best friend at work.

Let’s talk about your remote employees for a minute. Are they engaged? Do they have friends at work? Are they sitting at home, their car, or Starbucks feeling isolated and lonely?

Do you care? You should care.

To make a stronger point of it: you had BETTER care. Here’s why: in Globoforce’s Fall 2014 Workforce Mood Tracker survey, some “common knowledge”, “common sense” information was confirmed to us through hard data: people who have friends at work are more engaged, more loyal, and more likely to stick around.

I’m a remote employee, and fortunately, I have a very dear friend at the corporate office in Boston who calls me almost daily. Sometimes we talk about work, and sometimes we don’t. But I have a friend at work, which makes me feel included and valued.

I used to be a remote employee for a different company. I had never felt more isolated, disengaged, or ostracised in my life. No matter how often I reached out to my colleagues at the corporate office, there was never any bonding or friendly banter; clearly they had zero interest in getting to know me or letting me know them. And imagine my disappointment when other remote employees who lived relatively close to me wouldn’t meet me for lunch or join me at networking events. To add insult to injury, in a 12 month period, my boss flew out to work with me once. One time.  What does this tell you about their culture? Is it any wonder I didn’t give that job 100%? Is it any wonder I started looking for a new job within three months of starting?

You might want to start paying attention to your remote employees. Do they have friends at work? Do they feel like they’re part of the team? This may seem irrelevant, but based on our Workforce Mood Tracker survey, it isn’t. In fact, it’s only a matter of time before you lose that isolated, but valuable resource to your competition. Time to ask yourself: is your “remote-employee-relationship-building” dynamite or desultory?