Surprising signs your workers are engaged

18th December 2015

Your most engaged workers are the ones who arrive early, leave late and sit with their eyes firmly on their computer screen, right? Apparently not. In actual fact, your most engaged workers - the ones who are most absorbed by and enthusiastic about their job and your company – can often be found behaving in rather surprising ways.

surprised.jpgWe take a look at some of the more unusual signs your workers are engaged.

Rushing in late

Arriving in the office a few minutes late doesn’t necessarily mean your employees have had to drag themselves into work.

Research by Red Letter Days for Business shows that as many as 1 in 5 highly-engaged workers arrive late 50% of the time. In comparison, just 8% of employees with low engagement levels are regularly tardy.

Checking Facebook

We’ve been led to believe that Facebook ideally should be banned from the workplace as it poses a serious distraction risk. But the Red Letter Days study shows 29% of highly-engaged staff admit to checking what their nearest and dearest (and people they haven’t seen since school) are up to on social media throughout the working day. Again, those with low or no engagement were more likely to stay clear of checking social media on work time.

If you want to harness your engaged employees’ love of social media, why not consider Facebook For Work – a version of the site which is used for chatting to co-workers and collaborating on projects. Companies which have signed up so far include RBS.

Ordering their weekly shop online

Ever peaked over an employee’s shoulder and seen them doing their online shopping? Or checking their bank statement? Doing personal tasks on work time has become almost commonplace in some offices, but don’t worry, it’s not necessarily a sign workers are ignoring their actual work.

Almost half (48%) of highly-engaged workers take regular breaks away from their day-to-day tasks to do personal tasks such as booking appointments, online shopping or sending a personal email. Many think that taking short breaks every now and again is a good thing – allowing them to refocus on the jobs at hand.

Working from home

You don’t have to be in the office to be engaged. In fact, those who work from home are often most productive, perhaps because they are getting a better work-life balance or because they are away from the distractions of the office.

Of the 57% of UK employees who can work from home, 39% say they are more productive.

Making a cuppa

Heading for the kettle is a great way to distract yourself from a particularly tedious task. But the workers who always offer to brew up aren’t necessarily the least engaged. Almost half (42%) of staff will help themselves to a hot drink outside of their lunchbreak.

Chatting to their colleagues

Don’t shoot a warning look to colleagues stopping work for a gossip–only a quarter of engaged workers don’t enjoy a bit of personal chat on work’s time.

Bonding with their co-workers can have a positive impact on people’s work and who knows, maybe a conversation about their holiday plans will be the root of a great brainstorming session.