55% of WFH Employees in America Have Never Met Their Colleagues in Person, Says Survey


Let’s Face(time) it, when you’re working remotely and behind a screen all day, it leaves no opportunity to bump into coworkers throughout the day and grab a coffee break together. And for those who have started new jobs since the start of the pandemic, some may have never even had their first physical team meeting opportunity at all.

As we enter unchartered waters in a post-pandemic age, GreenBuildingElements.com wanted to find out how many employees have never met their colleagues in person. The survey of 4,121 employees who have started a new job since the pandemic and are working mainly from home, revealed that over half (55%) of work from home (WFH) employees in America have never met their colleagues in person.

States with the highest % of workers who haven’t met their colleagues in person:

  • Nebraska: 89%
  • Washington: 81%
  • Pennsylvania: 79%
  • Oklahoma: 73%
  • Arizona: 73%

States with the lowest % of workers who haven’t met their colleagues in person:

  • Nevada: 33%
  • Wyoming: 25%
  • Hawaii: 25%
  • Montana: 17%
  • Kentucky: 17%

Interactive map showing virtual workers stats across America (click on ’embed’ to host map on your site)

When it comes to the ways WFH colleagues communicate, the top platforms found were:

  1. Zoom (41%)
  2. Teams (35%)
  3. Slack (10%)
  4. WhatsApp (8%)
  5. Skype (6%)

And this is useful for online socializing too; around half of home-workers said they mostly interact with their colleagues socially via messaging services and use features such as group chats so more people can get involved. Additionally, 22% said they organize social video calls with their colleagues regularly. Forty-one percent of employees said their company regularly organizes online social events which can also help bonding.

Interestingly, 17% of those who are currently working from home (and who have the option of working from the office), said they’d be more likely to return if they made the workspace an eco-friendlier environment. Thirty-five of employees said they think working in an eco-office creates a happier environment with better relationships between colleagues. A minority of employees surveyed said they’ve had a dispute with a work colleague in the past relating to eco-issues…

‘Many companies are contemplating the idea of continuing the work-from-home model since the pandemic, or juggling the concept of a hybrid model,’ says Kris Lippi of GreenBuildingElements.com. “As some businesses face the dilemma of missing out on a strong, cohesive team dynamic with people working remotely instead of in-person, it may be a case of trying to boost the overall office dynamic to encourage team members to return to the office. This could include things like improved internet speed, as well as steps towards decreasing the workplace’s overall carbon footprint such as implementing the use of green technologies like solar panels or LED lighting; using recycled paper; or switching to biodegradable pens, instead of plastic ones.’

Over half of WFH employees (58%) said their relationships with their work colleagues are actually better since not working in an in-person office environment. And 66% said they’re more likely to keep in touch with colleagues socially outside working hours – proof that absence does make the heart grow fonder.

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