September 27, 2021

A View Into Remote Work 2021

Josh Little
Co-founder & CEO

More than a year after switching to remote work, seven in 10 employees are feeling more isolated, compared to being in the office.

That’s according to a recent survey of 2,000 work-from-home Americans, which explored the social impact of being away from the workplace for over a year.

Many reported missing simple things such as face-to-face meetings (39%), office celebrations (35%), and after-work happy hours (34%).

And it hasn’t been any easier for people who have recently started a remote position.

A mere 4% of new hires reported virtual onboarding wasn’t difficult, compared to in-person training. Many attributed this to not knowing how to connect with their colleagues.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Volley, the survey also found 63% felt less engaged with their team, as the average employee felt disconnected by August 2020.

Only 14% of respondents said they’re more confident when it comes to socializing with their colleagues.

About the same number (16%) believe sudden in-office gatherings wouldn’t be awkward, as 82% of respondents who would find it uncomfortable have avoided attending them solely for that reason.

Additionally, two-thirds said they work directly with someone who they wouldn’t be able to pick out of a lineup and recognize by name only.

So how can teams address this? Three in five find something lacking in the quality of communication with their co-workers, and 77% agree better communication leads to better work culture.

As the average employee switches between three work communication tools throughout their day, only 13% said they’re not overwhelmed by the number of messages in their inbox.

More than three in five (64%) percent find chat and email communication more difficult than face-to-face meetings, as 72% believe it’s not only what you say, but how you say it that matters.

Though nearly all workers (91%) retype messages and emails for clarity at least once a day, 87% experience miscommunications weekly and nearly half (47%) said this occurs four or more times every week.

While dealing with the challenges of chatting and emailing, only 15% have seen their time spent in meetings decrease since the pandemic.

In fact, more than seven in 10 (73%) default to video calls whenever they’re looking to communicate something important.


  • Face-to-face meetings (39%)
  • Office celebrations (35%)
  • After-work happy hours (34%)
  • Nearby restaurants (32%)
  • Office banter (32%)
  • Workplace pranks (31%)
  • Commute to/from work (30%)
  • Less work materials in home/room space (28%)
  • Less email/chat conversations (27%)
  • “Water cooler conversations (27%)
  • Volunteering/charity events (27%)


  • Typed out a message but forgot to press “send” (36%)
  • Power/internet outage (31%)
  • Left the camera or microphone on after a meeting (31%)
  • Accidentally hit “reply all” to email not meant for entire group (31%)
  • Accidentally called or messaged the entire team (30%)
  • Messaged the wrong person (30%)
  • Entered the wrong video conference room (28%)
  • Damaged work phone/computer (24%)

If these stats get you thinking that there must be a better way, get Volley and invite your team today!

Josh Little

4x Founder, Tinkerer, Tenor, Brinemaster. CEO of Volley.

About the Author

Josh Little started his career as a teacher then moved into sales training and education roles at three Fortune 500 companies before making the leap into entrepreneurship. Over the last 15 years, Josh built four successful tech companies (Maestro, Bloomfire, Qzzr, and Volley) that have improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people and been able to consult with some of the top brands in the world. He has a firm believe that a great conversation can change your life and with Volley he's making them easier to have anywhere, anytime.

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