A survey of 1,000 employees commissioned by Leicester-based software company StaffCircle, in conjunction with OnePoll, revealed that only half of employees appraisals took place since lockdown began – suggesting most businesses are still in fact ill-equipped for remote working despite the ‘virtual buzz’.

This poses a further question as to how management will continue to maintain appraisals and whether annual or quarterly reviews will be reinstated now that people get ‘back to business’, continuing this path of hybrid working.

Those surveyed have remained in full time employment during lockdown across a range of sectors including accounting, engineering, marketing and IT. If these were all business as usual, it fails to explain why scheduled appraisals were not carried out.

Quarterly or annually, appraisals are often the one meeting that present an opportunity to ask for a pay rise or bonus, discuss key performance indicators and to set targets for months ahead. So why have only 50% of employees received their scheduled appraisal since lockdown began?

54% of employees surveyed revealed that ‘management had not enforced’ appraisals during lockdown and 47% stating that old-fashioned paper processes are still used for appraisals – indicating that they are not digitally set up to do so. This may also explain why 1/3 surprisingly claimed that office communication has in fact decreased since lockdown.

Furthermore, over half of those surveyed blamed the lack of a sufficient online platform being in place that could have led to their appraisal being carried out during lockdown. This suggests that if a platform was in place, it would facilitate a more streamlined appraisal process which could be implemented remotely rather than being skipped.

StaffCircle CEO, Mark Seemann, believes that by skipping appraisals, team members are more likely to lack morale and direction therefore be less productive in their day to day work whether this is remotely or ‘in the office’. Reviewing employee performance is standard during 1-2-1’s and this leads to setting key performance indicators or targets aligned to businesss goals which can then be measured – all of which can be done remotely.

He explains, “There’s no escaping the digital way of working and while for some it’s standard procedure, it’s a whole new territory for many of us. With so many ‘office culture’ elements missing when it comes to remote working, continuously engaging with employees and rewarding them is what will keep them going. Businesses need to prioritise recognising the efforts of their employees through positive and regular communication, just as they would have in the office setting through everyday conversations. With so many ‘office culture’ elements missing when it comes to remote working, continuously engaging with employees and rewarding them is what will drive better business performance and quicker recovery from the economic impact of recent times..”

Further data relating to demographics, sectors and regions is available upon request.