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Do remote employees prefer different types of appreciation than employees in face-to-face settings?

Paul White (Appreciation at Work, Wichita, Kansas, USA)

Strategic HR Review

ISSN: 1475-4398

Article publication date: 11 June 2018




The proportion of remote workers in America continues to increase every year. Research has demonstrated that feeling appreciated in the workplace increases employee engagement, reduces turnover and increases profitability. The current study aims to determine if remote workers differ in the manner they prefer to be shown appreciation.


From 2014 to 2018, workers completed the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (White, 2011a), opting for either the general version designed for face-to-face work settings (N = 86,393) or the version designed for long-distance work relationships (N = 2,640).


Employees in a long-distance work relationship chose quality time (“hanging out” with coworkers, working together on a project, someone taking time to listen to them) as their preferred means to be shown appreciation more frequently (35 per cent) than workers on site (25 per cent). Words of affirmation (oral or written praise) remain high for both groups, but the long-distance group did not value it as much (long-distance: 38 per cent, general: 48 per cent).

Practical implications

The results suggest that supervisors and staff members working in long-distance work relationships must be more proactive than in face-to-face relationships to incorporate meaningful interactions that speak to long-distance colleagues.


This is the first study to assess the differences in preferred ways to be shown appreciation in the workplace with respect to long-distance vs face-to-face work environments.



White, P. (2018), "Do remote employees prefer different types of appreciation than employees in face-to-face settings?", Strategic HR Review, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 137-142.



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