How to Set up Remote Employee Pulse Surveys [The Complete Process + Free Template]

Why – and How – to create remote employee pulse surveys and check in with employees working from home.

Remote Employee Pulse Surveys

When employees work remotely, it’s hard to know how employees are feeling. The lack of communication and clarity can slow down progress and the risk of getting disconnected employees is real.

By conducting Remote Employee Pulse Surveys regularly, managers and HR professionals can determine how engaged, aligned, and motivated employees are. It will help you to make better decisions.

At Springworks, we regularly conduct remote employee pulse surveys to understand how our employees are feeling and coping. And today, we’re going to share our experience.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • What is a remote employee pulse survey?
  • Benefits of remote employee pulse surveys?
  • How do we set up a Remote Employee Pulse Survey (best practices)?
  • Employee pulse survey questions for remote teams (Examples from our survey)
  • What to do after getting pulse survey responses
  • Free Template: Our Remote Employees Pulse Surveys

BONUS: You can copy and reuse this Remote Employee Pulse Survey Template in this Doc. 

What Is a Remote Employee Pulse Survey?

A Remote Employee Pulse Survey is a short and quick survey (5 to 15 questions) that tracks how remote employees are feeling. It’s replacing the traditional long surveys that employees procrastinate to fill.

This pulse survey can focus on different aspects of remote work, such as communication, happiness, motivation, relationships, employee satisfaction, and engagement.

The survey results will help you to act quickly and make better decisions. Pulse surveys give Springworks frequent and timely feedback. It gives us the pulse of our company’s health.

Why conduct pulse surveys? In the next section, you’ll find the benefits of these pulse surveys. Let’s go:

Benefits of Remote Employee Pulse Surveys

We have conducted a number of remote employee pulse surveys and experienced some positive changes. Here are some benefits:

1. It Improves Employee Engagement

When we decided to go completely remotely, it was complicated to keep every employee and team engaged when working from home. They may feel disconnected from what’s going on in the company. But asking our team for feedback regularly increased employee engagement.

Employees suggest us some innovative ideas and share their feedback freely. We take action based on their feedback.

2. It Improves Our Company Culture

One of the biggest challenges was: How can we build and maintain a culture when our employees are working from home?

Pulse surveys help us to build and grow our company culture. As I mentioned above, we make decisions based on employees’ feedback and it helps us to make a healthy and positive remote work culture.

People mention our company culture in their Glassdoor review. Check out here.

3. It Has Higher Response Rate

Unlike traditional surveys, pulse surveys are short, simple, and quick to complete. It allows employees to give their honest feedback in a few minutes. 

We receive feedback in real-time on the team’s health and take the right action. At Springworks, we follow this system: Survey > Response > Action.

4. It Encourages Open Communication

When you conduct pulse surveys frequently (and act), employees feel they’re an important part of the company. And it promotes a more open culture. And they will provide you insights, thoughts, challenges, and ideas that you cannot guess.

5. It Makes Employees Feel Valued

At Springworks, employees and managers share close relationships. They can share and discuss anything openly. Thanks to Pulse Surveys.

By sending the pulse surveys, employees feel like you want to listen to them and their opinion is important. It will improve their productivity, happiness, morale, and engagement.

Let’s move on to the next section.

How Do We Set up a Remote Employee Pulse Survey (Best Practices)?

Here are some pulse survey best practices. At Springworks, we follow the OTQSTC formula.

O: Objective

T: Theme

Q: Questions

S: Simplicity

T: Timely

C: Communicate

Let’s talk about these elements:

1. Objective

Before creating a remote employee pulse survey, we define our objective first. We ask these two questions: Why we’re doing this survey and what it is that we’re looking to learn.

2. Theme

Before typing your questions, pick a theme or area of focus, and stick to it. Perhaps it’s to determine their level of engagement and connection while working from home, or even their readiness to return to the office. 

With pulse surveys, you can quickly push out and collect data due to their short nature that centers around one main theme.

3. Questions

Now it’s time to create and find the right questions. Think about mixing the different styles of questions. It will make your survey interesting and improve the response rate.

Consider these styles of questions:

  • Multiple choice questions.
  • Open-ended questions.
  • 1-10 scale questions.
  • Boolean questions (“Yes” or “No” response)

4. Simplicity

Make sure your survey is as simple as possible to answer. Use clear and friendly language. Choose a channel or platform they already know well, such as Google Form or Typeform.

5. Timely

The main reason why remote employee pulse surveys work is that they are short and quick to answer.

Studies have found that employees are much more likely to fill out shorter surveys that require a small time commitment on their side.

Just focus on what is currently most important for remote teams and create your survey around that.

6. Communicate

It’s important that you communicate with your employees and clearly explained your idea to them. Communicate the purpose of your survey with your workforce – Why they should participate and what’s in it for them.

Employee Pulse Survey Questions for Remote Employees (Examples from Our Survey)

Survey Theme for Example: Checking in with your remote teams

Multiple choice questions:

“Since the time we went on a mandatory WFH, did you miss coming to the office?”

“Now that we have been working from home, what are your thoughts on WFH?”

Purpose: This will tell you whether your employees enjoy working from home or miss coming to the office.

1-10 scale questions:

“How has your productivity changed since we started WFH? (On a scale of 1 to 10)”

“Do you think your workload has increased or decreased since we went to mandatory WFH?”

Purpose: This will allow you to check whether employees feel stress or productive. Their working hours may be too long or the working culture too demanding.

Open-ended questions:

“Are there any challenges to your productivity when you’re working from home?”

“If we had to offer a perk, what would you prefer?”

Purpose: This will tell you whether your employees are productive in their job and what they need to do your job more effectively.

Boolean questions:

“Are you satisfied with the activities being done to bring the team together?”

“If we do a mental wellbeing webinar + a program by a professional organization, would you be interested to participate?”

Purpose: It will tell you if your employees are enjoying fun and personal development activities or not.

What to Do After Getting Pulse Survey Responses

Here are two actions that we take after getting pulse survey responses:

Act on answers: After collecting data, we analyze it and act accordingly. If you take no action, it will fuel distrust and discontent among your employees. Why would your employees take the time to respond to surveys if they didn’t notice any real changes?

Share the results: If the data is not confidential, it’s a great idea to share the results with the organization and your audience. 

We publicly shared one of our survey results on our blog.

Our Remote Employees Pulse Survey Template for Free

You can copy and reuse this Remote Employee Pulse Survey Template in this Doc. 

Copy this template to your Google Drive and customize it for your own organization. Reuse the template immediately for your next Remote Employee Pulse Survey.


What is an employee pulse survey?  

Pulse surveys tracks how remote employees are feeling. These surveys will help you to take better decisions and improve employee engagement.

How long should these surveys be open for employees to participate? 

We recommend keeping these surveys open for 5 business days. This shorter response window provides you with valuable, real-time insight.

Should we give managers access to pulse survey results? 

Yes! It will empower managers to understand and help their teams.

What are good employee engagement survey questions? 

Here’s a remote employee pulse survey template where you can find some employee engagement questions that you can include in your next surveys.

How do you encourage employees to take surveys?

Here are some tips: 
– Make it convenient for your employees to give feedback. Make surveys mobile friendly.
– All survey results should be completely anonymous 
– Don’t include more than 15 questions.
– Give them around 3-5 days to fill the surveys. 

What are some tools to improve employee engagement?

Trivia (play virtual games and quizzes) and SpringEngage (employee recognition and reward platform) will help you to improve engagement and build a strong remote team culture.

Final Words!

Staying connected and aligned with your remote teams is very important. Knowing how your employees are doing and ensuring people stay motivated and productive is very much doable. Remote Employee Pulse Surveys are the great way to do that.

Do you conduct pulse surveys at your company? Or thinking about it? Please drop your views here.

BONUS: You can copy and reuse this Remote Employee Pulse Survey Template in this Doc.

Originally published July 14, 2020 12:23 PM, updated Sep 28 2020

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