Employee Engagement in Times of virtual Collaboration


The combination of home and work office will persist even after the pandemic has subsided and establish itself as the "new normal". For internal communications is it essential to develop new concepts for addressing employees in virtual or hybrid work environments. Empirically based knowledge about the new requirements for employee communication is still rare. Therefore, the research project deals with the following questions:

  1. How is it possible to achieve the goals of employee communication in virtual collaboration, while contributing to promote corporate culture and strengthening identification, employee loyalty and commitment?
  2. What experiences did employees have with internal communications in the context of virtual or hybrid collaboration, and how do they evaluate them?
  3. Which employee communication measures are suitable for promoting the relationship between employees and their employer, as well as their motivation and commitment in an increasingly virtual work context?



In order to answer the research questions, a multi-stage procedure is applied, which is divided into the following steps:


  1. Conducting a scientific literature analysis on employee communication.
  2. Interviewing communication managers from different companies about their experiences of employee communication and the achievement of relationship and motivation goals on the basis of eight to ten semi-structured qualitative guided interviews.
  3. Based on the findings of the guided interviews, good practice examples will be compiled and a questionnaire for the quantitative study will be developed.
  4. In the quantitative study, employees (with and without management functions) were ask about their experiences and the measures of good employee communication.


Research team

  • Head: Prof. Dr. Sabine Einwiller is the professor of Public Relation Research at the Department of Communication at the University of Vienna.

  • Neda Ninova-Solovykh, M. Sc. is a research associate in the Department of Communication at the University of Vienna.

  • Julia Stranzl, M.A. is a research associate at the Department of Public Relations Research at the University of Vienna.

  • Daniel Wolfgruber, M.A. is a research associate in the Department of Communication at the University of Vienna.


  • January till December 2021