We typically don’t think of truck drivers when talking about remote workers. And yet, drivers – particularly those who drive OTR –are arguably an extreme case of remote worker, in that they are usually physically separated from supervisors and co-workers. As a long-time researcher on remote work, I undertook a study to understand how remoteness affects truck drivers, and how to increase driver engagement and retention. Interestingly, the drivers I studied also gave me new insights on how employers should manage home-based (WFH) remote workers.

This session will summarize the overall business case for driver engagement, followed by insights from research (mine and others) on how to help drivers stay engaged and feel a sense of belonging. I will also describe specific actions taken at one company to strengthen connection and community between drivers and managers. We will wrap up with a brief discussion of what people working from home can learn from truck drivers about remote work. Attend this session to:

  • Learn how to describe the business case for increasing employee engagement
  • Understand some of the key factors influencing truck driver engagement and retention
  • Take away a set of specific actions that can help increase truck driver engagement, by strengthening the driver/manager relationship


  • Speaker-Barbara-Larson 300x300

    Dr. Barbara Larson

    Executive Professor of Management
    D’Amore-McKim School of Business
    Northeastern University

    Dr. Barbara Larson is Executive Professor of Management at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business, where she has been a member of faculty since 2012. Her research focuses on the personal and interpersonal skills that people need to work effectively in virtual environments, and she works with collaborators in both academia and industry to develop training methods and materials to enable more productive virtual and remote work. Her research has been published in Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Perspectives, and Management Science, among other outlets. She is a contributor at Harvard Business Review, and her work and insights have been cited by the New York Times, USA Today, NBC, BBC, and Bloomberg, among others.
    Prior to her academic career, Professor Larson worked for 15 years in international finance and operations leadership, most recently as Director of International Finance at R.R. Donnelley. She earned her doctorate at Harvard Business School, her MBA at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and her BA at the University of Virginia.