The Future of Hybrid Work: 5 Changes Driving Employee Expectations

Slava Korchenok
Alina Ampilogova

Nearly 53% of employers consider shifting to a hybrid work model by 2023, which clearly indicates that the "they will be back in the office soon" mentality has to go. Employee expectations have changed since 2020, and this change is still far from over.

Yet, one thing is clear — company leaders require a more versatile and flexible approach to meeting their new needs.

To build a functional hybrid model and provide equal benefits to both on-premise and stay-at-home workers, employers must take note of the technological, mental and communicational shifts concerning workplace productivity. Their next step is to outline how these changes affect employee expectations and see how they can meet those changes.

To make this task easier, we’ll dive into the employees’ mindscape and bring some of the most essential transformations to the surface.

1. More employees feel less included

Before COVID-19, being part of the workflow was natural for all employees. However, with a considerable number of businesses shifting to a remote or hybrid work mode, employees were essentially cut off from their teams and company events.

While they could receive tasks and communicate with their co-workers via corporate mail and virtual meetings, it wasn't enough to maintain interactions at pre-COVID levels, making employees feel isolated.

With no updates from senior management, a transparent reporting system, or an employee recognition system, workers became less confident about their performance and the company's future. Such uncertainty led to decreased productivity and turnover rates going up.

Meanwhile, companies that managed to establish clear communication and detailed work-related policies for remote employees saw a sharp increase in productivity. The boost in interactions allowed employees to stay motivated and gave them more confidence about their growth journey.


  • Viable alternative to face time and human interactions
  • Clear feedback and promotion system to stay motivated
  • Comprehensive KPI monitoring and notification system

2. Talents aren't coming back to the office

Albeit the switch to remote working was sudden for many companies, it quickly took root in the everyday routine — with around 52% of employees expecting more flexibility from their place of work. From that number, nearly 30% of employees admitted they would consider finding a new employer if their company ever goes back to onsite work.

While their final decision may change due to such factors as salary, company benefits, and the situation in the labor market, no employer can afford to lose 30% of their talents to a competitor.

That tendency is yet to be recognized by company leaders. Currently, at least 50% believe in returning to a full-office model instead of embracing hybrid work. Meanwhile, 74% of company managers are skeptical about this prognosis, with 54% believing there is a disparity between leaders’ expectations and reality.


  • High-level convenience regardless of their workplace
  • Environment and tools that fit both on-premise and remote models
  • More flexible hierarchy and team management

3. Employees are the key IT customers

Before COVID-19, employees used to work with the mandated software without any discussions. The IT department had a say in everything regarding tools, policies, and digital processes. But then, the pandemic made employees explore the potential of a digital toolset on their own.

As they installed software to facilitate their remote work, they became more reliant on their kit—and intended to continue working with it even after returning to the office. Around 30% of employees admitted experiencing additional workplace challenges due to their in-house IT department being against adding new tools, updating policies, or facilitating their remote work.

Such conflicts widen the gap between a company and its objectives. Due to this, employers started working on influencing their IT department mentality, putting employees’ comfort first and ensuring that there is a dialogue instead of conflict.


  • More diplomatic mentality from the IT department
  • Communication channels for discussing options or issues with co-workers from IT
  • More advanced policies for a faster and more productive digital experience

4. Companies are less willing to talk about their journey

The era of force-majeure made planning quite a challenge — and businesses are still making sense of it. However, they prefer to do so in silence, with around 40% of employers not communicating any post-COVID vision to their employees. This created several difficulties and reasons for workplace stress, further complicating employee engagement.

Entering the era of force-majeures has made many professionals extremely self-conscious about their future perspectives. When surveyed about the most desirable qualities of a potential employer, at least 47% of professionals mentioned a post-crisis vision.


  • An outlined journey of their company, including pitfalls and challenges
  • Proof of their employer's ability to minimize damage from a crisis
  • Advanced analytics and forecasting for mapping out the business landscape

5. Mental health is no longer overlooked

The lockdowns, recessions, and crises took their toll on every person, from C-level executives to managers. Nearly 49% of employees admitted feeling burned out or stressed due to the COVID-19 challenges, with 10% describing their burnout as "severe". Among the reasons for their mental states, the respondents mentioned the fear of getting sick while working at the office and not knowing the company's vision, i.e., being uncertain about their future.

This change is unavoidable. It has affected many groups of people and will continue doing so as challenges keep piling up. As employees' mental health concerns have increased significantly since the pandemic, they are more inclined to prioritize their well-being and look for a company capable of providing mental health resources. Since around 50% of employees report the availability of such resources at their chosen workplace, employers have realized the necessity of making their hybrid work model a stress-free environment.


  • Well-being checkups from employers and higher levels
  • Option to timely notify co-workers about their needs
  • Less bureaucracy and friction when communicating with teams

How do these expectations affect a hybrid work model?

The human factor plays a significant role in the workplace and workflow transformations. Therefore, high employee engagement takes more than providing workers with digital tools.

It requires building a one-for-all digital workplace (DW) system that provides all necessary features in one place, equally accessible to all employees. Each component must address the shifts occurring in social and professional areas of the employees' lives.

  • Lack of synergy with teams
  • Worse progress tracking
  • Absence of response and reward

Provide a more sophisticated solution that covers high-level reporting and includes all employees in the feedback loop.

Digital autonomy
  • Outdated tools or policies
  • No feedback from in-house IT
  • Low productivity

Facilitate effective in-team communication while making sure that employees' voices are heard and demands are covered.

  • Employers not communicating
  • No guarantees of stability
  • The feeling of having no impact on the company

Directly address any current issues and provide a clear vision of dealing with crises, advanced reporting and analytics.

Workplace flexibility
  • Leaders disconnected from employee needs
  • Lack of management agility
  • Less control over the schedule

Ensure more flexible ways of working and all-time accessibility to relevant company data and tools for all employees.

Stress-free environment
  • Few options to inform about mental health issues
  • Lack of notification system
  • Exhaustion due to repetitive tasks and increased workload

Reduce the risk of employee burnout by conducting regular well-being checks, automating redundant tasks, and improving tool usability.

However, a one-size-fits-all digital workplace system does not exist. It’s the combination of covering crucial employee expectations and meeting niche-specific demands.

For that reason, we customize hybrid work transformations and deliver tailored DW systems based on individual business needs, expectations, and comprehensive market research.

If you’re ready to reshape your current model and fit the “worth it” equation of your employees, let’s chat and figure out what’s best for you!

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