Mental Health at Work: What You Need to Know

The world of work is going through a mental health challenge.

The rise of remote working — with all of its great benefits – has meant employees are more socially isolated than they ever have been.

Our work schedules are now flexible and adaptable, and that’s great — but not when it comes at the expense of connection and community.

As the founder of R;pple, I’ve seen first hand how deeply work can impact our mental health.

So here’s some key information on how mental health is affected by the workplace, and what you need to know to get the right help and support.

Work-related stress and loneliness is on the rise

The numbers paint a clear picture.

71% of adults in the US report at least one symptom of stress, while the number of people experiencing loneliness has doubled since 2019.

And it’s a vicious cycle — the more stress we experience at work, the more it affects our ability to get any work done at all. The CDC revealed that mental health conditions reduce cognitive performance 35% of the time.

What’s perhaps more worrying is that only 57% of employees who report moderate depression (and 40% with severe symptoms) are actively receiving treatment to control their symptoms.

The bottom line: our mental health is inextricably linked to the workplace — and we need to act fast to provide the proper support to our teams and employees.

Hybrid systems help develop community

The dawn of remote work brought about monumental changes to how we get work done.

In most sectors, employees are now in the unique position of being able to spend a considerable amount of their time working from their home office. Often, that time is spent alone.

The flexibility of home office has come at a cost. We’re losing out on what was a crucial part of the “old” way of working: people.

Luckily, there’s another movement that is building momentum and providing a balance to how we go about our work weeks.

Hybrid work offers a structure that combines elements of remote and in-person work to ensure employees are never spending too much time in their own silos.

By encouraging in-person work as a way to reconnect with your colleagues, get social validation and feel part of a community, hybrid work presents an important step towards ensuring the workplace contributes to our mental health positively.

And yet there’s always more we can do to provide support!

R;pple – giving people the support they need

When it comes to the more severe symptoms of mental health, help becomes more of an urgent and serious matter.

Online searches for suicide methods have increased by 50% in the last 2 years, with searches for suicide support lines also up by 150% since January 2019.

To ensure more help and support is given to individuals searching for harmful content online, I set up R;pple – a digital tool that can provide immediate support and comfort to people searching for harmful content relating to the topic of suicide and self-harm.

Once they have installed R;pple, if someone searches for harmful content online, they will be:

  • Provided with guided breathing exercises.
  • Presented with reassuring messages.
  • Given immediate access to help lines and mental health services to use now and in the longer term.

With over 1.8 million downloads and over 38,000 harmful searches intercepted, R;pple’s impact extends all the way from individuals to organizations. Companies like KPMG, West Ham United FC, and the University of Portsmouth have all recognized the importance of safeguarding their communities.

By deploying R;pple as a browser extension on their company-issued devices or integrating it into their Wi-Fi networks, they’re taking proactive steps to ensure no call for help goes unanswered.

The Key Takeaway

The workplace, whether physical or virtual, plays a crucial role in our overall mental well-being.

As the lines between work and home continue to blur, especially in hybrid and remote work settings, it’s imperative that employers prioritize mental health as a key component of their organizational culture.

R;pple serves as a critical tool in this mission, enabling companies to extend a hand of support to those in need, at the moment they need it the most.

By providing an immediate response to those seeking harmful content online, we’re not just preventing potential tragedies; we’re opening doors to conversations about mental health, reducing stigma, and fostering an environment where seeking help is not only encouraged but normalized.

Alice Hendy MBE founded R;pple after losing her brother, Josh, to suicide in November 2020. R;pple is a digital tool that can provide immediate support and comfort to people searching for harmful content relating to the topic of suicide and self-harm. Alice also works as a Global Cyber Security Manager for a large consultancy firm.

4 Ways Hybrid Work Supports Happy Teams and Families

One of the foundational pillars of Hybrid Work support is human flourishing.

It sounds grandiose and impressive: but what does it mean in practice?

Much is written about the benefits associated with work flexibility and autonomy, and the ability to decide where and how you can get your best work done.

But how about the dynamic specifically between work life and family life? How and why does a hybrid work solution help humans flourish on both a professional and personal level?

In this piece, we’ll look at the 4 different ways hybrid work supports happy teams and families.

1. Hybrid work accounts for complexity

Life is complicated. Every one of us has thousands of commitments and responsibilities that exist both inside and outside the realm of work.

Hybrid work is set up to acknowledge that complexity. It recognizes that employees are not just workers – they’re also parents, partners, and caregivers.

By providing the flexibility to choose where and how to work, hybrid work enables individuals to navigate the ebb and flow of everyday life.

For parents – that’s a game-changer. Their jobs no longer need to come at the expense of involvement in their children’s and relatives’ lives — they actively mold to accommodate them.

Whether that means picking up school run duties in the morning, or staying at home to care for a sick child, or attending spontaneous parent-teacher meetings — hybrid work exists as a framework to deal with the unpredictability of family life.

2. Family is the number one priority

We’ve all been on a call with coworkers who have had a baby or toddler on their lap. Or we’ve been that coworker ourselves!

The truth is – the shift towards remote working has done wonders for raising awareness and support for working parents.

In past years, with strict office-based mandates, employees would often find themselves in a position where the family came in second place to their work. Organizing childcare and parenting responsibilities was something that had to happen around the working schedule, and not within it.

With hybrid work, however, employees have the autonomy to manage their work schedules down to the last minute. This opens up the door for them to manage family responsibilities on their terms while keeping on top of their professional commitments at the same time.

The inherent flexibility offered by hybrid work means that family can become the priority – because it is a system that understands that people will do their best work when they are in control of the where and how of what they do.

3. Happy employees make happy parents, and vice versa

The satisfaction and well-being of employees directly impact their effectiveness as parents. A recent study showed that higher family-to-work conflict is linked to lower satisfaction in both one’s professional and personal life.

Furthermore, the research showed that those two forms of satisfaction are positively correlated. — one spur on the other.

Hybrid work, with its core emphasis on work-life balance, fosters happier and more fulfilled employees. When individuals feel supported and in control of their work and personal arrangements, they experience reduced stress levels and increased satisfaction overall.

This positive mindset and emotional well-being spill over into their role as parents, enabling them to be more patient, attentive, and emotionally available for their children.

The same is true the other way around — a flourishing family life contributes towards a flourishing professional life.

4. Hybrid work is about being present

Down to its essence, hybrid work is a system that helps people be more present in the two most important areas of their lives: work and home.

In a traditional office setting, parents can miss out on key moments that are developing in their children’s lives.

In a traditional home setting (fully remote work), employees are missing out on key moments that are developing in their teams and work communities.

Marrying those two things is the ultimate goal of hybrid work, and the result is employees who are more present and intentional in both their work life and family lives.

Striking a balance between professional aspirations and family responsibilities is no longer an elusive dream — it’s a tangible reality.

Don’t get me wrong — there are challenges. How do you set boundaries between personal and work life? How do you stay distraction-free at home?

Though we don’t yet have all the answers — I guarantee you we’ll find them in nuance and balance, not in strict mandates or rigid systems.

Recently, the debate has turned towards a so-called flexibility divide in modern working culture. Some companies are forcing people into the office, while others are championing remote work.

We need to stop thinking of one-size-fits-all solutions. Everyone is different, and everyone leads their own complex lives — both inside and outside of work.

That’s why hybrid work is such an important formula — and one I hope you consider for your team and organization.

Developing a workplace culture that puts employee wellbeing at its heart

Early on in his career, J. Willard Marriot, founder of the Marriott Hotel chain, was known for turning up late to meetings. The reason? Instead of hurrying to the boardroom, he’d be busy chatting with the housekeepers working in his hotels.

Getting to know them, checking in on their welfare, and asking questions such as: “How is your day going? What’s going well? What needs to be improved upon? Are they feeding you well?”

People first = business first

After all, your people are your most important assets. It’s their effort, energy and ideas that drive your business forward, generate value for customers and shape your brand. Take them away, and what are you left with? Bricks and mortar, no fresh perspectives, and no customer service. If you look after your people, other aspects of your business will look after themselves. You’ll be able to:

  • Attract and retain the best talent
  • Foster loyalty and commitment amongst your team
  • Allow creativity and free thinking to thrive
  • Remote working brought workplace wellbeing to the fore

During the pandemic, employee wellbeing rose to the top of the workplace agenda. People needed support to navigate their way through a global crisis. Companies across the world stepped up and tackled employee welfare in a way that hadn’t been done before.

Shopify gave employees a home office allowance. Culligan Water put in place an employee wellbeing package that included self-care videos and meditation classes. Intel established meeting-free Fridays, to combat online meeting fatigue. But the pandemic did more than just inspire employee wellbeing programs. It kickstarted the conversation around wellbeing at work. Zoom calls in bedrooms and kitchens introduced us to colleagues’ personal lives. It forced many of us to show vulnerability at work; something we’d not done before. It made it okay to be honest about how things were going.

Now, as we transition to a new, hybrid-shaped era, we’re presented with a choice. Do we go back to the way things were? Or do we hold on to this learning and make a people-first culture the norm?

The answer, of course, is the latter.

Hybrid: the ideal foundation for a people first culture

The pandemic has been an accelerator of change. The shackles of the five-day week sat at the same desk came off. No more office hierarchies, non-existent work-life balance, and two-hour commutes. We realized that work could be organized differently. A workplace structure that blends work and life didn’t have to impact productivity and creativity. In fact, it can enhance it.

The post pandemic, hybrid workplace has become more dynamic, flexible and focused on people. The gap between personal and professional life has been bridged. Jobs can now fit into lifestyles, rather than consume them. Collaboration and connection can still happen without making people come into a central office every day of the week. A hybrid office can provide a well-rounded, happy and cohesive workplace experience. It’s the ideal foundation for building a people-first culture.

7 tips to creating a people first organization

If a hybrid setup provides the foundation, what building blocks will help embed a people first culture in your organization?

1. Recognize effort and contribution

According to research by Gallup, workplace recognition motivates, provides a sense of accomplishment and makes employees feel valued for their work. In a people-first organization, contribution can take on a whole new meaning. What else, besides outputs, does a person bring to the organization? A flatter hierarchy gives everybody the opportunity to show up and demonstrate leadership.

2. Give employees a voice

A variety of internal communication channels, both informal and formal, will provide your people with opportunities to share their ideas and feelings. Give them access to c-suite staff. Include them at all levels in decision making, especially when it affects their area of work.

Helping people get heard will make them feel respected and valued. As an added bonus, you’ll also get valuable ground-level insight you can use to inform your business decisions.

Get our RTO survey toolkit to better understand how they prefer to work when they’re ready to return to the workplace.

3. Motivate by aligning employee roles to company purpose

If you don’t know why you’re doing something, it can be a struggle to feel fulfilled or motivated.
Human motivation has two distinct categories: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is driven by external consequences, such as a pay rise. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is driven by the personal satisfaction of achievement and effort.

Intrinsic wins out over extrinsic every time. It’s more powerful. It leads to a richer, deeper sense of satisfaction that fuels a person’s wellbeing. Consider a nurse motivated by helping people get better versus a nurse focused on getting a pay rise. Which one gets the most job satisfaction?

Leaders who can activate intrinsic motivation will create a happy and fulfilled workforce. Make sure your team understands the company’s purpose and how each of them individually contributes to it.

4. Enable personal growth

Employees are more than cogs in a machine. Acknowledge that they’re individuals with personal ambitions and they’ll feel valued and supported. Embrace personal growth and provide as many opportunities for career development as you can. It’s a win-win. You’ll benefit from an increasingly skilled and loyal team. They’ll revel in the fact that you’re prepared to invest in them.

There is, of course, that nagging doubt that you’ll train somebody up and they’ll leave for a competitor. That might happen. But chances are, if you’ve shown a commitment to them, they’ll show it back to you.

5. Provide flexibility and work life balance

People have lives outside of work, and in a hybrid culture the line is often blurred. Time exclusively for family, friends and relaxation is as important as ever. Give people flexibility when they need it. Embrace asynchronous communication and reject micromanagement. Judge employees on their work and their impact on your mission, rather than how early they start or how many hours they can sit at a desk in the office.

6. Build trust

Trust is at the heart of a people first workplace. A flexible culture relies on employers trusting that people will get on with their job away from the office, without being watched. Employees also need to trust in the workplace environment. They need to know that they’re in a supportive and non-judgemental culture. A feeling of psychological safety will allow people to be honest and show vulnerability.

Trust can be built by:

  • Taking responsibility for decisions and avoiding the blame game
  • Acting on feedback
  • Investing in your people’s personal growth
  • Showing emotional intelligence
  • Leading by example

7. Digital infrastructure to support flexibility

Hybrid represents a shift towards a more dynamic workplace culture. People are free to be more intentional about where they work and who with. Independence and autonomy to get the job done on their own terms. It’s empowering and has the potential to revolutionize work-life balance. But to get it right, organizations need to provide employees with the right infrastructure and technology to coordinate their working week.

Being able to easily synchronize time with colleagues, book desk space, and ensure access to amenities are all required to ensure their in-office time is a smooth and stress-free experience.

Kadence’s people-first mission

A people-first culture allows employees to thrive. It lays the foundations for a well-rounded and strong workplace experience in which people feel safe, valued, and empowered to do their best work and fulfil their ambitions.

Focusing on your people is a long-term strategy. It’s investing in a business culture equipped for sustainable growth. We’re on our own journey to embed a people-first culture. We realize it makes sense on an individual, business, and societal level. We also recognize that a people-first culture and hybrid working go hand in hand. Empowering employees with a workplace culture that removes friction from their working week and enables them to choose where and how they work. We won’t get everything right and we don’t have all the answers, but we’re committed to doing our best to grow our business with our people at the core.

Hybrid Workplace Persona #4: The Traditionalist

A diverse workplace brings many benefits to an organization, but it can also present challenges – particularly in times of change. The shift to hybrid, for example, is bound to impact your people in different ways.

As you navigate the transition, understanding the personalities you’re catering for will help you plan every aspect, from systems to workplace layouts. In our hybrid workplace persona blog series, we’re looking at four of the most common characters you’ll find in your organization: the soloist; the adapter; the culturalist; and the traditionalist. In each one we explore how you can help them adjust to this new normal.

In this final edition, we’re going back to basics with the traditionalist.

The traditionalist likes things just so – at work, they’re as regular as clockwork. Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. Dependable and reliable, their natural habitat is the office. A sighting at a café or co-working space is rare. Averse to change, they’ll probably be the most resistant members of your team to hybrid. They’ll wish things could return to the pre-pandemic norm and would prefer to come into the central office every day.

Rearranged office space, desk hoteling, and a more flexible office culture will be hard to swallow. They’ll want to get back to their own desk, set up just how they like.

Here are 4 ways to help them cope:

1. Offer permanent workstations

If you’ve got the space in your office, there’s no reason why you can’t mix desk hoteling with permanent desks.
Ask employees who would like to be in the office full time, and set aside an area with permanent desks for them. You’ll overcome any anxiety a traditionalist may have about sharing desks or having to sit at a different desk each time they come in.

Desk booking software systems give you the power to experiment with layouts virtually. You’re also able to easily remove any permanently assigned desks from the pool of bookable workstations.

2. Allow recurring desk bookings

If it’s not practical to assign permanent desks, the next best solution is to allow long term desk bookings. Your desk booking software should enable employees to book the same desk at regular slots over time. Not quite a permanent desk, but close.

Your traditionalists will be comforted knowing they’ll be at the same desk each time they come in.
This does, of course, risk people block-booking a desk but not using it. A good desk booking system should flag unfulfilled bookings, so you can have a polite word with repeat offenders.

3. Get visibility into teams’ schedules

Traditionalists don’t just want a permanent desk, they’ll miss office life as well. Days when the place was full and buzzing. The daily chats with colleagues, coffee in the cafeteria, and lunchtime rituals. The rotating schedules of a hybrid workplace won’t appeal.

The solution? Implement a system that allows people to get visibility into teams’ schedules and sync their work flow. Traditionalists will be able to organize their time around colleagues’ schedules, so being in the office feels like it used to. It will encourage collaboration and help rekindle your organizational culture.

4. Customize office neighborhoods with the right amenities

For the traditionalist, work activities are best supported by the office and its facilities. Working from the kitchen table in a shared house is a long way from ideal. While your hybrid workplace won’t be the same as a pre-pandemic office, office neighborhoods give you the opportunity to tailor parts of the workplace for teams.

A brand and marketing team neighborhood, for example, might include access to breakout spaces for brainstorming. A finance team neighborhood might be more focused on quiet concentration. In a slimmed down, hybrid office, your traditionalists will appreciate that they’ve still got access to the tools and amenities specific to their role.A compromise between the way things were and the way they are

Catering for traditionalists inevitably involves compromise. A hybrid workplace is going to look different to an office built for a traditional 9-to-5 culture. But with the right tools and approach, you can find a middle ground that leaves even the staunchest happy.

Finding a way for them to keep a permanent desk – or at least book one long term – and enabling them to sync their working patterns with colleagues will go a long way to recreating that traditional office atmosphere. And tailored office neighborhoods will ensure the new look office still has all the facilities they were used to, back in the good old days.

Younger workers fear loneliness from long-term home working

Research suggests younger workers are concerned about the lack of social connection in their jobs, as businesses consider how to enable people to do their best work.


San Francisco and London, 8 September 2021: New research from Kadence reveals that since working from home, Gen Z and Millenials feel disproportionately isolated, and say it is negatively impacting their ability to build and develop relationships at work – and potentially harming their career progress.

The survey of 2,000 US and UK office workers found that over two-thirds of workers aged 18 – 34 (67%) say since working from home, they’ve found it harder to make friends and maintain relationships with colleagues. Almost three quarters (71%) feel their work colleagues are more distant, and 54% even say that prolonged remote working has caused them to drift apart from workmates.

When asked how they would feel about continuing to work remotely on a full-time basis, this age group also expressed concerns about being lonely: 81% of younger workers say they would feel more isolated without time in the office, compared to 64% of those aged over 35. 

The older generations have noticed less of an impact on their work relationships over the past year. Almost a third of respondents aged over 35 say their ability to make friends or maintain relationships with colleagues has not changed since working remotely (31%).

The research from hybrid work specialist Kadence also found that continuing to work from home is likely to exacerbate the social disconnect for younger workers and negatively impact their productivity levels. One in seven (70%) fear they will miss out on opportunities to socialize if it becomes permanent, a situation which would result in them enjoying their job less (59%) and finding it harder to focus (63%).

Jonathan Taylor, Managing Psychologist at workplace psychology consultancy, Pearn Kandola, says:

“While it’s important not to stereotype based on age, older workers usually have more years of affirmation from colleagues they can draw upon in remote and hybrid settings, while younger, potentially less experienced workers are in many cases still building up a repository of ‘am I good enough?’.”

“It takes time to build up a sense of self-efficacy, and much of this comes from communication and feedback from others – this is not only what is said, but micro-behaviours too. Submitting a piece of work over email while working remotely and not hearing back is likely to have its impact.”

“Having control over your work is important for development, and so giving employers a degree of choice over remote or hybrid working is vital. As a manager, checking in with employees and being able to notice when team members are struggling should be a priority, regardless of your working setup.”



When asked about the benefits they’d look for in a new role, hybrid working was listed as a top priority for all workers, with more than a third (38%) seeking this type of set-up. Flexible working hours were also seen as crucial by 42% of all workers.

However, it’s clear that the social element is an important driver in productivity and happiness for Gen Z and Millennial workers. Over a quarter (29%) listed regular social and team building events as one of the most attractive employee benefits, alongside a good salary (44%), modern office environment (40%), wellbeing support (40%), and career growth and ongoing training opportunities (38%).

Meanwhile, for workers aged over 35 the social element is less of a contending factor when it comes to job appeal. This generation of workers look for a good salary (58%), generous holiday (51%), flexible working arrangements (50%) and an enhanced pension (43%).

Dan Bladen, CEO of Kadence adds:

“There’s no doubt that the pandemic has shaped the future of work; but more than this, it’s had a fundamental impact on the happiness and wellbeing of workers. While organizations have done their best to adapt, we’ve yet to experience the full consequences, particularly when it comes to the next generation of workers. 

“100% remote working might be convenient for some, but for others it’s a recipe for loneliness – and younger workers have been disproportionately affected. They’re missing out on the benefits of being surrounded by more experienced colleagues and the informal learning and mentoring that comes with this. What’s more, these younger workers are now quitting if they’re not happy.”

“Every employer’s top priority should be to create the best workplace experience they can for their teams. Ensuring that true hybrid working between home and office is enabled will empower workers of all ages, while ensuring that businesses recruit and retain the very best talent.” 

How To Avoid Remote Employees Feeling Left Out & Becoming Second Class Citizens

Hybrid working promises to be a panacea for organizations planning their post-pandemic workplace. Agile and adaptable, it offers the perks of remote working without losing the in-person collaboration, connection and relationship building that a team thrives on. But it comes with a health warning. Without an inclusive culture, you risk sleepwalking into an unequal work environment where those who spend more time in the office enjoy extra benefits over remote employees.

Office employees vs remote employees

Us humans are social creatures. We’ve evolved to live in groups and we thrive off social interaction. From a night on the town with friends to small talk with the supermarket cashier, human connection is critical to our mental health and wellbeing.

It’s natural that we develop stronger bonds with people we’re physically with. Virtual communication fulfils the need to some extent, but it’s not the real deal. It’s harder to pick up on non-verbal cues, easier to get distracted and group dynamics can be different.

In a remote-first culture, employees stand to miss out on friendships and working relationships when compared to a workplace culture dominated by the office. Indeed, in our survey of  1,500 US and UK office workers, over 55% said chance encounters and spontaneous conversations with colleagues were one of the best things about the office experience. Working remotely, people will find it harder to build trust and emotional bonds with co-workers, because they don’t get as much face-to-face time with them. This can impact their workplace wellbeing, job satisfaction, and career prospects. From a business point of view, it can lead to a dip in productivity, engagement and loyalty. The challenge for employers is to balance the overall experience employees get, regardless of whether they’re in the office or remote.

6 steps to improve remote employee wellbeing

With some simple steps you can make sure remote staff don’t end up feeling like second class citizens. It comes down to awareness and making sure the leaders and managers who set the workplace culture understand potential issues and how they can avoid them.

In our hybrid working research, less than half of those surveyed had been offered guidance or support around flexible and hybrid working – so by putting in place some of these steps you’ll already be ahead of the majority.

1. Make your hybrid meetings inclusive

Hybrid meetings include remote and in-person attendees. But if in-person attendees are late because they were making coffee together, or are indulging in off-camera conversations, remote attendees can feel excluded.

Build in time at each meeting for small talk. It might seem trivial, but sharing stories about the weekend or the weather in different parts of the country will help cement interpersonal relationships between employees – a foundation for a high-functioning company.

Encourage an equal footing for all at the meeting by giving everybody a turn to speak on each point and discourage in-person attendees from talking amongst themselves. Use a virtual whiteboard or Post-it platform such as Miro so that everybody gets to contribute to idea generation.

Make sure technology is tested and working beforehand, and that the meeting starts promptly. A remote attendee can be left in limbo if a meeting doesn’t begin at the scheduled time or the tech doesn’t work.

With more of a focus on hybrid meetings, innovation in meeting room technology is blossoming right now. Telepresence tech aims to simulate the effect of remote attendees being in the same room. Large touchscreens and top quality cameras and microphones help bring virtual attendees to life. Google’s campfire meeting spaces use this type of innovation.

Finally, share the meeting agenda, details of decisions to be taken and other important papers or presentations well ahead of the meeting. This makes sure everybody feels in the loop, regardless of where they’re working.

2. Use the same communication platforms

Make inclusive communication a principle of your company culture and an integral part of your hybrid working model.

Encourage everyone to use the same communications platforms – even if they’re in the same office. That way, information is shared equally and remote workers don’t miss out on office conversations and updates. When leaders need to deliver a big announcement, make sure it’s done using a channel open to everyone.

3. Use remote messaging tools

Remote messaging tools help reduce the isolation that remote employees can feel. Less formal than email, they’re a great substitute for office chat. You might even find they’re better for cross-team bonding than being in the office, because it’s easy for people across different departments to connect.

Set up different groups or channels – some with a work focus, and others purely for socialising. How about a virtual coffee break channel, or a channel for people to share pictures of their pets?

4. Hold regular 1-2-1 meetings

Remote-first employees won’t benefit from seeing their manager every day. While that might be music to some people’s ears, there’s a risk they could become detached from the day-to-day company culture. Niggles won’t get dealt with and might snowball needlessly.

Some people won’t feel comfortable speaking up in front of everyone on a group call, so making sure everybody has regular 1-2-1 meetings ensures that all voices get heard

5. Talk to your employees

Remote working will suit some employees to a tee, others not so. There’s a big difference between having a garden office with superfast broadband to sharing a kitchen table and Wi-Fi connection with four other flatmates.

Job seniority plays a role too. When you’re starting out you want to establish yourself and start building a reputation, you want to make friends, and you’ll probably look forward to Friday night drinks more than older staff who have families to get back to. Remote working can hit younger employees harder in the pocket too, with a reported 71 % of 18–29-year-old office workers stating that it has cost more than they expected.

And let’s not forget the motherhood penalty, potentially exacerbated by the pressure to perform at work while simultaneously caring for children at home. It’s therefore important to recognise that remote working will impact employees in different ways. Ask each of your team what their needs are around hybrid working and what you can do to help them – from increased 1-2-1 communication to regular social events that get everybody together in person.

We’ve published an employee survey tool kit to help you ask the right questions and understand what’s needed from you to create a happy and productive hybrid working culture.

6. Promote hybrid collaboration

Just because people aren’t in the office all week doesn’t mean collaboration can’t happen, it just needs to be managed more carefully.

Document and share your organization’s expectations around in-person collaboration. If you work to a regular cadence and expect all staff to come in for a meeting once per month, make sure everybody is aware.

Be clear on how communication channels and collaboration tools are used too. Remote employees will rely more heavily on these tools, so it’s important everybody buys into them and uses them in a consistent way.

Virtual planning tools such as Asana and ensure all employees have access to the same information and can communicate updates from wherever they are. They also facilitate asynchronous collaboration, where employees can work together on a task at different times and keep each other updated on progress.

And a predictable information-sharing cadence helps as well. Knowing that a project update happens every Monday and Thursday morning provides a useful framework for remote-first employees to work around.

Create a company culture that considers all employee needs

A happy and engaged workforce is essential for an organization to perform well, retain its staff and attract new talent. As we move to hybrid working, it’s not just office space that needs to adapt. A company culture that’s inclusive, has an emphasis on communication, and takes into account the different needs across its employees will be vital in ensuring that remote employees don’t end up feeling left out in the cold.