Keeping Retention High for Hybrid Workers in 2023

Hybrid work is here to stay. Stick to these tips to keep your retention rates high in the age of flexible working.

February 6, 2023
Press the button to generate random icebreaker questions.
There are 300 more icebreaker questions at the bottom of the article
How would you describe your job to a five year old?
What season would you be?
What is a weird food you have tried? Would you eat it again?
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Would you go in the mother-ship with aliens if they landed on Earth tomorrow?
What is your favorite season?
Do prefer working from home or the office?
What is your earliest memory of this job?
What is the best thing you have bought so far this year?
What is the earliest book you remember?
If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose?
You are the best criminal mastermind in the world. What crime would you commit if you knew you would get away with it?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
What was the last thing you ate?
What person from history would you add to Mount Rushmore?
What is a weird fact you know?
What is your favorite part of working from home?
Were the Spice Girls a good team?
Imagine you can instantly learn any language. Which would you choose?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Which fictional team is the best team of all time?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What do you usually eat for a quick lunch?
What simple food will you never eat?
Show us the weirdest thing you have in the room with you right now.
Would you rather stay at a hotel or an AirBNB?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
Are you more productive in the morning or at night?
Who is someone in your community that makes a difference?
Who was your most unique pet?
Choose one famous person from history you want on your team during a zombie apocalypse.
What is a good way to give back to the community?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
Is Hugh Grant funny?
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Would you want to have an imaginary friend today? Did you have one as a child?
What actor or actress would you want to play you in the movie about your life?
What is the best super power?
What is your New Years resolution?
You can only eat one food again for the rest of your life. What is it?
What is the best work holiday?
What is the first gift you remember receiving?
Would you rather join Metallica or Backstreet Boys?
What is the best example of a community you have seen?
What is an easy way to do something nice for someone?
Show us your phone background and tell the story behind why you picked this image.
What was your first job?
Pick any band to play at your funeral.
If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
Which superpower would you give to your arch enemy?
What is the most obscure superpower you would want?
What emoji best describes how you are feeling right now?
If you could live in any country, which country would you pick?
Would you rather live in a city or a town?
What is your favorite holiday?
What is something you accomplished as part of a team?
What is your standard office lunch?
What is your most used phone app?
What is your favorite season?
Have you ever won something as a team?
Imagine you are a professional baseball player. What is your introduction song?
Beach holiday or ski trip?
Have you ever been to a funny comedy show?
Would you rather live at the North Pole or the South Pole?
What is your favorite song to sing?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Imagine you could teleport anywhere. Where would you go right now?
What is the most unusual job you have heard of?
What was the last thing you ate?
You can visit any fictional time or place. Which would you pick?
What do your family and friends think you do all day?
What movie do you wish you could watch again for the first time?
Show us your most-used emoji.
What was the most unique style or fashion trend you ever embraced?
What movie defined your generation?
You are stranded on a remote desert island. Are you alone or with your worst enemy?
What is your favorite knock-knock joke?
Have you ever told someone Santa is not real?
Do you know how to speak more than one language?
On a scale of 1 – 10, how much of a team player are you?
What is your #1 recommendation in this city?
What is your favorite holiday?
What bucket list item do you most want to check off in the next six months?
What is your favorite mythical creature?
What was the first way you made money?
If you could be great at any Olympic sport, which would it be?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
When did you start liking/hating mushrooms?
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Do you take your PTO all at one time, or another way?
Which show do you remember most from your childhood?
Which beverage goes best with pizza?
Would you want to have a personal assistant follow you around everywhere and do what you asked of them?
Have you ever met your idol?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Would you rather live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?
What is your hobby?
When you are alone in the car, what volume is the music at?
Imagine you no longer have to work. How would you spend a Tuesday?
What is your favorite type of sandwich?

The Covid pandemic forced businesses of all kinds to embrace remote work or risk going out of business. 

Since then, most companies have adopted a hybrid working model. But it’s a situation we’ve been thrust into, not one we carefully planned and executed. 

And most businesses have a lot to learn about how to get it right.

Here’s a closer look at how to keep your retention rates high with hybrid workers – as well as a look at whether flexible working is set to remain.

Is hybrid work here to stay?

According to the data, hybrid working is a big hit with employees:

  • 59% of workers prefer to work hybrid, compared to 32% who’d prefer to work exclusively remotely and just 9% who’d choose to work fully on-site.
  • 78% of employees have said that a hybrid work plan leads to a better work/life balance. 

And research suggests it’s good for business, too: 

  • 81% of hybrid employees are highly engaged, closely followed by 78% of fully remote employees feeling engaged
  • Hybrid workplaces have seen an average 12% reduction in employee turnover
  • Companies can save up to $11,000 per employee when they work at least partly remotely.

Today, mandating that your employees all need to return to the office is one of the worst things you can do for your turnover rates. In fact, 71% of employees open to looking for a job aren’t happy with how flexible their current organization is willing to be,

And most organizations get that, with only 9% of companies not planning on permanently allowing some kind of remote work.

So, hybrid work is certainly here to stay. Which means the big question your business needs to answer isn’t “should we offer flexible working options” – it’s “how do we keep our hybrid employees engaged and loyal”.

How to keep retention high for hybrid workers

If you’re not thoughtful and deliberate about creating a hybrid company culture that works for everyone then it could cause more harm than good.

So, stick to these tips to keep your retention rates high in the age of hybrid work:

Make sure remote employees aren’t being held back

One thing you need to be particularly mindful of when you roll out a hybrid work model is that choosing to work from home doesn’t hamper employees’ career prospects.

On-site staff are naturally going to get more facetime with the bosses if your company’s leaders largely work on-site. It’s therefore only natural that they end up front of mind when there are promotions on the table. In fact, one study found that remote employees had a 50% lower rate of promotion after 21 months compared with their colleagues who worked from the office. 

Since 41% of workers say they’ve quit a previous job due to the lack of progression opportunities, you’ll struggle to keep hold of your remote workers if you don’t fight against the natural bias toward looking to in-office employees when it comes to promotions.

Two ways to level the playing field on this front for remote and on-site workers are to:

  • Discourage leaders from spending every day in the office to prevent favoritism.
  • Be aware that a bias toward on-site workers exists when you’re choosing who to promote and try not to fall into that trap.

Try Assembly to make it easier than ever to track your employees’ career aspirations – and help them achieve them. 

Play to both remote and on-site working’s strengths

Working from home and working from the office both come with their own pros and cons. A hybrid working model can help you get the best of both worlds and avoid all the downsides.

For example, people tend to get more done when they’re working from home, with 77% of workers reporting they’re more productive when working remotely. 

But the fact is: a lot of people can find it isolating to work from home long-term, with 24% of people saying their biggest problem with remote work is loneliness.

On top of that, 45% of people think meetings with ten or more attendees are worse when done on video call rather than in-person. 

You can solve all these problems at once by encouraging teams to regularly meet up in the office for team meetings. This will give everyone a chance to catch up and allow them to plan their next steps more effectively than they would over a video call.

Give remote employees a voice 

It’s common for your teammates who choose to mainly work from home to feel like they have less of a say in how your company does things than their colleagues who usually work from the office.

Keeping your remote workers at arm’s length from discussions that affect their day-to-day work is a surefire way to alienate them – and drive a rift between “people who work from home” and “people who work from the office”. And that’s bound to leave your remote employees less engaged with their work and looking for another job.

It’s therefore crucial that organizations with a hybrid workforce run regular employee pulse surveys, then compare the results between employees who choose to work remotely with those who prefer to mainly work from the office. If there’s a big difference between how each set of employees is feeling, that's a sign you’ve got some serious work to do if you want a hybrid work culture that’s built to last. 

Book a demo of Assembly today to get access to all the tools you need to empower your hybrid employees with a voice in one place.

Look out for burnout

A lot of employers worry that their teammates will slack off when they’re working from home. In reality, you’re likely to have the opposite problem – your remote employees burning themselves out. 

Don’t believe us?

25% of remote employees say their biggest problem with working remotely is that they struggle to unplug from work. And remote employees work 10% longer than their office counterparts – or about four hours more each week.

So it’s no wonder that 69% of remote employees say they’ve experienced burnout at least once while working from home. 

To prevent your remote teammates from burning themselves out, make it clear to them that they should mute notifications and stop checking their email once their workday is done. Fail to do so and your retention rates could seriously suffer – not to mention your engagement levels.

Try Assembly to get the tools you need to easily track and improve burnout levels across your business.

Don’t fall into the presenteeism trap

70% of remote employees continued to work while they were ill during the pandemic.

Which sounds great, right? Your staff taking fewer sick days surely does wonders for your productivity levels.

But presenteeism – when employees keep working while they’re sick – actually costs the US economy $225 billion a year.

A teammate isn’t going to get much useful done when they’re forcing themself to work through an illness. And not taking time off to rest and recover when you’re not feeling well is a surefire recipe for burnout, meaning the long-term productivity costs to productivity can be steep.

So, be sure to encourage your employees to take sick days when they need to. Ask managers to encourage their reports to take sick leave if they spot that they’re under the weather. Looking after your staff like this will not only boost productivity in the long-term – it’s also bound to increase employee retention

The final word

The data doesn’t lie: flexible working is here to stay. Follow the steps we’ve laid out here to solve the employee retention challenge in the age of hybrid working.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

Explore Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

Could find the answer you are looking for?

Please schedule time with an expert and we will help you to get all your questions answered