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7 Common Employee Complaints & How to Stop Them

As hybrid working becomes the norm, more and more businesses are changing their processes to fit in with this new way of life. This transformation is driven by employees seeking flexibility and a better work-life balance. So, what better time than now to identify any other concerns your employees may have? Hybrid working brings about a whole new way of working, which may well come with a new slate of common employee complaints. Now’s the time to see what’s working and what’s not in your hybrid work approach.

Of course, this will involve sitting down and finding your employee complaints. This may take a while, so to give you a head start, we’re going to look at the most common employee complaints and how you can stop them.

7 common employee complaints and how to respond

Lack of communication

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The increase in communication technology helps teams be more connected than ever before. Despite this, communication has not improved. Effective communication is more difficult than ever due to a physical barrier between employees.

To help improve communication efforts, leaders need to ensure every team member is kept in the loop. They need to feel like they can speak up and be heard regardless of where they may be working.

It can also help to identify which meetings need to be in person and which can be just as effective via digital methods. Some meetings may not need to be a meeting at all. By reducing your number of meetings, your employees will be more engaged because they won’t need to nod along to yet another meeting that could have been an email.

Unfair pay

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Remote work enables businesses to hire talent from across the globe. Many who do this choose to use “location-based pay,” which pays employees based on their local labor market.

Unfortunately, this can be used as a way to pay those who work in the office more than those working remotely. This concept doesn’t sit well with many employees who already have to compete with gender and race-related pay gaps.

Research is crucial for businesses looking to implement this kind of pay model. Businesses need to look at what others in their industry are doing and how their actions have been received by their employees. This can help you make an informed decision about what pay model will work for your employees.

Most importantly, you need to ensure you still pay all employees fairly and that any changes to pay are communicated transparently.

Bosses playing favorites


There is already inherent inequality between those who work in the office and those who work remotely. Unfortunately, hybrid work models can lead to managers favouring those in the office. Management must be aware of this and actively work to include remote workers to combat any unconscious (or conscious) bias.

To help maintain equality throughout your teams, managers can call in remotely to hybrid meetings. This will help them avoid speaking only to people in the room and forgetting about those on the computer screen.

It’s also crucial that impromptu meetings are more thought out. A last-second meeting may not be convenient for those working remotely, leading to a select group of in-office workers gaining an advantage because they can attend.

Work-life balance concerns

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Routine is an important part of separating work and home life. Allowing employees to work with whatever schedule they like may seem exciting, but it can blur the lines between work and home.

Remote work can mean getting more time back in your day, but that doesn’t mean employees should be required to use that time to do more work. Communication platforms can help because employees can log out at the end of the day or set their status to reflect their availability. Setting clear start and end times for work with a strict cut-off time for responding to work-related messages can help reinforce the line between work and home life.

Employees working from home often forget to take PTO and feel they can’t take sick days because they will be at home anyway. Managers should strongly encourage employees to take their hard-earned time off and avoid forcing sick employees to work at home.


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Managers sometimes think remote employees aren’t working as hard as those in the office. This can lead to heavy micromanagement to ensure workers do everything they’ve been asked.

Research has shown time and time again that productivity can actually improve with hybrid work models. Micromanagement is simply not required, and management should focus more on other business areas.

Rather than smothering your employees, you should work towards building a culture of trust throughout the organization. You need to trust that your employees know what needs to be done and how to do it without constant intervention.

However, it’s just as essential to ensure they know they can come to you with any issues or queries. Finding the right balance will go a long way toward making people feel supported but not micromanaged.

Unrealistic workload expectations

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Alongside the idea that remote workers are less productive comes the idea that in-office workers can do more. This can lead to highly unbalanced workload expectations where those in the office are given far more work than they can handle. That’s a surefire way to speed up employee burnout.

Managers should spread workloads evenly across teams so no one has more work than they can handle. Employees should also be encouraged to disconnect from work no matter where they’re working.

Coming into the office is disorganized

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Companies are looking at ways to optimize their offices as more employees choose to work remotely. Hot desking is a popular choice for many companies looking to reconfigure their workspaces.

Unfortunately, hot desking can sometimes turn into a workplace game of musical chairs. If employees are met with a free-for-all on desks when they get to the office, they’re way more likely to just work from home — cutting down on important collaboration time.

Desk booking software can bring some sense of order back into the office. Employees can book a specific workstation in advance to guarantee a place to work.

The best room and desk booking solutions also align the entire organization by allowing every employee to identify which office areas are busy and where there is space to work. And they make it easier for people to see who’s working where.

Get ahead of employee complaints with Smartway2

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These solutions will make life easier for your employees, which is exactly what you want to do to help them get the most out of hybrid working.

To learn more about how a workplace scheduling solution can help you streamline your approach to hybrid working, get in touch for a Smartway2 demo!

Stefania Vatidis

Stefania Vatidis

Last updated August 24, 2022