Amidst a global recession, we need to consider how expectations in the workplace have shifted for people who are able to return to their offices. While many may not be returning to work, those that do will see the space and experience much differently than before. In order to take a holistic approach and contextualize some of what to expect, we have organized the insights into the five dimensions of the Intactic Employee Experience Framework included below:

Here are some specific examples of what companies need to consider after the forced Covid-19 work from home and shelter-in-place experience.

BEHAVIORIAL Dimension Insights:

  • Companies will be more empathetic. 
    Many will be returning to work with stories to share and leaders need to create time and space for people to be heard and concerns to be addressed before we can all “move on”.
  • Mental health dialogue will improve.
    Companies will support more literacy and wellness efforts beyond physical wellness and focus more on financial and mental health.
  • More training for new ways of working. 
    Organizations will be evaluating this experience and realizing that many people were unprepared to use new technology or to manage remote teams. Training departments will be reprioritizing curriculum and learning opportunities to support employees the next time we are in a similar situation.

PURPOSE Dimension Insights:

  • Purpose over values.
    Employees are more curious about the company purpose and seeking a connection between their work and the opportunity the company has to impact the world. Values help steer behavior and action; however, purpose sets the direction.
  • Compensation > Purpose. 
    Although the value equation for how compensation is viewed may shift back to a recession time priority, individual purpose will still remain an active conversation at work.

CULTURE Dimension Insights:

  • More of a global citizen mindset. 
    The “same boat” mentality can be applied across the globe and people now understand that even regions all over the world can be impacted in similar ways.
  • Uncertainty brings us closer together. 
    A new level of empathy at work along with more virtual listening has enabled stronger and more emotional connections with our leaders and colleagues. If this approach defaults back to how it was in 2019, employees will take notice.
  • It’s time to rewrite the corporate narrative.
    Organizations need to revisit the core language and expectations being set for how business is conducted. It’s time to reimagine the vision for the future in a global climate that has changed. If something needs to evolve, now is the time to edit and recommit so that the opportunity to build trust won’t be missed.

ACCESS Dimension Insights:

  • Less tolerance for bad remote work technology and processes.
    Employees will be expecting the new rules and systems to be sustained and companies will be revisiting digital and cascading communication channels and processes (including training).
  • Managers will be held to higher communications standards. 
    The drumbeat of people managers staying connected to their teams can’t slow down. Job descriptions and performance management processes will be revised to ensure communication is a top priority for effective remote team management.
  • Less travel (especially global). 
    Higher travel restrictions and more complicated processes will contribute to more companies applying stricter criteria to travel planning, purchases and expenses.

PHYSICAL Dimension Insights:

  • “Work from wherever” is more common and accepted. 
    The “I was more productive before” perspective will be more prevalent, and the conversation will need to be revisited. Companies will be assessing work styles and preferences and supporting a more performance-based and individual perspectives verses taking a stance with past experiences or policies.
  • Expanded Paid Sick Leave rules. 
    This is where common sense needs to impact policy. Companies will not be putting others in harm’s way if someone is showing any indication of a sickness.
  • Heightened levels of spatial sensitivity.
    Due to more awareness about social distances, people will be more concerned about working in close proximity with colleagues and the number of people in smaller spaces and conference rooms.
  • Clean health habits will improve. 
    Companies will be sharing updated cleaning policies and standards and will provide more opportunities to the support the shared responsibility we all have for a clean environment. This will include more access to antibacterial wipes, hand washing stations and clean common areas.
  • Business continuity is a higher priority.
    Leaders will be expecting more comprehensive strategies and investing in more general preparation to support overall productivity and morale considering the probability is high for another virus outbreak.

Understanding the shift in perspective and adjusting to your employees new physical and emotional needs across all of the aspects of the employee experience is essential. Please submit your comments or suggestions directly to and we look forward to continuing this conversation.