The future of work has been praised as a split schedule between remote and office time. However, some employees have never been so worn out because of this hybrid setup.

It was originally a comfort to have a permanent hybrid setup, according to Klara, whose last name is being withheld due to worries about her job security. She felt as though she finally had control over her hectic home life and busy job schedule after years of full-time office work. But as the months passed, the novelty of hybrid employment quickly gave way to annoyance and an uncomfortable one-day-in, one-day-out schedule. According to Klara, on the days that she worked from home, she felt at ease and concentrated. But towards the end of the day, she dreads going back to work because it involves spending eight hours a day at a desk in a noisy office, gazing at a screen, and getting used to life before Covid. Klara feels as though she must now maintain two workplaces: one at the office and one at home. The daily psychological shift—the change in environment—is what makes it so exhausting; she constantly feels uneasy and anxious, and her otherwise productive homework is constantly interrupted.

Such anecdotal evidence is starting to be supported by new facts, which show that many employees find hybrids emotionally taxing. More than 80% of executives said such a setup was taxing on staff in a recent global poll by employee engagement platform TINYpulse. Employees claimed hybrid arrangements were more emotionally draining than purely remote ones, and worrisomely, even full-time office work.