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Employees Favor Mid-Week Office Stretch with Remote Work Complementing the Weekend

  • Research has broadly shown that employees favor continuing remote work arrangements but coming into office for part of the week
  • Most employees favor Mondays and Fridays, which could complicate matters for employers seeking to gain additional benefits from a hybrid work model
  • Employers should consider several factors in how they structure their work week

During the COVID-19 pandemic, several surveys and studies painted a picture of the average employee who was forced to begin working from home due to business restrictions and safety protocols. He or she typically enjoys the flexibility and ease of a remote work arrangement and wants it to continue after the crisis passes…but only for two or three days a week.

Research has shown that employees generally favor a hybrid model, in which they would come into the office some days of the week and work from home for the remainder. There is also an emerging trend showing that workers prefer Mondays and Fridays to be their remote work days, leaving a three-day midweek block for in-person meetings and collaboration.

Unfortunately, this arrangement would also create drawbacks that would minimize ancillary benefits of a hybrid model. Commuters would still face frustrating traffic jams if office days are broadly concentrated on the middle of the week, and companies would still have to retain their same real estate footprint if they need to host the entire workforce on certain days.

Some companies will need to be more office-centric due to the unique business demands, security risks, or other concerns. Others may be able to transition to more of a home-based model, promoting digital collaborations and meeting in person only occasionally for meetings or socializing.

Employers should consider what goals they’d like to achieve when setting up a hybrid model, such as whether they’d like to spread out remote days in order to move to a smaller commercial space or whether they can send the whole workforce home on certain days to reduce utility bills. It is also important to consider each employee individually and weigh factors such as how important the office environment is to their work duties, how quickly they need to exchange information, and how well they have been performing in a remote setup.

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