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One or two days in the office, the key to squeezing every last drop out of hybrid work

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More and more companies are throwing themselves into the arms of hybrid work, which, not in vain, makes workers very cool and is a very powerful magnet for attracting talent.

Hybrid work is clearly on the crest of the wave, but how many days do employees need to work from home and from the office to get the most out of the efficiency lurking in this work formula?

According to a recent Harvard Business School study, hybrid working is most optimal when employees work just one or two days in the office and the rest of their workday can be completed from home.

To carry out its report, Harvard Business School undertook an experiment in the summer of 2020 involving 130 white-collar workers who were randomly assigned to three different groups over a nine-week period.

Some of the research participants spent less than 25% of their working day in the office, others spent more than 40% of their time there and a third group opted for an intermediate formula (which involved working one or two days a week in the office). And it was precisely this third group that produced a greater amount of original work than the other groups. “The difference was really significant,” the authors of the report stress.

“Hybrid working is particularly effective when employees have flexibility but also don’t feel isolated from their peers,” says Prithwiraj Choudhury, an associate professor at Harvard University. “When they work in the office one or two days a week, workers get the best of both worlds,” he stresses.

It is vital that companies find the optimal balance between working from home and working in the office
The Harvard Business School study is published at a time when a good number of companies (Apple or Google, for example) are forcing their employees to return to the office without in many cases bothering to find the balance (absolutely necessary ) between the «home office» and work in the office.

The report infers that most companies want barely a quarter of their employees’ workday to be spent at home and that there is a more notable gap between what companies want and what workers want.

This discrepancy becomes more than evident in a recent study by Vyopta, according to which senior executives seem to be convinced that telecommuting provides fewer job opportunities for employees than working in person. And it is that, despite the fact that in the last two years the “home office” has become the norm in many companies, many bosses continue to be suspicious of this work formula and fear that the productivity of their employees will be potentially reduced working from home .

Nothing is further, however, from reality. In his research, the Harvard Business School examined more than 30,000 emails and found that emails from the hybrid work group were better and also generally received more positive ratings from immediate superiors than those from the other two groups.

The report also shows that those who come to the office between one and two days a week do not miss things like mentoring (in which a deficit is really appreciated among those who work 100% remotely).

“The results of our study consistently suggest that intermediate hybrid work formulas translate both into greater innovation by employees and improved communication,” the authors of the research assert.

The key to getting the most out of hybrid working is to organize everything so that people on the same team come to the office on the same days of the week (and thus prevent them from spending half their workday in the office engrossed in online meetings). Zoom).

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