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Is working from home 2 days a week the best ratio?

Published:

January 4, 2024

Updated:

February 1, 2024

That’s a fact! Job schedules have changed. Before the pandemic, working from home 2 days a week was like cutting class when we were kids. No one would consider remote working to be efficient. However, 2020 changed all of this. Now, people enjoy choosing where to work: home, a third workplace, or the office. Moreover, studies confirm that there are better answers than a 100% remote or on-site approach. As often in life, excess doesn’t lead to success.

So, what is the perfect ratio between in-office and WFH? Some say that being home 2 days a week is the perfect match. Would 3 days at the office be enough for the managers to work with their teams in person? In this article, we will define flexible work, try to estimate the perfect number of days in and out of the workplace, and go through the different options to create the ideal hybrid work schedule.

Why is working from home 2 days a week considered the best ratio?

A schedule that is 100% remote or fully in-office has many downsides.

Right after COVID-19, people were longing for a new freedom, so many chose to work full-time from home or a place of their choice. But after a few years, studies show that 100% remote work also has downsides. People have fewer interactions and begin to feel isolated, which, in the long run, can alter employee morale. Therefore, keeping this aspect in mind is also fundamental to making your teams thrive.

Yet, being present in the office 100% of the time also shows some downsides:

None of these two options meet the requirements of a modern and successful work environment, but a hybrid work model does. Now the question is, how many days per week should your employees work from home? McKinsey’s study reveals that being on-site roughly 50% of the time is the sweet spot.

Working from home 2 days a week positively impacts the core aspects of an organization

The key is giving employees the choice to find a balance that satisfies their needs and yours. Studies show that working 50% at home is the ideal ratio. Working remotely 2 days a week is the best proportion to enhance productivity and increase happiness. 

Moreover, transportation can be a real nightmare for your teams in big cities. According to a study from IESE, commuting stress decreases up to 63% if you stay home 2 days a week. When they are more satisfied with their jobs, it means greater productivity and employee retention.

Working on projects without being disturbed also boosts productivity and creativity. Still, according to IESE, WFH increases performance by 20% on these days. If you let your teams decide which days they can pick up to work from home, they will use them efficiently. The office time is then used to share ideas and get motivated. 

The return to-office 2 days a week option works too

In the end, surveys show that spending half your time at home is the best solution. So, if your working model is based on 5 days a week, your team members can also work 2 days at the office and the rest from a third workplace. Once again, it depends on their needs and preferences. Why are they coming on-site? Who’s working from the office on that day? Coming on-site has to bring added value compared to WFH. 

Here are the numbers the IESE survey reveals according to employees’ preferences:

  • 12% want to work from home every day; 
  • 36% say 3 days at the office is their favorite;
  • 32% say 2 days on-site;
  • 4% don’t want any WFH.

Ultimately, the number of days on and off-site is not the most important. The key is that your team members find a purpose in coming to the office. This can be meeting colleagues, enjoying your on-site resources, booking a specific workspace for a project, etc.

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Man working from home with multiple monitors
Man with great WFH setup

How do you create the ideal hybrid work schedule for your team?

Collect feedback from your hybrid team to know their preferences

Consulting your coworkers to understand their preferences is a must to create the ideal hybrid work schedule for your team. You cannot decide unilaterally about your flexible work policy if you want to promote a positive work environment that makes employees thrive. There are lots of different ways to collect information about the ideal ratio for your workforce:

  • analyzing your office analytics;
  • sending surveys and polls;
  • organizing team meetings.

As an HR manager, you must find the best way to understand your teams to be sure that no one is left unheard. Otherwise, this will likely create some frustration and lead to a less productive team.

Adjust your flexible work policy to your employees’ expectations and job positions

Whether you have a workforce of 10 or 500 people, you will most likely face trade-offs because of different employees’ expectations and job requirements. Each team member is unique, and considering this aspect is fundamental. 

Whether it’s their age, their family issues, or their health. Some of your staff might need a lot of in-office time, while others would prefer to have more time at home with less commuting. The key to an ideal hybrid work schedule is flexibility and adaptability. Whether working from home 2 days a week or something else, you have to be versatile and adapt to individuality to gain productivity.

Study your office analytics to see how often people usually come on-site 

Using a tool like the deskbird office analytics feature helps you analyze the frequency of on-site work. By better understanding behaviors toward the physical workplace, you can offer your coworkers what suits them best.

If you see their way of using the office is heterogeneous, you can opt for an at-will hybrid work policy. People usually adapt their in-office time quite efficiently. Moreover, some aspects of your workspace must attract your staff. For example, your office analytics might make you realize many employees use a specific area of your office when coming on-site. You can then try to implement more of these workspace’ types.

📆 Start a free trial of the deskbird app to give your employees more flexibility with workspace booking and week planning while saving costs!

woman working on laptop on floor
Woman working from home

Allow flexibility regarding the working from home 2 days a week rule

Flexibility is the most important thing in this quest for the perfect work ratio time. Sometimes, working from home 2 days a week is okay. But it can be 4 days one week and 1 day the other. In fact, what matters the most is to fulfill the objectives and adapt to your team members’ needs.

And it may vary from one project or one team to another. Nowadays, people need to be able to adjust their working schedules according to their missions, needs, and preferences. The time when everybody works at the same place and at the same time is definitely over. 

Keep your hybrid work strategy open to change

As we said, flexibility is key if you want to adopt the trends of the office of the future and create a people-first culture in your organization. Remember never to set the rules straight once and for all and always be open to change.

Regularly ask your team about what they feel regarding their work schedule. Maybe what was true last quarter is now obsolete. Listen to them and pay attention to their requests. It can also be that your staff needs you to impulse a new dynamic without even realizing it. The aim is to be the most efficient for the common goal. And, as you know, a good HR manager never ceases to find the best work set-up for the company and its employees.

So, is working from home 2 days a week the perfect match? We can’t really answer in the number of days but more in the percentage of time spent on-site and away (whether it’s home or not). Studies show that 50% is the sweet spot. It depends also on how your business weeks are organized. Are you part of the ever-growing 4 days a week or more conventional 5 days a week?

In any case, whether it’s 2 or 3 days, what you make of it matters the most. What are your team members looking for when they come to the office? Do they find the comradery and connection they are missing when they are on their own? Do they go back home full of energy, trust, and projects?

A hybrid work schedule with a 50% split time is often the best flexible work arrangement. But most importantly, you need to know what your staff requires to be satisfied, productive, and successful. The deskbird app is a tool that all teams need to efficiently manage and balance their time at home and in the office! Request a free demo to discover how our software works and all the user-friendly features we’ve created to make hybrid teams thrive!

Paulyne

Paulyne is a hybrid work specialist, who writes about sustainability, flexible work models and employee experience.

Is working from home 2 days a week the best ratio?