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The Better Way for Managing Office Days

If you're managing a hybrid office, you might be asking, "What's the best day to get everyone to work from the office?" If you’re hoping for a one-size-fits-all answer to the question, unfortunately there isn’t one. Different businesses and industries will have varying needs, and what works for one team might not work for another. However, there are a few guidelines that can help you figure out the best office days for everyone to work together in person.

The Main Challenge of a Hybrid Office Schedule

Is a free-for-all schedule the best hybrid setup? Most conversations around offering flexible working schedules suggest that letting employees have complete control of when and where they're working is the best option. After all, employers are now investing more in providing flexibility and freedom to their employees. The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the Great Resignation where more than 4 million employees have resigned to find better job offers that include more autonomy and flexibility. It may sound like there’s nothing wrong with that, but some leaders are becoming concerned that this free-for-all approach is going to significantly impact a company's culture.

According to Dave Fitzgerald, CEO of the marketing agency firm Fitzco, letting employees choose their own schedule, likely leads employees to come to the office when their friends are available, which can lead to a culture of cliques.

The danger of cliques at work is that they can lead to bullying and poor morale. Employees on the outside don't feel like their opinions matter as much, which impacts everyone in an organization negatively.

The Compromise to Flexibility and Freedom

So, how do you provide flexibility and freedom to your employees while also maintaining an inclusive culture?

The answer is to compromise. Just like parenting, employers don't have to give 100% of the control to their employees. Parents provide their kids time for independent play. But for the rest of the day, they structure their kids’ schedules so they have time for learning, chores, and other family activities.

Employers can take the same approach when it comes to finding common office days. As an example, employers can allot one or two days when they are required to come to the office. For the rest of the week, you can let them work independently at their own pace and space.

Busy vs. Productive Office Days

So, what's the best day to work in the office? Luckily, there are studies to give you ideas to structure your hybrid schedule.

Ideally, you want people to come on the least busy days and when people are most productive.

Busiest Days

Busy refers to the highest number of people in an office space on a given day. Here are the busiest days according to different studies:

Most Productive Days

What about the days when people are most productive?

  • Monday - According to Redbooth, a task management tool, Monday is the day when most tasks are tackled.
  • Tuesday - Accountemps, a staffing firm, reported that Tuesday morning is the most productive day based on the response of Canadian workers.

Here's a good guideline to follow when choosing the best day to work in the office:

  • If you want people to be productive and accomplish tasks together and faster, ask them to come in on a Monday and/or Tuesday.
  • If you want employees to check in and socialize, ask them to come in on a Thursday and/or Friday.

How to Choose the Best Day to Work in the Office

Data from studies and trends are good starting points to decide your company's official office days. But make sure to consider factors that are specific to your situation.

For example, if you have a Gen Z workforce, they might want more face time with their managers. On the other hand, if most of your employees are parents in their late 30's, they might prefer to work remotely most of the time.

Use Your Own Data

It's critical to get first-hand data. Roll out a short survey as to when people prefer to come to the office. Let them know that the goal is to find a common time for everyone to be in the office to collaborate, socialize, and connect.

💡Pro Tip: Use tools that can help the HR team easily manage and visualize occupancy patterns in your office. Tools like ‘Where’ helps leaders of hybrid teams easily see everyone's schedule and overlapping office days.

Prioritize Your Goals: Productivity vs. Socialization

What's the end goal for getting people to the office? While it's possible for people to be productive and leave room for some socialization, it's best to prioritize one over the other.

If you have a strong process in place and people are more efficient when they are working remotely, it's best to prioritize connection and socialization for the office days. That's why asking people to come in on Thursdays and/or Fridays might be a good option because, ideally, everyone has completed most of their tasks by the end of the week.

If your company relies heavily on in-person collaboration to be more productive, it's best to ask people to come in during the first part of the week.

Make It Easy to Know Who's Working in the Office

If you don’t want to require people to come in on specific days, that’s great! But, in these cases, it’s best to use a tool that encourages people to spend time in the office from time to time to help bring the team together. Using a Slack app like ‘Where’ lets employees include their status, so they can let colleagues know when they're coming in. Sometimes, you don't even need to schedule a meet up. It's just nice to run into someone and randomly engage in conversations at the water cooler.

The Future of Work is Here to Stay

The future of work—where flexibility is a priority—is here to stay. But what employers and leaders have learned in the past year is that flexibility goes both ways. Yes, flexibility is important. But finding common office days for collaboration and socialization ultimately benefits everyone.

What are the best office days for your team? Share with us your experience, so others can learn and get inspired by your story.

👋 Bring your hybrid team together

There’s a better way to schedule your days in the office...right from Slack!