As companies transition to more hybrid work arrangements, the question of how much say workers should have in their schedules has come into focus.
Since May of 2020, economists Jose Maria Barrero, Steven J. Davis and Nicholas Bloom have conducted monthly surveys of over 30,000 Americans. The research found that 32% of employees say they never want to return to working in the office, which was very prevalent across working parents.
On the other end of this, 21% say they never want to work from home again, which was evident among young single employees or empty nesters.
These two opposite ends of the spectrum make it seem like it would be wise to simply let employees choose. However, this raises a few issues: the difficulty of managing a hybrid team and potentially hurting diversity.
Managing a hybrid team can often be hard because those who are not physically present in the office may feel left out during meetings. Without impromptu conversation, home employees can easily feel excluded from important work-related conversations.
Additionally, the research has found that working from home can hurt a person’s career. In a 2014 study in China, employees who worked from home were found to have a 50% lower rate of promotion after 21 months compared to in-office colleagues.