Poll: Would you rather work 4 days in-office or 5 days hybrid?

Let’s play a little game… 

Would you rather a four-day week, where every day is spent working in-office, just like the good old pre-pandemic days? 

Or would you prefer to work a five-day week whereby you follow a hybrid working model, spending half of your week working from home and the rest in-office? 

This is the question we asked our followers via a poll on Instagram, and the results were surprisingly moderate, despite remote working being one of the most divisive workplace issues: a hybrid five-day week ever so slightly pipped a four-day week to the post, at 51% to 49%.

While four-day working week trials have been gaining traction across the globe, and seem like the obvious choice—the same pay for less time spent at work—when remote options are taken away, flexibility around working location becomes a bigger priority.

Daily discord 

Workplace location has become an increasingly contentious issue as employers attempt to dial back the remote working policies created during the pandemic by issuing return to office (RTO) mandates or more punitive measures including not promoting remote workers. In February, Dell issued a memo to all staff that stipulated that those who chose to continue working remotely would not be eligible for promotion or be able to change roles. 

As a result, employees are resisting these measures by deploying various tactics including “coffee badging” where hybrid workers show face at the office for a short period of time before leaving to work from home for the rest of the day. 

And when you look at the stats around the work-life balance hybrid work affords, you can understand why remote work is so valued, and why workers want to protect it. 

For starters, working from home for all or part of the week has been found to reduce anxiety, stress and burnout—Millennials (59%), Gen Z (58%), and Gen X (54%) all share similar burnout rates––and a 2022 study from Tracking Happiness found that being able to work remotely increases employee happiness by as much as 20%. Conversely, being in the office reduces that contentment.

Time and money spent commuting to an office space are also some of the biggest stressors for those who are forced to travel long distances to work in-office. To put this into context, if you spend one hour per day commuting, this equates to 250 hours or 10 days in transit per year. Or put another way, almost 14 months of your life. 

Then there’s the climate concerns surrounding commuting. A study conducted by environmental group Platform London and the 4 Day Week campaign estimates that one day less spent commuting to the office would offset the UK’s carbon footprint by 127 million tonnes, which in real terms is the same as taking 27 million private cars off the road. 

Additionally, flexibility around workplace location has been found to facilitate more equitable hiring processes, keep women in the workforce and encourage them back after they’ve started a family. 

While the future of remote and hybrid work remains unclear, one thing is for certain: flexibility has become a non-negotiable and not just a nice to have for the majority of workers.

Find out more 

If you want to know more about the state of remote and hybrid work in 2024, our partner Tech HQ is looking at how the US state you live in can impact your chances of working remotely, while Metro UK is investigating whether the era of remote work is coming to an end in the UK.

Or if you’re a publisher and would like to get similar work-related content on your own website, plus maximise your revenue, contact us today.

Author Aoibhinn McBride

More posts by Aoibhinn McBride

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