It’s clear that as the U.S. economy reopens after COVOD-19 precautions, many organizations will be pursuing a hybrid future in which employees work from the office some days and at home on other days.
While some managers may be inclined to let employees choose their schedules, Harvard Business Review recommends not pursuing this approach for two reasons.
First is the challenge in managing a hybrid team, which can generate an office in-group and a home out-group. Even when firms try to avoid creating divisions by requiring office employees to take video calls from their desks, home employees can still feel excluded.
The second concern is the risk to diversity. Current surveys show that younger women with children at home are most likely to want to work from home permanently. This is worrying given the evidence that working from home while your colleagues are in the office can be highly damaging to your career.
In a 2014 study that Stanford University economics professor Nicholas Bloom ran in China, 250 volunteers were randomly placed into two groups, one that worked remotely for four days a week and one that remained in the office full time. Bloom found that WFH employees had a 50% lower rate of promotion after 21 months compared to their office colleagues.
The best solution, according to HBR, is for managers to decide which days their team should work from home and which days everyone should be in the office. Read the full story.