Working 3 days at home reduces quit rates: Stanford report

Managers in study revise views about effects of hybrid work on productivity

Working 3 days at home reduces quit rates: Stanford report

Working from home for two days a week does not have an impact on employee or firm performance, according to a new report, amid persisting concerns about hybrid work arrangements.

A new paper from Nick Bloom of Stanford's Institute for Economic Policy Research identified the impact of hybrid work arrangements by carrying it out among 1,612 employees at Trip.com.

"These results indicate that a hybrid schedule with two days a week working from home does not damage performance," read the report, which was published on science journal Nature.

It comes amid prevalent concerns over the organisational impact of working from home during the pandemic, including reduced productivity and collaboration in the workforce.

But Bloom's experiment reversed these productivity concerns for managers who participated.

"We also found that the 395 managers in the experiment revised their surveyed views about the effect of hybrid working on productivity, from a perceived negative effect (−2.6% on average) before the experiment to a perceived positive one (+1.0%) after the experiment," the report read.

In fact, the experiment was so successful for Trip.com that an executive committee there voted to extend the hybrid WFH policy to all employees with immediate effect, the report said.

"Their logic was that each quit cost the company approximately US$20,000 in recruitment and training, so a one-third reduction in attrition for the firm would generate millions of dollars in savings," it added.

More positive effects of hybrid work

Meanwhile, hybrid work also improved job satisfaction and reduced quit rates by one-third, the report found.

"The reduction in quit rates was significant for non-managers, female employees, and those with long commutes," it added.

Hybrid work also did not have any impact on promotions, according to the report, despite recent findings that remote employees are more likely to miss out on career advancement opportunities.

"We found no evidence for a difference in promotions over the next two years overall, or for any major employee subgroup," the report read.

Bloom said on LinkedIn that these results explain why hybrid is being used by about 80% of US and European companies.

"Hopefully, the WFH debate will focus on data and science, rather than outdated, lockdown WFH anecdotes," he said on the platform.

 

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