Two days in the office is the optimal workweek, study finds

A new study finds that a hybrid setup with two days in the office is the optimal workweek.

Video Transcript

BRAD SMITH: Welcome back to Yahoo Finance Live, everyone. As managers everywhere are doing their best Charlie Day to figure out a perfect balance between working from home and coming into the office, one question remains– what is the ultimate sweet spot for hybrid work? One study says two days in the office is optimal and that would make the optimal work week.

So we’re going to have a wide-ranging discussion here. We’ve brought back Jared Blikre for the conversation. So, Dave, I’m going to go to you first–

DAVE BRIGGS: Yeah, we’ll give him the last word on this.

JARED BLIKRE: All right

DAVE BRIGGS: Look, I went into this thinking three days at work two days at home is the optimal number. And so, too, did Nicholas Bloom, who is a Stanford researcher. And he researched this in terms of productivity and stress. He went in with the same assumption that three at work, two at home is ideal and optimal.

And what he found out from employees is that is average at best– that the ideal setting for workers now is two days at work, three at home. So I’m going to say right now I prefer to be in an office every day, although I have a two-hour commute here and a two-hour commute home. So therefore, I’m going to say three and two is my ideal setting. What about you?

JARED BLIKRE: All right, I’m going to say– I’m going to mix it up a little bit. And let me just say to begin with, I think it’s really interesting– there’s my camera– that this is my first time sitting at the anchor desk in literally two years, and we’re talking about how much time we’re going to spend at home.

Now, for me, the ideal is a hybrid day. Because you know, I go to the New York Stock Exchange in the morning– it’s only a quick walk from my house. But then I have the option of going back to my office and my home and broadcasting from there, or broadcasting from here– coming in. And sometimes I even go back home again.

So the pandemic itself has done the broadcasting industry a favor, because it’s given us all these options. I don’t need to be here three days, there two days. I need to be in a lot of places throughout the day. And that just gives me the flexibility.

BRAD SMITH: You know, this comes back to what we were discussing earlier this week– in the types of job functions and role types where it is better, perhaps, for us to be sitting next to each other and to be able to have side discussions and also know where we’re going next, but at the same time, to Jared’s point, because we have these setups that we can rely on remotely from anywhere– you could be in the Bahamas right now–

JARED BLIKRE: I almost am. I’m checking out right now, guys.

BRAD SMITH: There you go. He’s got his shorts on under– well, you can see that he doesn’t have shorts on today.

JARED BLIKRE: Underneath the pants, I do.

DAVE BRIGGS: We appreciate you wearing pants on a Friday. It’s a no-pants Friday.

JARED BLIKRE: Was at home.

DAVE BRIGGS: We need a distinguished broadcasting from other industries, quite frankly. Because I’ve talked to a lot of Wall Streeters who are back five days a week, and they are burnt out in about two to three weeks. And suddenly, their bosses are realizing it, they are seeing it, and they are adjusting.

We heard Jamie Dimon out of the gate say we want everyone back every day. And he quickly retreated from that once he found out the reaction to his employees across the country. So I think it’s just going to be a moving target over time. And I think, ultimately, I don’t think people are, for the most part, ever going back five days a week. 35% of our workforce is back five days a week. How high does that number get?

JARED BLIKRE: Well, it depends on what kind of job you do. You were mentioning the financial sector– arguably, they need to be in the office a little bit more than some people. But there are some people who can’t do their jobs from home at all. So for some people, that number is zero, unfortunately. Then you take the opposite end of the spectrum, tech– if you’re working at a Silicon Valley tech firm, work from anywhere in the world.

It doesn’t matter. I don’t think you need to come into the office at all. That seems to be the attitude at a lot of these firms– Alphabet, Facebook included.

BRAD SMITH: Do you think there’s going to be a sense of hybrid FOMO– say you work in one particular industry or job function and you see your friends saying, hey, I’ve got this hybrid function that I’ve been working in throughout the pandemic , and that’s going to be here to stay– does that cause churn in that particular industry or that role type?

DAVE BRIGGS: In short, yeah.

JARED BLIKRE: FOMO churn. You get it.

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