Making the Case for Virtual Work From Home Fridays
You might’ve read the news recently about an experiment conducted by Microsoft that involved a 4-day work week. The company closed their offices on Friday and saw a 40% boost in productivity from the 2,300 employees who participated. They also encouraged workers to limit meetings and communicate online instead of face to face. Sales increased by 39.9 percent and over 90% of employees reported improved job satisfaction.
Microsoft claims to strive for a “diverse and flexible way of working,” but it appears that few teams are permitted a Monday through Thursday schedule. In fact, despite Microsoft’s positive results, few employers nationwide are willing to institute a 4-day work week.
There is one work-life option that is gaining traction however: Virtual Fridays. This work-from-home alternative maintains the 40-hour work week but allows staff to work at home one day – usually a Friday when fewer meetings and other office commitments are scheduled.
Virtual Fridays takes the idea of “Casual Fridays” to a whole new level by offering the ultimate in laid-back work style. Where in-office casual Fridays have always been more of a distraction, Virtual Fridays offer a range of benefits to both the company and the workers. In fact, a 2-year study conducted by Stanford University found that remote staff members took fewer breaks, sick days and time off. Not only did productivity improve but employees reported feeling happier and more motivated. According to the study, employee attrition decreased by a whopping 50 percent when they were allowed to occasionally work from home.
So, if your boss isn’t willing to consider a 4-day work week just yet, perhaps a 4-day in the office and 1-day at home might be an easier sell.
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