Hybrid Working from Home Improves Retention without Damaging Performance | Nature

Workforce Trends

As leaders navigate return-to-office (RTO) decisions, a segment of them increasingly relies on research-based studies for guidance. A new study by Stanford University economist Nicholas Bloom and colleagues investigated the impact of hybrid work schedules on turnover, job satisfaction, and performance through a six-month randomized controlled trial involving 1,612 employees at a tech firm in China. The trial compared two groups: 1) one working from home two days a week and in the office three days, and 2) another working full-time in the office. Key findings reveal a significant reduction in turnover rates (by one-third) and enhanced job satisfaction among employees on hybrid schedules, with no detrimental effect on their performance compared to those exclusively in the office. I am also resharing: 1) A study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh that showed no significant changes in S&P 500 firms’ financial performance or stock market value post-RTO mandates but identified a decline in employee satisfaction. 2) Research from the University of Virginia and the University of Southern California shows a 10% increase in work-from-home opportunities corresponds with a 0.78 percentage point (or 0.94%) increase in mothers’ employment relative to other women. Empirical research studies like these can contribute to more informed decision-making that reduces reliance on trends, biases, and anecdotal information.