Welcome to the Future of Work Roundup. Each week, we bring you five top stories—drawing from the latest academic research and industry trends—to give you an easily-digestible snapshot of how work is changing—and why it matters.
Week of August 1, 2022
Employers are now planning for 2.3 work from home days per week after the pandemic.
Last week, remote work experts, Jose Maria, Nick Bloom, and Steven Davis, shared their latest research update showing that employers are now planning for an average of 2.3 work from home days per day after the pandemic—and this number is rising. Right now, key decision points for leaders are whether to choose 2 or 3 days in the office, whether to standardize these days across teams, and which days to select as in-office days.
Freedom to work asynchronously privileges the C-Suite.
New research by Qatalog and Gitlab explores how companies are adopting asynchronous communication—communication that doesn't require real-time presence of the sender and the receiver. The research finds that async communication privileges executives, with 74% of C-level execs able to work in an async way often or all of the time, whereas only 32% of managers and 24% of individual contributor roles (analysts and assistants) are permitted to do the same. If companies want to get the most benefit from async communication, they need to do a better job of building that culture from top to bottom.
There’s an upside to picking favorites at work.
A new study finds that there can be an unexpected upside of playing favorites at work. The research found that when a boss played favorites and their favorite employees demonstrated “authentic pride” (attributing their favoritism to their own work ethic), their peers were more likely to want to learn from them and seek their advice. But when a boss’ favorite employees demonstrated “hubristic pride” (attributing their favoritism to their own intrinsic qualities like talent), this sparked envy among their peers. This suggests that playing favorites at work can be a good thing, but only if you have a pulse on how your favorite employees are going to respond.
Employees who work on vacation are more likely to quit.
New research by Visier, a global leader in people analytics, suggests that employees who work on vacation are more likely to quit. The research found that 44% of full-time employees think about quitting while on vacation and of the employees who think about quitting while on vacation, those who stayed “very connected” to the job—by checking email, joining meetings, or working on tasks, during their time off were 36% more likely to actually quit. The good news is that employees don’t put in their resignation letters immediately after vacation—giving employers time to potentially course correct.
Employees who adopt hybrid work are less likely to quit.
According to new research published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, hybrid work can reduce quitting rates. The research is based on a randomized, controlled trial of more than 1,600 employees at a large tech firm that allowed some employees to work from home on Wednesdays and Fridays, while others worked full time in the office. The study found that working from home reduced attrition rates by 35%—underscoring the need for employers to take hybrid work seriously if they aren’t already.
Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for next week’s Future of Work Roundup.