Desk discos, shorter commute times and continued peace and quiet. These are the benefits the 12% of workers who continue to work in the office on a Friday enjoy, while the rest of us remain at home and slide into the weekend a little early.
As hybrid working settles in as our new normal, numerous pieces of research continue to show that for the majority of UK workers, the core office days of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday remain the most popular choice for days spent working in the office.
This is the phenomenon experts warned us about at the start of the pandemic, expressing concerns that if leaders allowed workers to pick their own WHF schedule, offices would remain empty each Monday and Tuesday, resulting in companies losing all the financial benefits that come from embracing a hybrid workforce.
And it appears that they were right.
It certainly looks like Fridays in the office are over, especially for those who travel by Tube and can personally attest to Thursday being the busiest day according to TfL. But is choosing the last day of the week as one of your office-based days a savvy move for those looking to get ahead?
The benefits of working from home on a Friday are glaringly obvious, but what impact is it having on your career? Well, that all depends on the answers to some very obvious questions.
What day does your boss work?
Are you working from home on a Friday because your boss is in the office? If so, you may be damaging your relationship in the long term, especially if your colleagues adopt a different approach. Proximity bias, which causes us to favour those we see more often, is a very real professional problem. So much so that tech giant HubSpot has sworn to examine all promotions to ensure it won’t be an issue.
What day(s) do your team work?
Do you want to be promoted? Then achieving goals, showing you can work as part of a team and solving issues before they become problems will help you get there faster. Can you do that if you work independently from your team? Yes, deep work often needs a level of concentration only found at home, but do you actively choose days at the office based on avoiding your teammates?
If so, you’re missing out on the soft side of collaboration. The chats that come in the room after the meeting has officially ended and you’ve logged off, the brainstorming that occurs casually over coffee, and the problem solving that comes when you see a colleague struggling.
What day do the C-suite work?
Be truthful, what’s your true ambition at your current company? Do you want to bypass your boss and leapfrog to the next level? Do you want to switch teams or departments? Are you using this job as a stepping stone to a new industry? Whatever the answers, getting some one-on-one time with members of your company’s C-suite is invaluable.
And it is unlikely if you don’t report directly to them, which is where informal opportunities for conversation are invaluable. Standing next to the CEO at the coffee machine. Bumping into the COO at the train station. These personal meetings will help you get that promotion, a better reference or a chance for mentorship you will never get working from home.
And if you’re currently working for a company that has yet to embrace hybrid working, despite 60% of UK businesses admitting it leads to a happier workforce, you need to visit the City AM Job Board. There are dozens of companies currently recruiting across all sectors. Below is a brief sample of some available roles.
The TV company might not be the first place you think of if your background isn’t in media or entertainment, but ITV is determined to show that it’s more than a TV station and is currently recruiting for a number of engineering roles across all disciplines and levels. There are London-based opportunities, but vacancies based in Leeds or Manchester are fully remote with occasional travel. Browse all available roles with ITV.
Travel disruptor Airbnb has opportunities for London professionals across their communications and tech departments, with all roles being offered on a hybrid basis depending on the needs of the team in question. Airbnb currently employs almost 15,000 people across the globe and not only allows staff to work while travelling, it actively encourages it by providing all employees with a quarterly travel stipend to be used at any of its properties globally. Find your perfect role with Airbnb.
British Heart Foundation
The British Heart Foundation has vacancies across its finance, communications and tech departments, with all roles being carried out on a hybrid basis, with workers split between the London office and their home offices. The BHF is dedicated to hiring a hugely diverse workforce in order to achieve its primary goal of reducing the number of deaths caused by heart and circulatory disease. Explore all available roles at the British Heart Foundation.