Hybrid working schedules – where you work some combination of in the office and remotely – are gaining in popularity. Thousands of companies shifted to supporting a remote workforce, and many of these employers are continuing to do so post-pandemic in some capacity. However, how these hybrid working schedules will be structured is a mystery to most. Some employers are designating which days their staff can WFH, while others have the flexibility to choose their schedules. So, what’s the best day to work from home without raising any red flags with your employers?
Mondays and Fridays
For most employers, the beginning and the very end of the week are a no-go, which is not a surprise for many. These days are off-limits for most employers, and if you have the opportunity to choose your days off, you’re better off choosing one of the other three days in a workweek. Unfortunately, the automatic thought for most employers about working from home on Mondays and Fridays is you are either extending your weekend or trying to coast into the next one. This is obviously not true for many works, but this is the perception that it can create choosing one of these days.
You can argue that you can start or end the week on a strong note by working from home on one of these days. You wouldn’t have to commute and sit in traffic and can get right to work. However, there are better days to work from home in most situations.
Tuesdays and Thursdays
Tuesdays and Thursdays are better options for most. Working from home on one of these days offers a nice break into the workweek. Before the pandemic, I worked remotely every Tuesday and Thursday. It provided a nice flow to the week: one day in the office, one day at home, one day back in the office, one day at home, and one more day in the office. It gave me a nice balance for the week. Also, it allowed me to plan specific tasks that were more suitable for the office environment (meetings, collaboration, etc.) and other activities that were more appropriate to my home “office.”
However, you may only get the opportunity to work one day from home. In that case, working remotely on a Tuesday or a Thursday may not be ideal. It may feel like your time is chopped up if you work from home only after one day at the office and then three more days straight in the office from Wednesday through Friday. The same goes for Thursdays. It may be challenging to work from home on a Thursday and then have to return to the office on Friday to finish out the week.
Wednesdays are the optimal WFH days
That leaves us with Wednesday, which is probably the best WFH day you can choose. Choosing to work from home in the middle of the workweek may seem odd, but it provides an excellent balance and flow to your work schedule. Two days in the office, one productive day working remote, and two more days in the office to finish out the week.
This splits up the workweek symmetrically and can allow you to really schedule out your entire week. You can start the work week with two collaborative days in the office and tackle any important meetings at the beginning of your week. Then, you have an entire day to grind out some tasks and other work activities that require more concentration and solitude. Finally, you end the week strong with two more collaborative days at the office where you can wrap up any tasks or meetings before the weekend arrives. Plus, by scheduling your work from home day in the middle of the week, you avoid and superstitions about you trying to extend your weekend with remote work on Mondays or Fridays.
Ultimately, the day that works best for you depends
As a general consensus, the best day to work from home is a Wednesday. But that may not always be the case. Everyone has a different working situation and a remote day that works best for you clearly depends on your lifestyle, the industry you work in, and the role you play in your company. If the best day to work from home is on any other day, it may not be a dealbreaker. So, if your employer has strict guidelines about your work from home policy, express your concerns with your manager. If they don’t understand your situation and why a certain day remote might work better than another, it’s difficult for them to support you.
Regardless of which day works best for you, the bottom line is transparency and open communication with your employer go a long way. In most cases, they will understand your situation and may offer you some flexibility. After all, we all had to be a little bit more flexible over the last 18+ months.
If you are looking for ways to boost your productivity while working from home, here are three easy ways to stay productive while working from home.