As pandemic restrictions are easing, many employers have acclimated to their employees’ need for a flexible schedule. While employees used to be primarily remote with only a day or two in the office, now the tables have turned, and in-person work has become more prevalent than remote work. Now, there are only one or two days per week that workers occupy their formerly happening home offices. But which days of the week are the best options to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your time?
Five options, one (or two) choices
You just got the notification from HR: out of the five days you work per week, you can only choose one or two to work from home. How do you choose?
Mondays or Fridays?
The most obvious choice when choosing days to work from home seems like Monday or Friday. You either want a nice, calming way to ease into or fade out of the week. However, working from home on either of those days can end up feeling like a three days weekend. Your productivity may drop, and when your first day of in-person work rolls around, it takes even longer to ease back into the swing of things.
Wednesday wins out
According to a Build Remote survey, Wednesday is by far the most popular day to work from home. Thirty percent of respondents would prefer to work from home on Wednesdays, whereas only 28 percent prefer Mondays, and 25 percent prefer Fridays. Fewer than ten percent of people want to work from home on the remaining days of the week. And believe it or not, more people would prefer to work from home on Sunday than on Thursday.
So why is Wednesday such a great day to work from home? Ask employees at Doximity who have been working from home on Wednesdays since the company was founded. According to their reports, Wednesdays are beneficial because they break up the week, avoiding a sort of “hump day” feeling. Flexible Wednesdays also mean that employees have one day of focus on personal work sandwiched by two days of check-ins. This means you can spend your Wednesday working on all the things you discussed on Monday and Tuesday and review them on Thursday and Friday with your team.
Doximity also notes that Flexible Wednesdays made everyone’s work-life balance better. A study from the Journal of Applied Psychology found that as the week progresses, people become less civil to each other – with Wednesdays and Thursdays being the worst days to work in person. Having a buffer day in the middle of the week can reset everyone’s social meters and create a more welcoming atmosphere on your first day back.
The Tuesday and Thursday conundrum
Working from home on either Tuesdays or Thursdays doesn’t seem like the most popular option, but if you have the option to be remote two days per week, it might actually be a welcome change for those who work from home two days per week. That way, you alternate days in the office and days at home, creating the same effect as a Flexible Wednesday. You have time to meet and check in about specific tasks, and you also have time to work on your own without interruptions.
How to choose your WFH day
If you’re still on the fence about which day to work from home, there are a few things you can keep in mind to ensure that you’re creating the best work environment possible to facilitate productivity.
Ultimately, deciding when you work from home is dependent upon your work schedule. If you’re someone who prefers to take meetings virtually, you might want to schedule working from home on your most meeting-filled day. But if you’re required to be in-person for some meetings, your work-from-home day will need to be at a time when you have fewer people to see. It all depends on your company policy, individual preferences, and your team’s culture.
Another feature of your work-from-home experience is your own individual workload. If you’re a project-based worker, Bloomberg writers found that Monday may be your best day to work from home to front-load your week. Suppose you’re someone who focuses more on daily tasks like coordinating others’ schedules or responding to customer service inquiries. In that case, it might be more beneficial for you to work from home on the day you know you’re going to hear from the most people. If your policy is extremely flexible, you can even work from home two days per week when you’re overloaded with deadlines and want a distraction-free environment.
The final determiner when analyzing the best days to work from home would be the number of social interactions you need. There’s a possibility that you might want to be in the office on the same day that your favorite teammate is also there or work from home when you know your manager will also be doing so. Syncing up your schedules with your teammates means that you’ll all be on the same wavelength, and your workflows will match. If your schedules are all spaced out, you’ll have a tougher time connecting with each other.
The final verdict: choose your best day
If every day is essentially the same, and you only have one day a week to work remotely, Wednesdays are your best bet. If you have two days to work remotely per week, test out a Tuesday and Thursday schedule and see how it feels to space out your in-person days. And lastly, if you find that your week’s narrative contains a certain arc, you have three things to consider before you make your choice: the meetings you have, the amount of personal work to do, and the people you want to see.