The Advantages of Hybrid Work Schedules: A Study on Turnover, Job Satisfaction, and Performance
GCG Leadership Development Team

The long-standing debate over whether remote work negatively impacts productivity or hinders employee performance has been a hot topic for quite some time. A new research paper, published in the prestigious journal Nature, sheds light on the potential advantages of hybrid work schedules through a randomized controlled trial carried out among employees at a tech firm based in China. The study offers new insights on hybrid work schedules and their impact on turnover, job satisfaction, and performance. In this article, we will summarize the main points of the study while highlighting the implications for leadership development.

1. Hybrid Work Schedules and Their Benefits

The study—conducted among 1,612 workers at—randomly divided participants into two groups based on whether their birthdates were even or odd. One group had the option to work from home on Wednesdays and Fridays, while the other worked from the office all five days. The researchers discovered that hybrid schedules led to reduced attrition rates by one-third during the six-month experiment period. Furthermore, work satisfaction scores showed improvement. The hybrid group did not show significant differences in performance reviews or promotion rates when compared with the full-time office group, even up to two years after the start of the experiment.

2. Addressing Concerns about Workplace Culture and Productivity

The study shows that hybrid schedules do not result in lower worker output or damage workplace culture, contrary to popular belief. Rather, it provides new evidence supporting the value of allowing employees to work from home part of the time without affecting their performance. The researchers could confidently attribute the improvements in retention and job satisfaction to the hybrid work schedule because they relied on a random trial method. Participants were separated into the two groups based solely on their birthdate, eliminating other potential influencing factors.

3. Managerial Perceptions Shift Over Time

The study also revealed that managers changed their views on hybrid work during the experiment period. Initially, they thought flexible work arrangements would reduce productivity by 2.6%; however, by the end of the experiment, they believed these arrangements could improve productivity by 1%. This finding demonstrates the value of experimental evidence in shaping managerial attitudes towards flexible working practices.

4. Implications for Leadership Development

These key findings have significant implications for leadership development. When trying to maximize employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention, leaders should consider that hybrid work schedules can successfully achieve these goals without dampening collaboration or innovation. In addition, the study offers evidence to counter arguments against hybrid work schedules, thus helping leaders to make well-informed decisions when designing flexible work arrangements for their teams.

In Summary

The study published in Nature provides compelling evidence supporting the value of hybrid work schedules when considering turnover, job satisfaction, and employee performance. The results of this research shed light on how leaders can effectively address concerns regarding workplace culture, productivity, and overall employee satisfaction. By adopting hybrid work schedules, leaders can cultivate a working environment that balances the benefits of working from home with the in-person collaboration and connectivity that offices provide, fostering a well-rounded, productive team.

For leaders who want to become coaches or coaches looking to enhance their leadership coaching skills, Global Coaching Group (GCG) provides a comprehensive leadership coaching certification program. GCG’s internationally acclaimed coaching tools and resources can help you improve your coaching proficiency and empower you to guide others.

GCG Leadership Development Team

Dedicated to bringing you the best leadership development resources.

Learn about the GCG's Coaching Tools

Measurable results, in LESS Time.

Reduce your session prep and follow-ups to just 15 minutes, while delivering coaching that improves leadership, team and business performances with 95% coworker satisfaction

Contact us