What’s the Best Day to Go Into the Office? It’s Complicated

Flexible work arrangements are here to stay. Here’s what to consider when choosing a hybrid work schedule and deciding which days to WFH.
Sanja Mitar
Features
May 9, 2022
5 minute read

Over the past two years, employees have grown accustomed to working from home. And, despite some working longer hours than usual, the perks—more time with family, shorter or non-existent commutes, and added flexibility—far outweigh any shortcomings.

But the world is slowly returning to normal, and that means a return to offices—for real this time, at least occasionally—for some people.

According to Wired, a 2021 survey by LinkedIn found that nearly half of remote workers said their employers want them in the office once or twice a week moving forward. More than a third were asked to come into work three or four days a week in the future. 

But Gallup and hiring experts say that failing to give workers flexibility can pose a major risk to “hiring, employee engagement, performance, wellbeing and retention strategies.”

That means employees have some control when choosing their hybrid work schedules, which is leading many to wonder: Which days are best to WFH? and What days should I work in the office?

Coming up with a clear answer or a one-size-fits-all approach to returning to work isn’t so simple.

Are You an MTFer or a WTFer?

There are as many “best days of the week” to work from home/go into the office as there are terrible, vaguely NSFW-sounding acronyms for them.

According to Wired, there are MTFers—people who plan to go to work Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays.

Then, there are MTWers—people who work Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, and get the final two days of the week at home.

And, finally, there are WTFers—people who work from home at the start of the week, then show face for the final three weekdays.

But really, that’s only scratching the surface.

Struggling to coordinate your hybrid work schedule? Use Nook Calendar to view where your team plans to work throughout the week. Click here to get set up.

Clearly, There Are Advantages to Each Hybrid Work Week Combination

According to Bloomberg, Mondays are being considered popular WFH days for project-based people. As are Fridays, but for opposite reasons—it’s easier to end a bit early and start enjoying the weekend sooner if you’re already at home.

LinkedIn research previously indicated that Mondays and Tuesdays were likely to be the busiest days in physical workplaces—good for extroverts who want to level set for the week, but not so much for introverts who want to get down to business.

And a scientific study found that colleagues become less civil as the week goes on, indicating that Wednesdays and Thursdays were particularly bad days to work in the office, which may be important to consider if co-workers’ adherence to workplace decorum and office etiquette is being factored into your WFH equation.

For Some, It Also Pays to Be Strategic

When deciding upon the best hybrid schedule, a bit of strategy is also being considered by some.

“The rules are changing and so is the potential to exploit them,” says The Economist’s resident columnist on management and the world of work. “To flourish in the era of remote working, employees will need the cunning of Machiavelli and the tactical brilliance of Napoleon.”

For him, working from home on a Monday signals you might’ve been “drinking all weekend.” It’s a bit suspicious. Same with staying home on a Friday.

“To avoid suspicion, don’t pick Monday/Friday or Thursday/Friday as your remote combination,” he writes. “Tuesday and Thursday might be a good selection, as it means you will be at the office (and thus visible) every other day.”

If pulling a fast one on your employer isn’t your thing, the Wall Street Journal has some thoughts on how to get “the most face time with senior leaders” in their “Overachievers Guide to Hybrid Work.”

According to managers and leadership coaches, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are shaping up to be the preferred office days for employees. But they also suggest to “simply come in as much as possible” to maximize face time.

“Though many companies say they are letting workers keep some degree of flexibility, it is inevitable that employees with the most in-person access to leaders will get the first crack at promotions,” says Peter Cappelli, a management professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

→ Download Now: Get Notified When Your Team Plans to WFH or Go to the Office with Nook Calendar

All of This Seems to Be Missing the Point

As Diana Wu David, author of Future Proof: Reinventing Work in an Age of Acceleration, tells Wired, there is no one single day (or days) to go into work, at least generally speaking.

“The smart thing about the impulse to pick a day is simplifying [a] routine,” she explains. “But thinking more deeply about what individual teams, projects, or people need is better.”

When deciding when to work from home, go into the office, or how to structure your hybrid work schedule, what you should really do is consider your team’s availability, when you work best, and how to maximize your time together, so you can focus on the most important tasks that require collaboration, and save your time at home for deep work (or when you need some flexibility).

When deciding what the best days to work from home are and which days you should work in the office, Elizabeth Grace Saunders, a time management coach writing for the Harvard Business Review, suggests asking yourself four questions:

  • What tasks do I prefer to do in the office? 
  • When does my team need me? 
  • How can I maximize my productivity? 
  • When do I feel the least motivated?

Final Thoughts

As Amanda Mull argues in The Atlantic, the beauty of the hybrid work model is its flexibility and being able to choose what’s right for you. 

“Being constantly forced to ask permission to have needs outside your employer’s Q3 goals is humiliating and infantilizing,” she writes. “By letting people choose their own office adventures, employees can gain back some of what’s sorely missing in… work culture: self-determination.”

That level of choice and ambiguity may seem daunting to some who have worked remotely over the past two years. But if anything, it gives you the freedom to focus on what really matters each day of the week—whether that’s working in-office with your team, focusing on a particular project at home, or making room for activities and errands in your personal life.

Embrace the change.

Heading back into the office? Keep track of where your team plans to work each week. Download Nook Calendar for free.

Whether you’re a sales superstar, in-demand consultant, busy recruiter, or someone who simply needs to schedule a lot of meetings, one thing’s for sure—you’ve probably booked a lot of them over the past two years.

Hybrid work has forced the majority of our meetings online, and while we appreciate being able to wear sweatpants during normal work hours, the time-consuming ballet that is sharing your availability, finding a time to meet, and adding it to your calendar isn’t quite as enjoyable. 

Speaking with everyone from solopreneurs to seasoned professionals, it seems like a lot of people find meeting scheduling software either costly, impersonal, or just plain boring. And Calendly and other alternatives don’t always cut it.

We hear you. 

Everyone is different, and so is how they work. Making good first impressions is important, and you shouldn’t have to pay a premium for them or basic customizations and integrations with your meeting booking system.

Nook Calendar’s meeting proposal feature is already used by tons of high-performing teams for selecting and proposing meeting times outside of their organization. 

Now, we’re making things even easier by letting you build personal pages with shareable calendar-booking links, right in Nook Calendar. Add them to your LinkedIn profile, email signature, website, or messages when finding a time to meet.

We think it’s the best meeting scheduling software out there, and we’re excited for you to give it a try, so let’s get started.

Here’s How to Set Up a Personal Booking Page in Nook Calendar

First off, if you’re new to Nook Calendar—hello! (If you’re already a Nook user, you can skip ahead.)

You’re going to start by syncing your calendar—either from Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook—and entering your work email address.

Once you approve any necessary permissions, you’ll set up your People Bar. Search for any connections and add the people you interact with the most when scheduling meetings.

From there, you can add any additional calendars you want to see (add your personal one, if you like, to further prevent any overlaps when scheduling meetings), integrate with Zoom (so you can launch calls straight from your calendar), and choose your preferred display setting—select Match OS, Light Mode, or Dark Mode.

Launch Nook Calendar, and you’re ready to set up your online meeting scheduler.

Now, the fun begins

You’re going to start by claiming your unique URL for sharing your meeting availability page. 

Your first name appears by default, but really, it can be anything. We recommend using your full name (e.g., /john-smith).

(You can always change your URL in the future, as long as it’s still available.)

From there, you want to complete your profile. 

Your profile pic is automatically pulled in from your Microsoft or GCal account.

But you can add your name, job title, welcome message, and links to social media profiles or professional website, so guests know a bit more about you when booking a meeting. 

Then, you can start setting your weekly availability.

Nook Calendar defaults to traditional time blocks—9–12 a.m. and 1–5 p.m. These are the hours someone can book a meeting from your personal page. Adjust them based on your availability. 

Your timezone is automatically set to your local time, but you can change it if you primarily work with people in a different timezone and it’s better to visualize that when setting your availability.

Choose which calendar you want to accept meetings in—it can only be booked in one, but Nook Calendar will automatically reference your availability in other calendars you’ve synced to prevent double-bookings when someone schedules a meeting.

Now, it’s time to set up some paramaters. 

You can set up your preferred meeting duration in either 15, 30, 45-minute or one-hour increments (or a custom time).

You can also add buffer time to give yourself a break between meetings, or set a lead time of up to 24 hours, so no one can book any last-minute meetings.

And you’re all set! You can preview what the page will look like, then share it with contacts or add it to your LinkedIn profile (we suggest adding it as a secondary URL), email signature, and anywhere else you do business.

Once someone books time in your calendar, you’ll receive an email and get a notification in the Pulse.

If you ever need to make any changes, you can access your personal meeting page in the bottom of the Magic Panel and make any adjustments—either to your weekly availability or personal information.

You can also remove your availability by simply creating events in Nook Calendar and marking them as Busy to block off time and prevent any bookings.

Nook Calendar’s new personal pages for sharing meeting availability are available on Web, iOS, and Android. 
If you have any questions or thoughts, we’d love to hear them. Hit us up in our Slack Community or contact us through Support.  
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