It has been two years since the end of the pandemic ebbed away and yet in many parts of the world – notably, in tech-centric cities like Bangalore, San Francisco and Seattle – most workers are proactively reluctant to come back to office. This piece in the FT says that in most of the Western world even non-tech workers are not coming to office on Fridays thus giving themselves a four-day week. Taylor Nicole Rogers writes, “While so-called summer Fridays have become a more rare and coveted perk in recent years, an increasing number of workers have started giving themselves a shortened last day of the week — often worked from home — all year round.
“Log into Teams, check email, then live my life” was how one analyst at a Wall Street firm — who asked that their name be withheld because they feared retribution from their employer — described their Friday schedule. “We just carry our work phones around in case something comes up.””
Nick Bloom, a Stanford economics professor who studies workplace data, says that the four-day week points to a decisive shift in the balance of power between employees and their employers: “In late 2020, as employers started pushing for a return to the office, some insisted on workers showing up in-person on Fridays to avoid a slide into effective three-day weekends, said Nick Bloom, a Stanford economics professor who studies workplace data.
But as a labour shortage shifted the balance of power towards workers, some employees have been able to negotiate working from home on Fridays in particular, and increasingly giving themselves more flexible working hours on that day.
“Friday is just a dead day,” Bloom said.
Last week, office buildings in 10 US cities averaged 55.9 per cent of their pre-pandemic occupancy on Tuesday, compared with 31.3 per cent on Friday, according to an analysis of office building access card data by security system provider Kastle Systems. In New York, Friday attendance was 20.5 per cent….
“If it were me, I would just close the office down on Fridays,” said Stanford’s Bloom.”
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