As a freelance writer, there are some (dry) months where I spend a decent amount of time on job boards. Before I click the ‘freelance’ or ‘part time’ filter, I notice that most full time jobs state ‘3 days in the office’ as either a perk or even necessity when hiring. So, is three days in the office the sweet spot? 

The debate has ping-ponged back and forth since the post-lockdown return to the office, with some agencies saying that hybrid working “undermines” creativity.

Adam & Eve/DDB took a strong stance in May last year, stipulating that staff had to be in the office four days a week. The results have arguably spoken for themselves, with Adam & Eve/DDB being the most decorated UK creative shop at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Now Publicis has followed suit with stricter rules and banned consecutive working-from-home days. In an internal video memo obtained by Campaign US, Publicis Groupe chairman and chief executive Arthur Sadoun said that remote working had led to “siloed work, less collaboration, sometimes stunted creativity, fewer innovation and decreasing productivity”.

While this may ring true for 100% remote working – which I often do and find myself lonely and uninspired if I haven’t attended a Soho House or coworking space for a week or so – I’d argue that hybrid working has nowhere near the same effect for most workers. 

Zaid Al-Zaidy sums up the need for variation beautifully. “The truth is that what works for Zoom and now Publicis may not work for you. That hybrid is probably good and that, like everything else in life, it is best done in moderation. That your sweet spot is likely dependent on your culture, people and clients” said the chief executive of The Beyond Collective.

“Right now, at The Beyond Collective, we encourage three days in the office. But, who’s to say this is forever? This debate needs less dos and don’ts, generational divides and nagging presenteeism. We need more focus on how to build team chemistry, accommodate different working styles, foster collaboration and get the best out of talent, in the service of great and effective work. These have always been the building blocks of a great creative business.”

Categorized in: