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Could letting workers pick their days in office lead to clique culture?

October 26, 2021
By Kristina Vassilieva

Photo: tippapatt/Adobe Stock

Many businesses have reopened with hybrid work models, with a portion of staff working remotely while others come into the workplace or with all workers alternating which days they come in.

Hybrid work models have become popular as they allow workers a degree of flexibility, which many have gotten used to with remote work, while ensuring business needs are met when in-office work is required.

Some employers have even allowed workers to choose which days they come into office themselves. But could this lead to clique culture and affect the company in the long run?

Flexibility can lead to a better work-life balance

When it comes to deciding which work arrangement is the best fit for the company, employers have to balance the wishes of their workforce with the needs of the business.


If there is no need for staff to be in on certain days of the week, having the option to choose which days to come in will be appreciated by workers.

Workers will benefit from choosing which days they can come into the office as they will be able to account for their workload and also any personal circumstances.

For example, workers who have children at home would especially benefit from having this flexibility as it allows for easier arrangement of childcare on days that they have to go in.

Cliques could disrupt company culture, productivity

On the other hand, allowing staff to choose which days they come into office could lead to the formation of cliques and disrupt company culture.

Workers could start arranging which days they come in in order to work with their friends and this could impact productivity as workers will be more likely to spend more time socializing.

This could also alienate colleagues or new recruits that don’t feel like they fit into a specific group, and in the long run, could affect morale and even lead to bullying or harassment.

Divisions between co-workers can hinder collaboration and the creativity that comes from having a diverse team.

Using policies and HR best practices

Fortunately, these issues can be avoided with the right management. Employers can use their policies to state what is expected of workers in hybrid arrangements.

Policies should make it clear when workers are expected to be in office, working from home or if they have the freedom to choose which days they come in.

Another option for employers would be to choose one day a week when all workers are required to come in or create randomized schedules for all staff so all employees get to work together at some point every week.

This option might provide just enough structure while still giving employees flexibility.

Kristina Vassilieva is an HR writer at consultancy Peninsula Canada.

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