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A New Harvard Study Says Bill Gates Is Right: In 2020, This 1 Employee Perk Matters Most

Source | LinkedIn | Bill Murphy Jr. | Founder, + Contributing editor,

I’m Bill Murphy Jr., and I write the free, daily Understandably newsletter — both via email (which you can sign up for here), and on LinkedIn (hit the Subscribe button above).

We’re facing a global challenge right now, and workplace flexibility is one of the key shared experiences. So, I’m bumping up this article from a short while back. Who knew it would become so relevant? 


Bill Gates once shared what he thinks is the most important perk companies can give the best employees: flexible work arrangements.

Now a new study from Harvard Business School says companies that let their employees “work from anywhere,” and work whenever they want, wind up with employees who are more loyal, more productive, and cost less.

First, the recent study results. Then, I’d love to hear from you in the comments whether work flexibility is something you’d truly covet, and whether it would work in your workplace.

(Update: a reader’s comment made an excellent point. I addressed it in another new article.)

HBS professor Prithwiraj Choudhury and his colleagues say they compared how productive, loyal, and cost-effective employees at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office were when they were allowed to work flexibly.

They chose the government office because it had recently implemented a wide-scale pilot program called the Telework Enhancement Act Pilot Program (TEAPP). This program let some patent examiners work from where and when they wanted, while still requiring others to remain in the office.

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