As much as the likes of Elon Musk may argue otherwise, the data is clear -- hybrid work is not only strongly favored by the vast majority of office-based employees, it also improves work-life balance, retention, and engagement without harming performance. In short, as loud as some old-school executives might howl, hybrid work is here to stay. 

But just because the data-backed case for hybrid work is open and shut, that doesn't mean implementing it effectively is easy. In the latest edition of his WorkLife podcast, star Wharton professor and best-selling author Adam Grant talks with two experts in remote work -- Stanford economist Nick Bloom and Harvard Business School professor Tsedal Neeley -- to uncover what's required to create a successful hybrid work environment. 

The trio of world-class experts lay out seven essential rules every leader should follow when designing and rolling out a hybrid work plan for their team.

1. Thou shalt coordinate. 

The first and perhaps cardinal sin of hybrid work is a lack of coordination. Research may be crystal clear about the benefits of splitting time between remote and in-office work, but those benefits hold only when teams coordinate and agree on specific days for each type of work. Your employees might not like to hear it, but Bloom is clear that letting everyone decide when and where they personally want to work is far less effective. 

So how many days should you have your people come in? According to Grant, that depends on whether you're playing an individual sport (like accounting or customer service), a relay sport (as in a media company, where a piece of content is handed off to successive teams), or a team sport (like product design). More collaborative workplaces demand more face-to-face time. 

2. Thou shalt set communication norms. 

Setting when you'll all work in the office is a good first step, but you also need to set communication norms. "You have to be very explicit about rules of engagement," says Neeley, who stresses that it is the leader's responsibility to ensure everyone's voice gets heard

What should these communication norms look like? That depends on your specific situation, but Grant gives examples like setting an alert to flash when any one person has dominated 30 percent of a discussion, communicating when it's acceptable to have cameras off in video calls, and creating lively Slack channels to help quieter types communicate their ideas. 

3. Thou shalt be multimodal. 

Neeley notes that just as you need multiple rules about how to communicate, you also need multiple tools to communicate. The new world of work is multimodal. All team members need to be comfortable and prepared to communicate in person, over Zoom, via email, messaging, and video, or through whatever other means your team relies on. 

She also notes the importance of thoughtfully considering what mode of communication is best suited for each type of information. Complex information, for instance, might best be communicated asynchronously, such as in one of Amazon's famous pre-meeting memos, so people have a chance to absorb and consider it before discussing. 

4. Thou shalt relaunch. 

Got all your rules, norms, and tools set? Great, now it's time to reinforce them by explicitly relaunching your office's new hybrid incarnation. This isn't just a helpful psychological way to reset expectations and draw a line under old ways of doing things. It's also an excellent opportunity to clear up any remaining doubts or questions with your team. 

5. Thou shalt not send mixed messages.

This principle was touched on by both Bloom and Neeley. Bloom cautioned, for instance, against leaders who set up fixed remote days and then work in person anyway on those days. What happens? Folks working with that leader soon feel a not-so-subtle pressure to come in those days too. The silent message that these days aren't really remote if you're ambitious ends up trickling down the hierarchy. 

Neeley explicitly warns leaders against sending mixed messages. Make sure your actions as a leader line up with your words. Don't create a hybrid schedule and then rave about how happy you are on in-person days, for example. Your employees will notice, and it will mess up your (hopefully carefully calibrated) hybrid work plans. 

6. Thou shalt overcommunicate. 

It's a leader's responsibility not just to communicate consistently, but also to communicate a lot. Neeley stresses that leaders need to make their presence felt in hybrid setups and find ways to assure employees they both listen and care. Some leaders are doing weekly video updates, and others are setting aside daily office hours when they're available for drop-in discussions, Neely offers. She also recommends leaving 10 percent of meetings open for unstructured time to check in and catch up.   

7. Thou shalt pilot and review.  

Even the most carefully thought-out hybrid work plans need testing and review, which is why both Bloom and Grant advise leaders to "think like a scientist" and treat the first six or seven months of hybrid work as a pilot period. After that time, you can collect data, run surveys, have focus groups, and adjust your plans accordingly. 

"You'd never launch a product without A/B testing it. Why are you rolling out an office plan and a structure and a culture to hopefully work for people without doing that same disciplined A/B testing?" asks Grant. 

Hybrid work has the potential to make work more fair, inclusive, and humane -- without costing companies anything in the way of performance. But only if leaders follow these seven basic commandments of successful hybrid work.