Employees who spend one to two days a week working in the office, and the rest of the time working remotely, seem to be most engaged with their jobs and least likely to quit. Those are the intriguing results of a new survey of 1,043 knowledge workers by smart scheduling software company Clockwise

The survey asked employees to rate their workplaces on a scale from "very sustainable" to "very unsustainable." While most people associate the term sustainable with environmental concerns, it's a good way to look at workplaces too, says Anna Dearmon Kornick, head of community at Clockwise and a time management coach. "We need to have new ways of describing the way work feels now," she says. 

Creating a workplace employees describe as sustainable can benefit the bottom line, the survey suggests. Seventy percent of respondents said that a workplace with a more sustainable culture is better able to grow and innovate, and 71 percent said it affects how engaged employees are with their jobs. 

Not surprisingly, a more sustainable workplace seems better able to retain employees. Only 51 percent of respondents who said their workplace was very unsustainable said they were likely to still be there a year from now, compared with 93 percent of those who rated their workplace as very sustainable. 

So what makes a workplace sustainable, according to survey respondents?

1. One to two days a week in the office.

Companies today are pondering how to manage hybrid work, and many employees are asking to work remotely full-time. So it's interesting to note that about 83 percent of employees who spend one to two days in the office see their workplace as sustainable. That's compared with about 67 percent of those who work in the office full-time, and about 77 percent of those who work in the office three to four days a week. Even those working at home full-time were slightly less likely to be satisfied with their jobs, with only about 81 percent calling their workplaces sustainable.

Why does having people work one to two days a week in the office seem to make them like their jobs better? "In a word, connection," Kornick says. "We found in conversations with respondents that a sense of belonging is really important to feeling that your workplace is sustainable. When you're in the office one to two days a week, you have that face-to-face interaction."

At the same time, people appreciate being able to work from home, and they're more productive working remotely as well, she says. "So I think it gives people a great balance of feeling connected to something larger and still having that flexibility and autonomy." 

2. Being the boss.

Unfortunately, it seems that having a sustainable workplace is largely a matter of your job title. Among respondents who were top leaders at their companies, only 5 percent said their workplaces were unsustainable. But the further down the hierarchy you go, the more employees find the workplace unsustainable. That includes 11 percent of middle managers, 19 percent of junior managers, and a whopping 22 percent of non-management employees. In other words, one out of every five non-management employees thinks their workplace is unsustainable, and they're four times more likely to think so than company leaders are.

3. Having a boss who cares about work-life balance.

If you can't actually be the boss, then having a boss who cares about you as a human being is the next best thing. More than 74 percent of respondents who believed their workplace was sustainable agreed with the statement, "My manager does a good job encouraging me to balance my work life with my home life." Fifty-one percent of those who defined their workplace as unsustainable disagreed with that statement.

Engaged employees are both more productive and more likely to stay with you for the long term. So giving the people who work for you the flexibility to be good spouses, good parents, good partners, and good friends--as well as good employees--will benefit both you and them.

There's a growing audience of Inc.com readers who receive a daily text from me with a self-care or motivational micro-challenge or idea. Often they text me back and we wind up in a conversation. (Interested in joining? Here's more information and an invitation to an extended free trial.) Many are entrepreneurs or business leaders, and they tell me how important it is to have a full life outside work, along with being great at your job. That applies to company leaders as well as the people who work for them.