According to a significant new Microsoft survey, managers and employees have fundamentally different opinions about productivity when working from home. Bosses question whether remote work is equally productive as being in the office.
While 87 per cent of employees believed that working from home increased their productivity, 80 per cent of managers didn’t agree. In 11 different countries, the survey questioned more than 20,000 employees.
Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, told the BBC that this tension needed to be resolved because it was unlikely that workplaces would ever return to their pre-pandemic working practices.
“We have to get past what we describe as ‘productivity paranoia’, because all of the data we have that shows that 80% plus of the individual people feel they’re very productive – except their management thinks that they’re not productive.
“That means there is a real disconnect in terms of the expectations and what they feel.”
Employers were reportedly struggling with what Nadella and Ryan Roslansky, the CEO of Microsoft-owned LinkedIn, called “possibly the biggest shift in working patterns in history.”
During the pandemic, there were many more fully remote jobs posted on LinkedIn than ever before, but Mr. Roslansky said data suggested that kind of position may have reached its peak.
About 2 per cent of the 14 or 15 million job listings that are typically active on LinkedIn involved remote work before the pandemic, he told the BBC. That was 20 per cent a few months ago, but it has since decreased to 15 per cent this month.
Employers are having to work harder to find, motivate, and retain staff during a severe labor shortage. Nadella claims that even Microsoft itself falls under this.
“We had 70,000 people who joined Microsoft during the pandemic, they sort of saw Microsoft through the lens of the pandemic. And now when we think about the next phase, you need to re-energize them, re-recruit them, help them form social connections.”
Regularly, Microsoft employees are permitted to work from home up to 50% of the time. Anything beyond that necessitates management approval or a switch to part-time employment.
Some businesses have had trouble implementing new working practices and standards.
In contrast to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who demanded 40 hours a week in the office in an email that stated: “If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned,” there has been resistance at Apple to calls to return to the office three days a week beginning in September.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, an unprecedented number of people have also changed jobs. Workers born after 1997 (referred to as Generation Z) are nearly twice as likely to change jobs, a phenomenon Microsoft has dubbed “the great reshuffle.”
“At the peak of our ‘great reshuffle’ we saw a year-on-year increase of 50% of LinkedIn members changing jobs. Gen Z was at 90%,” the report said.
According to LinkedIn’s CEO, Generation Z will make up about 30% of the workforce by 2030, so managers must comprehend them.
Microsoft has new products that are intended to help with this potential mismatch in expectations, as you might expect, in addition to its new observations. It aims to give younger employees of businesses a sense of inclusion and the capacity to learn within an organization, much like older employees did.
To ring in a new world of work, which employers in particular are finding difficult to navigate, its new Viva software, for instance, allows direct contact with senior managers, online teaching, and a channel to share personal photos. It functions somewhat like a company intranet site with bells on.
(Adapted from BBC.com)
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