Microsoft released its latest Work Trend Index report shedding new light into evolving trends like productivity paranoia, the point of the office, when 73% of employees say they need a better reason to go in than just company expectations, and importance of skilling to the bottom line as 55% of employees say the best way for them to develop their skills is to change companies. The data makes clear that hybrid work has created a growing disconnect between employees and leaders. They’re at odds about what constitutes productivity, how to maintain autonomy while ensuring accountability, the benefits of flexibility and the role of the office. To bridge this gap, a new approach is needed that recognizes work is no longer just a place but an experience that needs to transcend time and space so employees can stay engaged and connected no matter where they are working.
“Thriving employees are what will give organizations a competitive advantage in today’s dynamic economic environment,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO, Microsoft. “We’re announcing new innovations across our employee experience platform Microsoft Viva to help leaders end productivity paranoia, rebuild social capital, and re-recruit and re-energize their employees.”
Microsoft surveyed 20,000 people in 11 countries and analyzed trillions of anonymous and aggregated Microsoft 365 productivity signals, along with LinkedIn labor trends and Glint People Science findings. The data points to three urgent pivots for leaders to make: (1) end productivity paranoia; (2) embrace the fact that people come in for each other; (3) re-recruit your employees with opportunities to learn and grow.
End productivity paranoia
- People are working more than ever – this spring, Microsoft found that the number of meetings per week had increased by 153% globally for the average Microsoft Teams user since the start of the pandemic. What’s more, people are flooded with meeting invites — declines and tentative RSVPs have soared in the past two years (84% and 216% growth, respectively).
- 87% of employees report they are productive at work, while 85% of leaders say the shift to hybrid work has made it challenging to have confidence that people are being productive. This has led to productivity paranoia, where leaders are uneasy about whether people are being productive and working on the right thing.
Embrace the fact that people come in for each other
- 82% of business decision makers say getting employees back to the office in-person is a concern, yet 73% of employees say they need a better reason to go in than just company expectations.
- Why will people willingly go to the office?To see and connect with colleagues, 84% of employees would be motivated by the promise of socializing with coworkers, while 85% are motivated by rebuilding team bonds.
Re-recruit employees with opportunities to learn and grow
- The data shows if employees can’t learn, they’ll leave. 55% of employees say the best way for them to develop their skills is to change companies.76% of employees say they’d stay at their company longer if they could benefit more from learning and development support.
Alongside these insights, the company is also announcing updates to its employee experience platform Microsoft Viva to help address some of these common pain points. Key updates include Viva Pulse app that measures employee feedback and Viva Amplify, Answers in Viva and People in Viva that create a sense of connection and belonging in a digital environment. To find out more about all Microsoft Viva updates, visit this link or download full report. The new Viva capabilities will begin rolling out to customers in early 2023.
The changes that have swept the work world over the past few years are not temporary. Flexibility is a feature, not a fad. And 2019 leadership practices simply won’t meet the moment for a digitally connected, distributed workforce. Leaders who look to data — not just instinct — and focus on clarity, social capital, and career growth can realize both the promise of hybrid work and the full potential of their greatest asset: their people. Now more than ever, positive business outcomes depend on positive people outcomes.
Microsoft continues to innovate and enable digital transformation, empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.