In Europe and beyond, Microsoft’s Work Trend Index Pulse Report provides insights into how employees, leaders see hybrid work

A man sitting at a desk at home with a Surface Laptop Go 2 on a Teams call

In France, the UK and Germany, as in the rest of the world, the last few years have brought profound changes in how we work. Microsoft’s latest Work Trend Index Pulse Report illuminates a gap between how business leaders and employees see hybrid work and the urgent steps needed to bridge that gap.

While many employees have grown attached to the flexibility and freedom hybrid work brings, many business leaders would like to see a return to the office routines of 2019. In a challenging business environment, one thing is clear: It’s the job of every leader to balance employee interests with the success of the organization.

Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO at Microsoft, is in Europe to talk about solutions to the challenges outlined the Work Trend Index Pulse Report and to announce a new set of capabilities in the Microsoft Viva Platform, which are designed to help engage and align employees.

“Thriving employees are what will give organizations a competitive advantage in today’s dynamic economic environment,” Nadella said. “Today, 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.”

The 2022 Work Trend Index Pulse Report is a survey of 20,000 employees across 11 countries. It points to three urgent strategic shifts: ending paranoia about productivity about hybrid work; embracing the fact that people go into the office for each other, not because of an employer policy; and reinvesting in learning.

Globally, 87% of employees report that they are productive at work, while 85% of business leaders say that the shift to hybrid work has made it challenging to have confidence that people are being productive. The percentages for France, the UK and Germany are within two percentage points on this question and most others in the survey. There is some variance, however, on three key questions.

Adult female wearing Surface Headphones 2+ standing at a desk, working on a Surface Pro X in Microsoft Outlook.

Among all those surveyed, 43% of employees can confidently say that their company solicits employee feedback at least once a year – meaning that over half of companies rarely hear about their employees’ experiences at work (57%). In the European countries surveyed, on the other hand, only 40% of the employees reported at least annual feedback.

Both employees and leaders appear hungry for more opportunities to learn and grow, and to explore new career opportunities.

If they could benefit more from learning and development support, 76% of all employees surveyed say they’d stay at their company longer, and 83% of business leaders said the same. In Europe, those numbers were 71% for employees and 77% for business leaders.

More than 2 in 3 of all employees surveyed also said they would stay longer at their company if it was easier to change jobs internally (68% overall and 73% of Gen Z and Millennials). That rises to 3 in 4 for people managers (75%) and business decision makers (77%). In Europe, those percentages were slightly lower among employees, (64% overall, 68% for Gen Z and Millennials), though similar for business decision makers and people managers.

To learn more from the research about how to help employees and organizations thrive, take a look at the global and regional results.

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