Microsoft study of corporate workplaces finds a huge disconnect in hybrid working

Jared Spataro, vicepresidente corporativo de Modern Work de Microsoft, cita los resultados del último Work Trend Index de Microsoft <a href=during a webcast Thursday morning. (Image via Microsoft webcast)” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTM2OQ–/ uu/api/res/1.2/Yx83keCZaP33CQuQaoPEcw–~B/aD0zMzA7dz02MzA7YXBwaWQ9eXRhY2h5b24-/ api/res/1.2/TdVTq9mVMFrV97QRGUQPMQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTM2OQ–/–~B/aD0zMzA7dz02MzA7YXBwaWQ9eXRhY2h5b24-/ /at/geekwire_312/17210ea58a1e057d711ab183563c04d0″/>
Jared Spataro, corporate vice president of Modern Work at Microsoft, cites the results of Microsoft’s latest Work Trend Index during a webcast Thursday morning. (Image via Microsoft webcast)

A huge perception gap between employees and leaders could make hybrid working unsustainable at companies around the world if not addressed, Microsoft warned Thursday as it released the findings of a new workplace study.

This disconnect, which Microsoft calls “productivity paranoia,” is one of the key findings of the survey of 20,000 people at companies in 11 countries, conducted for Microsoft by an outside company in July and August.

One of the causes is the decline of the ancient practice of “walking management” due to remote work. The survey found that a lack of confidence in employee productivity is most common among managers whose teams continue to work outside of the traditional office at least part of the time.

At the same time, data collected from the use of Microsoft software and online services indicates a sustained increase in overall worker activity.

  • The number of weekly meetings is up 153% compared to the start of the pandemic for the average Microsoft Teams user as of this spring, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down, the company said.

  • About 42% of meeting attendees multitask by sending emails and other messages. That doesn’t include other forms of multitasking, like reading email or browsing the web.

Aside from potential burnout, one risk is that employees try to appear to be working, rather than actually doing productive work, a phenomenon that has been identified by author Anne Helen Petersen as LARP-ing, or “role-playing.” live action” their works.

Speaking in a live webcast from London, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said one key is recognizing and understanding the new realities of work, and not expecting to turn back the clock until 2019, before the pandemic.

“Work as we know it has undergone massive structural change,” Nadella said during the virtual event. “I think we have to reground ourselves, in a sense, about what the fundamental meaning of work is.”

Microsoft executive Jared Spataro, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky during Microsoft’s virtual event Thursday in London. (Image via Microsoft webcast).

Seth Patton, general manager of Microsoft 365, said in an interview that the company sees clear communication, goal setting and ongoing feedback loops as key ways to address challenges.

“What is needed right now is not to measure work hours,” Patton said. Instead, companies should “really focus on the results they [they] you need to empower and provide clarity to employees who are otherwise just going to be doing a bunch of busy work, and then get feedback on what they need to help them succeed.”

Patton said Microsoft opposes the practice where companies use technology to actively monitor the computing activity of individual employees, through workplace surveillance tools, to determine productivity and salary.

In November 2020, Microsoft faced backlash over a “Productivity Score” tool in Microsoft 365, eventually announcing that it would remove the ability for businesses to view data about individual users in the feature, to address expert concerns. in privacy about the potential use of the feature. technology to spy on workers.

In announcing the survey results Thursday, Microsoft cited the importance of helping employees connect with one another as a motivation to work in person. In addition, the company said it’s important to “rehire” existing employees to help them identify their best internal roles and growth opportunities, rather than look elsewhere for work.

This chart from Microsoft, based on two years of aggregated anonymous user data from Microsoft 365 collaboration tools, shows a sustained average increase in the number of meetings per person.  <a href=See interactive version.” data-src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTQ2Nw–/ /q4LEI0IgmGEjiOndzPXvGQ–~B/aD00MTc7dz02MzA7YXBwaWQ9eXRhY2h5b24-/″/>
This chart from Microsoft, based on two years of aggregated anonymous user data from Microsoft 365 collaboration tools, shows a sustained average increase in the number of meetings per person. See interactive version.

“People want to feel very connected to their work,” LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky said, appearing alongside Nadella during the company’s virtual event Thursday. “They want to feel connected to the company, connected to their manager. They want to know that their work matters. And one of the most important ways to do that is to make sure you have the right people, with the right skills, in the right role.”

Of course, this is not purely academic for Microsoft. The company cites the report’s findings as the foundation for several new and updated features in its Viva employee experience platform, including tools for conducting quick employee surveys, setting clear goals for work, and encouraging employee learning and growth. employees.

Microsoft announced Viva in March 2021 as its entry into the increasingly competitive market for technology that aims to help businesses improve employee engagement, productivity, and the overall work environment.

The company says Viva now has 10 million monthly active users, with more than 1,000 paying corporate customers who previously didn’t buy Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Teams.

Earlier this year, Microsoft also announced new integrations between Viva and Glint, the employee feedback tool that Microsoft-owned LinkedIn acquired in 2018. Viva also integrates with LinkedIn Learning.

Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for more than $26 billion in 2016. LinkedIn was responsible for $13.8 billion in revenue in Microsoft’s fiscal year 2022, which ended June 30, up 34% from the previous year.

Microsoft competes against a variety of services in the communication and collaboration technology market, including Salesforce’s Zoom and Slack. Seattle-area employee experience company Limeade, which acquired workplace survey tool TINYPulse last year, announced an integration with Microsoft Viva around the same time.

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